Amazon prime now’s subway advantage


Good for Amazon. Delivery trucks are actually a big source of negative externalities in New York, so getting them off the streets – even at the expense of more crowded subways – has to be a good thing.

But let me say that the article is slightly unfair in attributing the subway’s advantage solely to traffic congestion. The New York subways are nearly miraculous in their ability – I know, only most of the time – to get you uptown or downtown incredibly fast (crosstown, not so much).

The secret is the four-track system, with express trains running in the middle and locals on the sides.

Those expresses, stopping only every 25 or 30 blocks (between 1.2 and 1.5 miles) seem to take you across large distances almost instantaneously.

For me, and for other people I know, that unique feature plays a surprisingly large role in making life in New York easier and more productive.

The ‘Real America’

Younger or foreign readers may not recall how big a role the alleged moral superiority of small-town America played in conservative politics (and still does, to some extent).

Years ago, Republicans portrayed themselves as the party of the “real America,” and of family values, as opposed to the decadent left in its enclaves on the coasts. Defense of traditional values played a big role in the 2004 presidential campaign.

You always knew that there was plenty of hypocrisy here, that the heartland had no monopoly on virtue, and the coast no monopoly on vice, and that surely some of the loudest family-values types had skeletons in their closets.

But what we’re now learning about Dennis Hastert, the speaker of the House of Representatives during those years – specifically about the allegations of abuse – is beyond anything one could have imagined.


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