"It's easy enough, of course, to mock state governments nowadays, what with California issuing I.O.U.s to pay its bills and New York's statehouse becoming the site of palace coups and senatorial sit-ins. But the real problem isn't the fecklessness of local politicians. It's the ordinary way in which state governments go about their business."
Among the problems of state involvement in spending, Surowiecki also notes the disproportionate funneling of transportation dollars to rural areas rather than metropolitan ones.
"...whether we end up with true regional, let alone national, rapid-transit networks will depend largely on decisions made at the state, rather than the national, level."