Friday, June 11, 2021

Ambitious restlessness stands at the core of our civilization.

Joel Kotkin reports that
The pandemic’s economic destruction has also created new winners.
To be sure, the initial impact of the pandemic favored big chains and accelerated the already dangerous corporate concentration in technology—Amazon tripled its profits in the third quarter of 2020 and the top seven tech firms added $3.4 trillion in value last year. This in turn has made all business, as well as ordinary Americans, subject to manipulation by the handful of “platforms” that control the primary means of communication. Meanwhile, lockdowns drove an estimated 160,000 small businesses out of existence and left those that survived to face “an existential threat,” according to the Harvard Business Review.
The orneriness and individualism of Americans may not be popular with the country’s governing clerisy, but ambitious restlessness stands at the core of our civilization. The real heroes and heroines in post-pandemic America won’t be the oligarchs who have taken advantage of the crisis, or the elite bureaucrats who have lorded over the nation for over a year. It will be the people who occupied deserted storefronts on Main Street, developed businesses from home, or built new production facilities in the heartland. Most will never be celebrated in the press, but collectively they represent the hidden power that can rescue the struggling middle class and preserve the essence of what it means to be an American.
Read the whole thing here:

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