Company towns

The United States has a history of what are called "company towns." England does as well, but there the connotation is, in my mind, a bit more grim. In the US, company towns had an aura of utopia about them. It was a well thought out whole, and both the necessities and luxuries of life were provided by the company, for whom everyone in town, basically, worked.

What strikes me as so interesting about this is the weird way it blends capitalism and communism. I have noted the same thing about the US military actually, that although their mission is to defend the American way of life, the way of life for service men is not at all the capitalist, if-you-fail-it-is-not-our-problem system. They are taken care of, their medical and social and daily-life needs are all provided for, planned for, accommodated.

Company towns are an efficient model because operations are streamlined. There is not 10 different people trying to get the same supply from 10 different suppliers. No, one contractor is found by the company (which has larger leveraging power) to supply said good at a very good price, and this cuts down considerably on waste.

And company towns can in fact be rather democratic, because the residents can vote in committees focused on different aspects of life. There is a school committee, an entertainment committee, a work-safety committee, etc.

I think I would like to live in a place like that.


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