Saturday, May 17, 2014

The "Economic Shadow"

The Economic Shadow

by Paul A. L. Hall

The Danbury-Windsor Barrier

Things are kinda slow economically for Cornish Flats, and in fact, most of Cornish in the State of New Hampshire. I lived right next to there in Sullivan's County in Claremont for about seven years during that time and produced a product, artwork on ceramics, which I attempted to put on consignment in as many collectible shops and other stores as I could find, which sent me on a detailed voyage scouring every inch, well almost, that's what's it seemed like to me, looking for every last little shop that would be willing to take my ceramics.

I ranged from Windsor on the other side of the Connecticut River from New Hampshire, all the way to Danbury, quite a distance the other direction towards the sea. It's then that I discovered that I was not going to be able to drive from Windsor, across the Cornish-Windsor covered bridge, up the little mill stream and past a couple of more covered bridges, out on another highway and on to the cities around Danbury, past Cornish Flats.  Because after Cornish Flats, the road only goes north-south and the direct route to Danbury is blocked by a huge, private game reserve, with no trespassing. In fact, at least in the late nineties, it was virtually impossible to travel east through Cornish from any point between the cities of Lebanon to the north and Claremont to the south, about 25 miles.

The game reserve, unbeknownst to just about everybody, and I really wouldn't have realized it either if I hadn't had spent a lot of my life traveling and observing marketplaces, acted as a barrier and kept that whole area from beyond the Connecticut River on the Vermont side, to this game reserve, and from its western side all the way to Danbury, from the economic sufficiency it needed to support it's populations adequately. 
Now you may wonder "so what?", but it's important to notice these examples, because it proves that, with the appropriate economic engineering, a minimal level of infrastructure can allow people to prosper economically right where they reside, so that it becomes their choice if they choose to commute to a distant job and it allows responsible individuals to choose to reside in a rural environment and remain economically self sufficient.  In other words, the local government is able to economically engineer their infrastructure so that appropriate economic engines are in place in their county.

We have heard terms like "economic engine" before, used in whimsical, fanciful ways such as referring to the New York Stock Exchange as an economic engine. But really, economic engines do exist, and they are mostly accidental, not planned and absolutely nothing practically is known about them.

I began to pick up on this in my extensive travels in England, where I have observed the success of marketplaces in major areas of concourse throughout the British Isles. It seems that people tend to have a bizarre way of measuring prosperity, and I haven't been there for a long time so I don't know how they are doing now, but when I was visiting them in the seventies, they had a very wonderful prosperity, that wouldn't have been thought of as such, because people tend to measure prosperity by a given wealth in a certain vicinity.

But the prosperity I noticed was not the wealth of a given area, but the movements of wealth through the widest possible distribution of tributaries or individuals. With this different type of measurement of wealth, where a certain amount of economic engines, cooperating together, and maybe even unbeknownst to those who use them for livelihoods, might be thought of as making a town in England, for example, such as Shrewsbury back in the seventies far more prosperous than, say , the equivalent area around Wall Street in New York City in the early nineties.

It is common for human nature to tend to think that the only way to become truly well-off is to stretch, if not blatantly ignore, ethics -- to achieve a desirable end or goal of becoming wealthy in a constant and guaranteed manner. However, this is not how real wealth works at all. Real prosperity tends to be prevalent in a climate of generosity where the majority of the populace has a healthy respect for ethics. Just as important is a need for the average person to remain vigilant on an individual basis, not letting the unscrupulous get away with things.

But little is known about economic engines, or their maintenance, or their construction. And even though I understood about economic engines, when I had the chance to put forth an effort, my first attempts did not meet with success. It is not enough to just realize a principal, you have to experiment, you have to do studies, you have to try things out, and eventually you'll find something that works.

So if the reserve was split into two parts, and a highway running between the two with perhaps two or three bridges put up so that hunters and game could traverse the highway, the concourse, commerce, and prosperity of Cornish Flats would go up exponentially. Highways are one of the first and obvious manifestations of economic engines. There is much much more to it than that, and there are many more ways overcoming the economic shadow of the game reserve of Cornish Flats.

Some people living there are quite wealthy and don't even need to have incoming prosperity. However, every human community needs to have a flow. Eventually citizens are going to come up either by influx or by birth and cause a community to enter into either success or privation, because of their ignorance of the reality of concourse. It is noted here that a functioning knowledge of such concourse, and the engines involved with it, could guarantee the community's success and stave off privation. There was really very little I could do to remedy the situation, except possibly write about it. I do wish them all the best, and I hope perhaps some day they may come to realize their dilemma.

But we're not just talking about Cornish Flats here, but all the way from the coast of New Hampshire and Main to the opposite side of Vermont and beyond into New York. Economic shadows are everywhere, it doesn't just take a game reserve or something like that. Here in San Diego, California, they're suffering a similar problem of economic shadows, perhaps far worse than a mere sprawling game reserve in the middle of nowhere. No, it's not Balboa Park, and is not the Wild Animal Park, and it certainly isn't Sea World out there by Mission Bay. It is interstate Highway number five. They have a limited-access highway running right through the middle of the city. And that is compounded by Highway 15 on the other side of the city and Highway 805 running diagonally one way and Highway 163 the other.

These form economic shadows in the communities, which, unlike, for example, Manhattan in New York, with it's sometimes-quite-troublesome grid system, nevertheless, with an economic engine on every corner. With so much at stake in so much prosperity to be lost, you'd think these guys would be anxious about their situation hundreds of years ago, let alone today, when so-called educated peoples are supposed to know better -- but don't. However, as you can see, people really can't be bothered. They want to just waste their lives away in an oblivious, happily-ever-after do nothing stupor, living and dying as also-rans who just don't care.

But that's the story, for what it's worth, of the economic shadow of the Cornish Flats game reserve.
Click on the following links to look at other articles that mention the concept of economic engines, to which I have assigned the acronym "ECONEN":

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