Back in June, a 130-year-old water main broke in Philadelphia and damaged dozens of homes and businesses. Four months later, residents are still struggling with the results. It seems that the city doesn't want to compensate the victims for the flood damage, and is even acting rudely towards them.
This is what happens when a nation puts tax-breaks-for-the-rich in front of infrastructure improvements. This is what happens when the rich control the political process. Their desires--more profit, more sports cars, more mansions--are placed above the needs of non-wealthy citizens, e.g., clean & reliable drinking water. Now, you might be thinking, "Well, the rich have to drink water too." True enough, but, unlike most Americans, they can pay for water to be trucked into their gated communities and private compounds. So, who needs water mains when you can pay for your own personal water delivery system?
It doesn't have to be this way, of course. For example, during the New Deal years, the WPA installed 595 miles of new water mains in Pennsylvania, and 16,000 miles of new water mains across the entire country.
When will enough be enough? Will Americans ever say, "Stop coddling the wealthy, and fix the damn water mains!"? Probably not. You see, even after years of horrible infrastructure report cards from the American Society of Civil Engineers (a D+ in 2001, a D in 2005, a D in 2009, a D+ in 2013), tens of millions of people keep voting for anti-infrastructure Republicans. And that's why the United States experiences a quarter-of-a-million water main breaks...every single year.
Welcome to the Reverse New Deal.