Comments: International Youth Day

Makes me wonder how much cars can be blamed for the decline in voting. People spend longer in transit than they used to, each day. It absorbs a certain amount of our leisure time.

I've a friend who moved way out to the country so she could lead the simple life, and leading the simple life turned out to mean driving her kid to school, then soccer, then getting groceries. If she wants to see her old friends, she has to drive into town, so that's an hour. Her church is now an 1:15 hours away. She says she spends between 2 and 3 hours driving each day. Lots of American fantasize about moving to the country side without realizing it means spending a hell of a lot time in a car. Also, everyone gets spread out a car based culture.

I can't, off-hand, think of a direct connection between cars and the lack of community or political participation, but I'd be willing to believe that there is one.

Posted by Lawrence Krubner at August 13, 2004 07:52 AM

I think the problem is that she moved part of her life to the "countryside" but not all of it. Maybe she should have chosen a place near a small town, with a grocery store? (Of course, that's not really practical, either. Where you live can be limited by where you work.

I know I've read that the car culture, more than anything else, was responsible for the decline of the extended family and the small community.

Posted by Anne at August 18, 2004 08:17 AM