This, of course, leads to a deeper question as to whether the USA is actually a serious society or just a nation of hopeless, greedy clowns? Are we even capable anymore of distinguishing between purposeful activity and the art of the grift?Follow the link to see what specifically he's talking about.
It seems to me that the answer is pretty obvious. What's behind Door Number 2? I mean, public provision in American basically amounts to redistributionist economics by way of progressive taxation and tax-code manipulation. This, I guess, ideally serves the ultimate purpose of bringing the Underclass into the Debtor Class, which we call the middle class, which is currently in foreclosure in the Phoenix Metro. Meanwhile, as Kunstler points out, the question is: Does investment in "infrastructure" mean that I'm going to get rail service from Pittsburgh to Cleveland, or does it mean that financial institutions are going to create--oh, what might they call it--High-Yield Bundled Transit Securities in which the potential future assets--the current debts--of a someday-to-be-revitalized rail line are collateralized, tranched, repackaged, re-lent, ad inf., all while the Amtrak serves gas-station sandwiches in the dining car and runs eight hours for a 200-mile trip? Does it mean that the streets in Pittsburgh are going to get resurfaced, or does it mean that some new highway interchange is going to be built at the cost of fifty miles of light rail out in the middle of who-knows-why-or-how?
I personally support some kind of Mutualist plan to raze all the soon-to-be-foreclosed, fallow exurban housing and highway retail property, instituting a new Homestead act, and re-agriculturating the again-arable land, but that doesn't really answer the question of whither Phoenix? Or greater LA, for that matter. I've seen Chinatown, you know? That shit's the desert.
This is all a roundabout way to say that "serious society" and "continental empire with huge overseas committments" do not each other equal, ever or at all.