Sunday, October 16, 2005


In 1956 a law was passed which ended up building 41,000 miles of interstate highways. 90% of the cost was born by the US Federal Government.

The US Government's Marshall Plan forced Europeans to convert from coal to oil. When Europe asked the US for 47,000 freight cars and no trucks, the Marshall Plan sent 20,000 freight cars and 65,000 trucks. Thus by 1950, 11% of Marshall Plan "aid" was in oil - a wonderful boon for the US oil giants.

In 1945, the US Chamber of Commerce called for rural depopulation in order to create a mass of low-wage workers. Between 1945 and 1970 rural America lost one million farms and 25,000,000 people "one of the largest migrations in history." The US Federal Dept. of Agriculture did everything possible to destroy the small farm and replace it with the technology and chemical dependent agro-business.

In the 1930's only 5% of retail food sales were through supermarket chains. State-induced suburban sprawl destroyed the market gardens that used to surround every city. Thus the sale of produce was taken over by the supermarkets, who in turn pushed for corporate farming.

During the Second World War, William J. Levitt (Levittown) contracted to build housing for naval personel in Norfolk Virginia.(2)Levitt developed mass production methods for housing development. Levitt and imitators after the war used these techniques to develop the suburban housing tracts. Meanwhile, the Federal Government intervened in existing communities to separate commerce, work and residence. Mixed neighborhoods did not get funding for improvements. Furthermore, 40% of businesses evicted during housing renewal did not reopen. Their place was taken by corporations.

1. All info from THE DARK AGES by Marty Jezer, South End, 1982
2. African Americans were not allowed to live in Levittown - whites only!


Blogger pman said...

Hey Kleitus!

Another interesting article. Keep it up. We are screwing up the whole planet. Wanna take away jobs or lower wages? Just come up with a few logical fallacies and a few vague terms like ''reform'', and then you can move in and fuck the population.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

Great post! On rural depopulation and state aid to agribusiness, one of the side-effects was the tractoring out of predominantly black sharecroppers in the south, and their subsequent movement in overwhelming numbers to the ghettoes of the north. The inner city social pathologies the neocons complain of date back to the influx of unemployable refugees in the late '40s and '50s, and not to the Great Society of the '60s.

9:21 AM  

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