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6353Re: [carfree_cities] Car-free cities and jobs

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  • Richard Risemberg
    Oct 13, 2003
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      Also, a change from automobile-dependent transport would require other changes in goods delivery and general freight handling, many of which Mr. crawford addresses in http://www.carfree.com--look up the page on Metro Freight, for one example. There would probably be a greater need for electricity for transport--trains, pwoererd handcarts, etc.--and for delivery of virtual goods over the internet; the need to replace, as far as possible, centralized power generation, with its inherent transmission losses, with dispersed small-scale local generation coordianted over a transnational grid, would certainly provide plenty of employment opportunities for manufacturers, installer, maintenance crews, conttollers, software engineers (of which there is a large pool presently unembploued), and more.

      Another, larger, and intimately related question is whether we need to continue an economy based on buying for buying's sake, or wehther a lower level of economic "churning" could indeed fulfil our needs for comfort and expression while not requiring huge work and debt loads. After all, people already most often buy more cars than they need, and replace perferctly working machines for emotional reasons. Are there ways to engender a feeling of satisfaction at a lower level of commerce? The carfree city may have to address this, as much of present car culture adresses emotional, not practical, needs--or everyone would be driving Mini-Coopers or whatever those generic Renaults and cheap-ass Mercedeses are that they use for taxis in Europe and South America.

      Richard

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Erik Rauch <rauch@...>
      Sent: Oct 13, 2003 12:14 PM
      To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Car-free cities and jobs

      On Sun, 12 Oct 2003, amqx wrote:

      > Eliminating cars would leave countless people
      > unemployed. Would car-free cities create any new jobs that could
      > replace them, such as train and bus building?

      An interesting question. Indeed the missing auto industry jobs would be
      partially replaced by ones related to public transport. But the net result
      may well be a net decrease in the work that needs to be done to serve
      people's transportation needs.

      But if, as we argue, carfree cities would improve people's well-being,
      then the change from car-dependent to carfree urban area is no different
      from an increase in productivity: we accomplish more with less work. Thus,
      if we are smart, this change can be used to reduce the number of hours
      people work, rather than resulting in unemployment.


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