Sara at Correntewire got it exactly right...
I listened to the NPR post-mortem on the Minneapolis bridge collapse this morning
followed by a 'side-bar' on the state of the US infra-structure.
You could have knocked me over with a feather! Know why? Listen to 'em.
There is not a single fucking WORD about tax cuts for the wealthy which have been the default, domestic economic policy bedrock, virtually uninterrupted, since 1980!
Who's to blame? NPR's expert sez it's the local pols. Their "vision" doesn't extent into architectural time--15 years out, minimum; the life-time of a domestic roof, more or less. They're gardeners, focusing on the current crop, the immediate weather, harvesting the low-hanging fruits, both votes and cash. The technologist cannot SEE the infra-structure's actual, political infra-structure
So there's nary a word about the impact on local maintenance budgets when highway funds to the states are cut. Scott Simon helpfully doesn't complicate matters by inquiring very deeply, either. The members of the maintenance/inspection teams--expensive, high-man-hour operations--report reduced crews for increased demands.
Simon at one point remarks that repairing all the 'deficient' bridges in the country now will cost "billions and billions of dollars."
There was no one present to wonder what reparative/restorative effect on the infrastructure the "billions and billions of dollars" poured out into the sands of Iraq might have. No word about this tragic, murderous mis-allocation of limited national resources to sustain the vain-glory and delusion of the Neo-Con cabal 'elected' (installed) on the promise of tax 'relief' for their financial/ideological sponsors.
Restoring, and simultaneously retro-fitting for energy efficiency, the decrepit USer infrastructure is a gold-plated, Gay-Rawn-TEED, lead-pipe-cinch prescription for domestic tranquility, and would do a LOT for the guarantees of L,L,&POH, if that were truly the goal of the political class, their masters and acolytes.
On the present evidence, I believe it safe to say that those are NOT the goals of the political class elites.
Which makes--or should--the actual contributions of that group more and more problematic, evanescent, even. But they've got "Paris Hilton", the "war," "terrorism," the "faltering economy," the "collapsing infrastructure," the entire media enterprise, and the power and force of law when all else fails, to protect 'em.
23 hours ago