Another Year, Another 100 Million "Americans"
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Demography never sleeps, as illustrated by the Census Bureau's estimate that America's population at the start of 2005 will be 295,160,302.

In fact, at this rate the national odometer will click over to 300 million residents in less than two years.

That number means that America's population will have doubled since 1950's comfortable 150 million, when the U.S. was far less crowded, there was lots of open space and the driving was easy.

Is it too early to start thinking about some proper ways to mark the 300-million millstone, er milestone?

How about burying a time capsule to inform generations of the future about what a livable, socially cohesive America was like?

A time capsule should include a copy of Vertigo (1958), one of my favorite films, in which detective Jimmy Stewart drives freely around an ungridlocked San Francisco as he follows the mysterious "Madeleine." He has no problem parking the car in front of any destination downtown and beyond, something unthinkable today. (See "then and now" photos here to grasp how increasing numbers of cars (and their drivers) have overwhelmed the city.)

Indeed, how much more "progress" can we stand, particularly when it is defined economically in terms of overall growth instead of the economic well-being of the average American?

I need a t-shirt that says: "America with 300 Million Is Full."

Maybe it could have a logo on it.

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