In the United Kingdom, for example, the sheer overwhelming dominance of London makes it extremely for provincial cities to develop more than a very restricted financial function. London, in that sense, is akin to the notorious upas tree, a fabulous Javanese tree so poisonous that it destroys all life for many miles around itself.
America is a much newer experiment in human living, one with moral concerns at its core. In this respect it differs from Europe, which has preferred sophistication and worldly wisdom to "righteousness," and resembles China, which saw the universe itself as essentially a moral order. However materialistic Americans may be in their economic pursuits, their ceremonies emphasize the material far less than European societies have. America has imposing official architecture. Washington, D. C., boasts a radial baroque stateliness. Yet one of its most important buildings, the White House, is a modest dwelling, its scale far smaller than that of the palaces of Europe and Asia.
If the great geological labours of the oceans, such as the erosion of cliffs, the demolition of promontories, and the construction of new shores, astonish the mind of man by their grandeur, on the other hand, the thousand details of the stands and beaches charm by their infinite grace and marvelous variety.
One effect of benefit-cost analysis is to give any respectable engineer or economist a means for justifying almost any kind of project the national government wants to justify... Exclusive reliance on benefit-cost analysis has been one of the greatest threats to wise decisions in water development.