Saturday, June 13, 2009

Third World America

Welcome to Third World America:

Rural Mich. counties turn failing roads to gravel

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Some Michigan counties have turned a few once-paved rural roads back to gravel to save money.

More than 20 of the state’s 83 counties have reverted deteriorating paved roads to gravel in the last few years, according to the County Road Association of Michigan. The counties are struggling with their budgets because tax revenues have declined in the lingering recession.

Montcalm County converted nearly 10 miles of primary road to gravel this spring.

The county estimates it takes about $10,000 to grind up a mile of pavement and put down gravel. It takes more than $100,000 to repave a mile of road.

Reverting to gravel has happened in a few other states but it is most typical in Michigan. At least 50 miles have been reverted in the state in the past three years.

Here in California, Schwarzenegger is proposing to close state parks, abolish welfare programs and Cal Grants (which are state funded college grants), and gut money from education and health care. In my county, summer school classes have been cancelled this year. With any luck, we’ll soon be getting gravel roads, too.

Hell, why stop at gravel? Why not just go all out and return to dirt roads?

Meanwhile, the U.S. is probably going to squander another hundred billion for the Empire’s glorious crusades in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the only controversies about it are the earmarks that some congressmen are tacking on to the bill.

The Soviet Union was a bloated, militarised empire with a crumbling infrastructure too, and look how that turned out. The only difference was that they had to keep pace with our military build-up. What’s our excuse?

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