Ten-to-fifteen years ago, I would’ve been very surprised to see an op-ed like this published, and I would’ve been even more surprised to find myself nodding along.
Regular readers may have noticed my fondness for historical advertising (of a very specific kind). Here are some old advertisements by Bohn Aluminum that I came across, and here is a bigger list. This stuff dates from the 1940s.
These look like the background design of Bioshock and you can’t imagine seeing something like this today, but the real story here (I think) is how it used to be possible to imagine building big stuff in a positive sense, and how everyone almost took it for granted that “wonderful infrastructure” was going to come, perhaps sooner, perhaps later, but it was going to come.
Today, it’s hard to find believers of that sort. Today, this giant rocket airplane, with five decks, would draw either a laugh, or a smirk, or worse, but for a brief period it might have drawn admiration.