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Unformatted text preview: comparative case studies of particular
places and actors within particular cities. There is not one single dominant theory on
contemporary urban restructuring, of course. Rather, there are several strands of literature vying
for prominence, each contributing certain key insights to the complex subject matter and
presenting sometimes-conflicting views on the same cities.2 Nevertheless, there is wide
agreement among urban scholars that postindustrial, post-Fordist, neoliberal restructuring
represents a double-edged sword for cities. High-speed communication and transportation
infrastructures enable corporations to avoid the high land costs and negative
agglomeration externalities associated with high-profile central city locations and relocate
elsewhere. However, for many key, high-profile economic activities, “place still matters” (Dreier,
Mollenkopf, and Swanstrom 2004). Sassen (1991) first showed how advanced producer and
financial services remain clustered in urban cores, and how certain centralizing tendencies in fact
intensify in “global cities” that represent the most strategic command and control centers of the
global economy.3 9|Page Capitalism Critique BDL
Link – Highways [___] Highway infrastructure enables the worst social effects of capitalism
Shane Hamilton, assistant professor of history at the University of Georgia, 2006
(Shane, "Trucking Country: Food Politics and the Transformation of Rural Life in Postwar America,"
Trucking Country: Food Politics and the Transformation of Rural Life in Postwar America, Muse)
By showing how trucking reconfigured the technological, political, and cultural relationships between
rural producers and urban consumers from the 1930s to the 1970s, my dissertation reveals the rural
roots of a radical transformation of American capitalism in the midtwentieth century. Highway
transportation provided the infrastructure for a transition from the New Deal–era political
economy—based on centralized political authority, a highly regulated economy, and collective social
values—to a post–New Deal capitalist culture marked by widespread antistatism, minimal market
regulation, and fierce individualism. From the 1930s to the late 1970s, consumer demand for lowpriced food, coupled with farmers' demands for high commodity prices, prompted the federal
government to encourage agribusinesses to use long-haul trucks, piloted by fiercely independent
"truck driven' men," to privatize the politics of food. Western meatpackers and other agribusinesses
were determined to shred government regulations and labor unions in the name of "free enter prise,"
low wages, and irresistibly low consumer prices for goods such as well-marbled steaks, jugs of milk,
and frozen orange juice. The post–World War II highway-based food economy began unraveling
the social fabric of rural America for the sake of low consumer prices—long before Wal-Mart
became infamous for said strategy.1 Trucks, I contend, were political technologies, used to define
the contours of public policy regardin...
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This document was uploaded on 02/06/2014.
- Spring '14