Many of your arguments are sound about wasteful use of pick up trucks, etc.
Linda A Robinson, Ph.D.
43

I spend a lot of time in New Holland, Illinois. The population was 269 at the 2010 census, down from 318 in 2000 (source Wikipedia). When my wife grew up there, it had 2 gas stations, a grocery, an elementary and high school, and 3 churches. Now — 2 churches, both with declining attendance and aging population. The High School is now used as a storage facility for carnival equipment.

Various causes for this change — farmers can now farm 100x or more the amount of land per farmer, grain elevators and transport are more efficient. Nearby Lincoln now has a Wal-Mart which sells the same amount of good with 25% the overall labor force, workers who make less money than previously.

Now add in the job losses that will come from self driving cars that will be hard on urban areas but which will crush these places. 50% or more of the police force, 25% or more Paramedics/Trauma, shut down traffic courts and thus judges/bailiffs/lawyers. These are jobs that are still high paying in areas that have loaded up on low paying service sector jobs. And as those people disappear, that filters up to dentists, hair cutters, etc…

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