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The movement of goods and people tells of great structural change and waves of optimism and pessimism

 In the world of structural change, there is perhaps nothing more revealing than the movement of goods and people.  In this special update on the U.S., we will cover the long recorded and storied history of transportation to highlight our new data additions and to also shed light on the effect of the lockdowns on the economy.  The chart of interest concerns the measurement of movement. The movement of people is measured in miles traveled by air, road, and rail. The chart below highlights many of the structural changes over the past century. From the use of rail and the Pullman car in the early part of the century to the rise in airline and vehicle miles traveled.  Importantly, travel is not a function of time as it is a function of depression and optimism, the policy mandated structural changes, and personal preferences and costs.  Each one of the series below shows that travel picks up in expansions and falls in recessions. WW2 saw a great pick-up in the miles traveled by ordin

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