Scranton’s industrial heritage was a pillar of strength that helped the area boom in the early 20th Century. But with time, the region’s economy changed. It’s difficult to point to one or two events that changed the community from its earlier boom to a recovery that has stretched for decades and remained focused on industrial and manufacturing jobs.
A pair of events in 1959 highlight the change between the early and late 20th Century – changes that had been building in preceding years. These two events weren’t responsible for the economic shift, but they illustrate Scranton’s changing fortunes.
The Knox Mine Disaster (January 22) hastened the end of anthracite mining in the area. The bankruptcy of Scranton Lace (April 3), once one of the most prominent of the region’s laceworks and silk mills, indicated the impending end of another key industry in the region’s economy.
Interested in learning more? Contact the Lackawanna Historical Society to inquire about membership and request a copy of the Spring 2009 edition of The Lackawanna Historical Society Journal.
The Dow is up. So is the number of first-time unemployment filers and the housing foreclosure numbers. Retail sales are down as is the net worth of an American family.
I’m not sure whether this is an economic slowdown, recession, reset, or whatever word you want to call it.
Sure, it’s bad. And every commentator wants to compare it to something: Early 1990s, Early 80s, 70s stagflation, Great Depression, Panic of 1873, etc. There’s no doubt that folks are aware – very aware – that the economy is in a difficult stretch. Not that we’re oblivious to past recessions, but this one has some teeth.
Maybe I’m paying more attention. But maybe there is something to all the talk that this is a turning point that will change how our system works.
I made some decisions to alter my saving and buying habits before everyone started to feel it. I’m looking at our apartment and wondering whether we should opt for a place that has a bit better infrastructure – say at least insulation in the attic. We’ve passed up a few of the kitchen gadgets. We’re paying down debt. We’re seeking our masters degrees. We’re trying to stay ahead of the knowledge economy.
I’m hoping we use the opportunity to make other changes though. Advanced degrees makes us look smarter, but dropping the land line for cell only makes sense. I’d love to back up my computer files to the cloud AND be able to get rid of all the paper I’ve lugged from apartment to apartment. I’d like to reduce our energy bills (and consumption) – through insulation and by monitoring when we run the washer and dryer. I’d like to eat out less and eat healthier at home.
As for the news? One of my colleagues was talking about something else, but could have been talking about this today: This is a great time to keep your head down. Keep busy and don’t look up.
Just turned on the television, and it looks as though Armageddon has been avoided. My tv still works.
The Digital TV switchover has been sitting out there for years now. A year ago, television stations went frantic in trying to convince millions of Americans to race out for special receivers and converter boxes to avoid a blank television on February 17. A few weeks ago, Congress and the President even changed the law to delay the mandated shut-off date for broadcasting on analog. The stations in my market went ahead with the switchover today anyways. I doubt many noticed.
More than half of Americans have cable and aren’t affected. And even more have bought a television recently enough to catch the digital signals without a special piece of equipment. How many Americans might be affected? 14 percent. If they all have really old TVs. Leave No Television View Behind. (They might start reading.)
Lots of fear, because without urgency I might miss my third-rate newscast. DTV-2K. Hype overblown.
We missed a great chance to stimulate the economy today because of months and months (and months) of breathless DTV hype. We should have had broadcasting television stations make the change without any announcements. Then we might have had hundreds of thousands of Americans scrambling for new televisions today and placing calls to repairmen. The result would have been a huge spending spree and millions of dollars of retail purchases. Could have started an economic turnaround if somebody would have thought it out. Instead, those millions of purchases were spread out over 12 months – diluting their impact and leaving us to wait for small tax refunds, rebates, and reductions.
As I write this, we’re just a few hours away from something truly remarkable. I really just wanted to make a quick note about it.
On Inauguration Day, 2001, an analyst chimed in for a minute that what he (or she) was seeing was truly remarkable. It was monumental. For all of the angry feelings and political fights that followed the 2000 presidential election, the U.S. had a peaceful transfer of power.
The same thing will happen again in a few hours.
This doesn’t have anything to do with a party or a political belief. It’s just the realization that throughout this country’s history, it’s remained stable by transferring the reigns of executive leadership to a new person – sometimes from a different party. This happens without riots and revolutions without demonstrations and disobedience. The system proscribed more than 200 years ago is carried out in a regular fashion.
Simple. But really something remarkable when you think about the past 200 years’ worth of world history.