I knew the Third World aspect. Recent decades have seen the US spend vast sums on the military, amassing bigger and better weapons, and enrich a few at the top of the business pyramid, rather than investing (ie. spending) on infrastructure for all citizens. What surprised me (even if it shouldn’t have) is the sale of utilities to foreign entities. Once again, those darling folks in the M&A racket must have made a bundle and left town.
Power lines in Germany and much of Europe are laid below ground. Electricity, phone, and cable arrive in the basement. Not only are these less susceptible to storm damage, they do not require unsightly poles and wires to line streets. I recall one short power outage in the past 30 years, caused by a defective switch in a relay station. One winter, in one region, a major ice storm crippled high tension lines, but this was quickly repaired. Natural disasters do occur, but I have the impression that authorities are better organized and better equipped to handle them. Of course, this costs money, so taxes are higher.
Maintaining and upgrading infrastructure is a sign of...Republicans would say: “a waste of money”. In advanced, civil societies, it is a sign of intelligence, maturity, and equality.
Saving money is great on sunny days, but it does occasionally rain.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.