The collapse of the Interstate 35W Bridge in Minneapolis and the recent explosion of a steam line in New York City have been attributed to "a lack of resources," neglect, a failure to attend to inspections, incompetence, etc. But the widespread decay of the state of local infrastructures is due instead to a basic change in capitalism. The more than 77,000 bridges which are declining and dangerous were predominantly built between 1956 and 1965. Their construction was initiated by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, which was enacted during the Eisenhower administration. The development of an interstate highway system reflected the needs of an expanding industrial base. The infrastructures of major cities such as New York City were also built during economic expansion and reflected the need to concentrate working people and administrative functions.
We are now in an era of a constricting economic base where jobs are being exported or replaced by robots and capital no longer needs a functioning and efficient infrastructure. Thus, roads and bridges are allowed to rot and collapse and pipes running below NYC and other major cities are allowed to rust and explode. The status of our roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, and housing is declining at the same time that profits are increasing. The only way to repair our country and to save humanity is to take control of it and to run it as a cooperative society.
Watch the peoplestribune.org website for more analysis on this issue.