The Cheapo Stuff Wins

“WHY IS Everything So Ugly?” (Issue 44) was a pleasingly dyspeptic essay about something I’ve been giving a lot of thought to lately: the unremitting ugliness of life in early 2020s America. But since the editors were more preoccupied with describing the ugliness than explaining it (a few references to supply chains and global capital aside), I thought I’d try to actually answer their rhetorical question by looking at the economic transformations of the post–New Deal era that led us here. I see us as the victims of four interlocking phenomena, tackled below in no particular order.

Letters to the Editor: The Cheapo Stuff Wins (Nplusone)



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