'Small Government' Can't Maintain Infrastructure

A society that values lower taxes above all other considerations shouldn't be surprised when its public realm crumbles beneath it, writes Joshua Holland.

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August 8, 2007, 11:00 AM PDT

By Michael Dudley


"The tragic collapse this week of a stretch of I-35 spanning the Mississippi river in Minnesota was shocking but should come as no surprise. America's core infrastructure has been falling apart in very visible ways during the past few years.

...It was the second U.S. bridge collapse this week -- a span in California fell the day before, with far fewer injuries and no loss of life. The tragedy occurred just weeks after an 80-year-old steam pipe in Manhattan blew up, killing one and injuring dozens more. A year earlier, a section of tunnel in Boston collapsed, killing a woman as she drove home. A year before that, hundreds of thousands of Americans became refugees after New Orleans' pitiable levees collapsed -- a graphic illustration of shortsighted public policy if ever there was one.

It's a predictable outcome of the rise of "backlash" conservatism...A thousand grifters have gained office promising to...deliver more and better public services while constantly cutting the taxes that pay for them, but it was always a fraud.

We've swallowed 30 years of small-government rhetoric, and it's led us to a point in which our infrastructure, once the pride of the developed world, is falling apart around us. We're reaping what we've sown."

Friday, August 3, 2007 in AlterNet

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