The nation's physical foundations seem to be crumbling beneath us. Last week, a 40-year-old interstate highway bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, plunging rush-hour traffic into the Mississippi River 60 feet below. Two weeks earlier, an 83-year-old steam pipe under the streets of Manhattan exploded in a volcano-like blast, showering asbestos-laden debris. And two years before that, substandard levees gave way in New Orleans, opening the way for the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina.
These are some of the most dramatic signs of the nation's failure to maintain and enhance its aging physical structures at a time when demands on roads, transit systems, sewage treatment plants and other vital facilities are rising. In the event of a catastrophic failure, many lives can be lost. But even the slower deterioration undermines our quality of life and retards economic growth. Traffic jams waste gasoline, pollute the air and exhaust drivers' patience. Disabled trains and subways strand commuters. Gridlocked airports disrupt travel plans. And power failures plunge millions into darkness.
Must be this kind of percipience that makes the NYTimes the paper of record, and such a 'lib'rul' threat to the fascisti, hunh?
But even the NYTimes cannot bring its 'self' to place the blame where it belongs: the last nearly 30 years of tax cuts for the wealthy and the CorpoRat masters of the system, and and the consequent reduction in resources needed for the maintenance of the infrastructure that these wholly gratuitous, unnecessary, and wasteful tax cuts necessitated.