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September 29, 2020


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Great photos
thank you

Central used to be a great dividing line for interesting generalizations:
East valley - Budweiser country.
West valley - Coors country

East valley - rock and roll
West valley - country and western

East valley - white collar, high school plus additional Ed
West valley - blue collar, GED or high school at most

It’s all blurred now, no more distinct areas.

I always found the beer thing interesting. May have been a sales territory thing.

Thanks Jon, great photos

Way back when I was older than a critter and younger than a crank, in the 50s and 60s, there weren't prosperous urban cities and struggling small cities, there was a mix of both with similar economic results. Population was more evenly distributed among the cities as was measures of wealth between citizens. One grew up wherever they lived feeling their grasp was nearly equal to their reach. It was the best of times (economically), and those times were a construct of public policies that provided economic incentives to level the playing field for population centers of varying economic strength. Whether this had been brought about by enlightened social planning or resulted from business practices that yielded better revenue growth while incidentally providing increased social opportunities which fosters increased business prospects, is a matter of conjecture. For example:

Fair Trade Laws meant that the Hart Schaefer & Marx suit that sold for $75 in New York had to also sell for $75 in Phoenix (cost of labor and utilities factored in). The Evinrude motor that sold for $175 in Glendale had to sell for $175 in Tempe and wholesale/industrial parts were treated the same way. This created a mercantile class in each city based on establishing distribution points for the various national and regional brands. Adverting was directed by local agencies and legal, accounting and other professional needs were furnished from within the city. Those merchants/distributors sponsored baseball games, funded civic improvements and made sure schools had the requisite teaching aids and qualified teachers. Management jobs within each business created opportunities for ambitious young folk to establish their ‘bones' in the regional offices before being promoted up the ladder. .

When the merchants needed a loan to start or expand they could go to a local bank that knew them because interstate banking laws kept banks domiciled in states and only state domiciled banks could establish branch offices, the means of gathering assets back then. If a bank wanted to lend money to make money they had to ‘grow’ their deposit base to prosper; one hand washes the other.

Many of the stores fronting on Central Avenue Rogue has displayed were owned and operated by locals. Pride of place was woven in the civic fabric; public buildings served as more than just a structural container, commercial developments revealed the owners commitment to embellishing the overall look of the architectural environment. Think of pride as the animating spirit that drives people to provide more than is expected because that is how things operate in the social faction controlling any town.

The cities and towns that grew and prospered because of those restrictive policies looked ripe for the plucking by organizations operating in larger spheres where they had more resources under their control. Removing barriers to entry would permit firms with large operating bases and economies of scale to overrun the firms operating in smaller economic silos, putting the market into the maws of the bigger fish. When Fair Trade Laws and prohibitions against intestate banking were struck down in state legislatures in the 70s there was no way smaller distributors could compete. By the late 80s the destruction of the social and economic sinews holding communities together was apparent.

There are other public policy changes that certainly contributed to changes in our economic landscape, I mentioned two I happen to be familiar with. My personal business ethos has always been that businesses will maximize profits within the law (most will) because that’s what management is incentivized to do. Counting on benevolent owners to safeguard civic assets is misguided and dangerous. That’s what government, rules and regulations (enforced) are for.

Today I recognize that social media is playing with an unfair advantage against traditional news sources with the same debilitating effect on our social canvass. They are not regulated like publishers even though they certainly are. They have no labor contracts they must honor, they have no regulatory guidelines they must follow and they have no conscience so they are both free and driven to exploit what previous generations worked hard to create. And what unfettered social media has created is a cesspool of misinformation pandering to the lowest common denominator and unravelling what’s left of our cultural heritage; witness the 1st presidential debate.

If people don’t start re-realize how important it is to believe that government can be a force for good and the only way people have to overcome the predations of those that don’t honor the rule of law the current zeitgeist could be the complete unravelling of the America people hold in their imagination. At the moment, things are not looking good.

Very good posting Ed.

How about this for a radical concept.

Banks take in savings and pay 5% interest.

Banks put out loans and charge a fair interest on the loans.

As opposed to the current scheme: Banks get free money and play the national roulette wheel. Money from customers with savings??? Who needs those schmucks?

Excellent commentary Ed.

Love these pictures. My memories of Central are mostly are north of Bethany, where the tree canopy remains along the Bridal Path. I'm old enough to remember seeing horses on it. But mostly it was a safe and shady way for my friends and I to ride our bikes to and from Madison Meadows school. I also remember seeing Suns Coach John MacLoed running along it regularly and waving at any cars who honked at him.

Do we know if the palm trees in the 1930s picture are ancestors of the ones that are there today?

Gary S, because the street was widened I doubt today’s are the offspring.

If you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.I arrived in jan.1966 and love the pix of Phoenix but I remember the legislator who wanted to put giant fans to remove the brown haze that hung over the valley. If they realized that the haze was caused by autos, it wasn’t apparent because by Sunday the haze was gone. Now,people aren’t smart enough to figure out that 90% of the gas they use to put in their tank ends. up In the atmosphere causing “global warming “The laws passed to clean the air have greatly contributed to today’s drought problems.

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