Monday, October 09, 2006

Infrastructure for Competition

One of the things we take for granted in this country is our infrastructure for transportation. Despite our complaints about potholes, bridges that need updating, and the constant state of construction in our major cities, particularly involving our interstate highways, we have it pretty good here. All that construction is a sign of progress, and we are working hard to make sure things can get from point A to point B. Companies like Federal Express, Airborne, and UPS give us lots of options for shipping, which reduce the friction in dealing with companies from other states.

Those of us living in Rural America, with gravel-covered roads, have heard stories from our parents and grandparents about the way it used to be in the olden days, when sometimes the only way to get to town for supplies was to drive through a field or to walk due to mud-covered roads. Those days are happily behind us - but not so for folks in Russia. This morning, I received the following message from our fellow blogster and colleague, Terry Clark, who has been doing some research in Europe.

As Dr. Clark explains, this website shows roads in the Siberian town of Yakutsk, a city of about 100,000 residents. Clark stated: "I think you will get a sense of the problems that eastern Russia suffers. We may be provincial in US terms, but that does not mean the same thing as being provincial in Russia!"

Counting my blessings (even as I drive on a gravel road in rural Iowa) ....

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