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The shifting pattern of trade has brought new problems to big cities, not only for businessmen but for city officials. As trade suffers, the city becomes relatively more expensive to run efficiently. New York City alone has lost 500,000 upper-and middle-income-bracket families to the suburbs since 1943; those who remain are poorer, less able to pay taxes for expensive city services. Lower tax returns, in turn, mean more crowding and more slums. Says Detroit City Planner Paul Reid: "Newcomers, for the most part, are in the lower economic level. As they settle in the city, others who have attained medium or high wage levels move out." Furthermore, those moving to the suburbs are often among the most civic-minded citizens; thus the cities lose leadership as well as customers.

Today, the flight to the country has reached the point where some suburbs themselves are getting crowded: Taxes climb as new schools go up; roads must be paved, police and fire departments organized. Because most suburbs have little industry, the homeowners themselves must carry most of the load. But now industry is seeking the country, too, looking for large tracts of open land to build efficient one-story plants. Of 2,658 plants built in the New York area from 1946 to 1951, only 593 went up in the city proper. The great stores, factories, and office buildings are actually changing some suburbs into cities and giving the erstwhile country dwellers a second taste of the city life with all the familiar problems of heavy traffic, congestion, even slums.

There is little doubt that the move to the suburbs will continue. As today's suburbs fill up, the migrants to greenery and fresh air will move farther out, spawning a new boom in home swimming pools, tree nurseries, basement carpentry and dozens of other businesses.

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