New column: The port that exports

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I have a column in the issue of Time with a fire alarm on the cover, and online here. It begins:

The giant ships from Asia steam into the Southern California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach laden with flat-screen TVs, flip-flops, copying machines, nail clippers, Thomas the Tank Engines and all the other necessities of modern life. They leave port a few days later loaded mainly with empty containers.

For years, this has been among the most resonant images of the U.S.’s economic predicament. The world makes. We take.

But there is another port, across the continent from L.A., where things look a lot different. Stand on River Street in the old Georgia city of Savannah, and the big ships you see squeezing out to sea through the narrow river channel actually float lower than the ones coming in. They’re full of exports. Read more.