Rust and Economics

We are, if not wasteful, and we may also be that in other ways, using this capitalist system the wrong way.  If you were to drive across this country, from coast-to-coast, as I have done twice, you will see a lot of rusting and rotting, decrepit structures.

In the Akron – Youngstown area, you will see steel mills that have been closed for 30 years.  In Illinois will be abandoned barns, built 100 years ago that are no longer functionally efficient.  A drive through Tennessee will reveal 1940s and 50s farm equipment that is left to rust behind the barn for the same reason – functionally inefficient.  A drive through the plains of eastern Montana will reveal whole towns that are now ghost towns.  No jobs and the young have all moved away.

Is this the result of Madison Ave always trying to sell us the newest, brightest, shiniest “gotta have it” new thing?

Is this healthy, from an economic perspective to let all this capital lay idle, rusting into nothingness?

Do we have a tax code that rewards tearing down the old (a write-off) and building new on top of it (depreciation)?

Does this really make for good economic health?

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