Wal-Mart and the discount retail boom are proof enough of that. What we love even more, though, is free stuff. Just slap the word "free" before almost anything and we'll line up.
This mentality represents some challenges for cities, but also some opportunities. The challenge is that if people don't have to pay for something, they probably won't. And the opportunity is that if people don't have to pay for something, they're way more likely to want it. Let's think of this concept in terms of three innately American traditions: pancakes, mobility, and beer.