Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Erie Canal was like a bridge to China for the New Yorkers of the early 1800's


FedEx Nation
Originally uploaded by mojo!.
Today we have what might be called a digital bridge to China, speeding goods across the Pacific to the US.

In the early 1800's the state of New York gambled on a huge project; they invested in the manual excavation of the almost-400-mile Erie Canal. It made a link between NYC and the enormously rich Great Lakes region. The place that benefited the most was the port of NYC. It was almost like having a bridge to China.

Compare that to Louisiana. Our state is crossed by I-20 in the north and I-10 in the south. But I-49 is incomplete. It has been stalled in its northward connection by the Bayou State's pitiful lack of leadership. Thus Shreveport loses the jobs and wealth that is created when people can freely transport goods and trade at a crossroads.

It's as though the lesson of the Erie Canal was never taught in our schools.

1 comment:

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