Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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New topic 2012-08-29 11:28:41 description



1. Three Worlds: for-profit, nonprofit, and government. If you start your career in one of them, you are very likely to spend your whole life in that world, so it affects your politics, schooling, attitudes, and dislikes. There once was agriculture and manufacturing, but they shrank; now it is increasingly just these three, and for-profit is threatened with shrinking. The other two are definitely growing. Is this what is holding Philadelphia back? Do for-profit employers prefer to go to cities where the for-profit world dominates? Once a city gets this far into artsy craftsy, do employers shun it? In rich families, the dullard is assigned the charities, so he won't muck up the business. But in very rich families, there's not much point in doing for-profit work, either. The sociology of the government sector is less well characterized, at least to me.

2. Is it possible that the 1913 creation of the Federal Reserve, along with its continuing domination by New York, is responsible for Philadelphia's failure to recover from 1929? Investment banking just about disappeared everywhere, but after it started to recover, there was room for only one city, for a long long time. Without a for-profit sector, Philadelphia became a center of nonprofits, and now the nonprofits are maybe keeping out the for-profits??

3. What are we going to do with all these churches? Is this the same question as what do we do with all these soldiers between wars? What do we do with a whole host of obsolete entertainments and novelties?


Originally published: Tuesday, February 14, 2012; most-recently modified: Thursday, May 09, 2019