In the middle of the 20th century, Route 66 was considered the crown jewel of the United
States' transcontinental highway system. Once called the "Main Street of America," it's now
a barely navigable stretch of treacherous potholes and dangerously deteriorating bridges.
It's no surprise either: at more than a million dollars a mile, many highways and
superhighways are simply too expensive for Federal and State Governments to maintain and
Other parts of the national infrastructure are starting to crumble and collapse as well. Much
of the Northeast has been crippled by intermittent blackouts as portions of the energy grid
prove to be unstable and interconnected. While the National Guard has been deployed to
help repair the aging systems, there are lengthy waits for replacement parts.
Governments around the world have seen a sharp decline in tax revenues as global trade
cools off. Faced with an almost insurmountable debt, many policy makers are being forced
to slash the budgets of even essential services.