America is Coming Apart at the Seams

A few weeks ago, for the fourth time in the past two years, I was driving in a major metropolitan area -- this time in New York City -- in a country with the world's largest economy, when I hit a massive divit in the roadway, maybe ten inches deep, that blew out my tire.

It was, of course, raining hard, as it tends to be when one gets a flat (I've long thought that Murphy was an optimist).

Last year, in the suburbs of DC -- the capitol of the country with the world's largest economy -- I hit a huge pothole, replaced my tire with the "doughnut" spare, and then blew that out in another Lake Michigan-sized pothole a few miles down the road. As the kids say: I shit you not.

New York, like so many of our urban centers, is falling apart around us -- a result of years of underinvestment in our infrastructure, which, in turn, is a result in large part of the successes of the New Right's anti-tax crusade, embraced as a bipartisan affair since the 1990s.

Last August, after that overpass in Minnesota collapsed, I wrote a piece titled, "Are the Dead From the Minneapolis Bridge Collapse Victims of Conservative Ideology?" (I submitted the title, "America, Crumbling," but my editor put the kibosh on it).


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