The roads in "Real America" (tm)? Increasingly not paved at all, and that's just how the locals like it. Expanding on my earlier post:
Paved roads, historical emblems of American achievement, are being torn up across rural America and replaced with gravel or other rough surfaces as counties struggle with tight budgets and dwindling state and federal revenue. State money for local roads was cut in many places amid budget shortfalls.Behold, the triumph of smaller government. Digby has more.
In Michigan, at least 38 of the 83 counties have converted some asphalt roads to gravel in recent years. Last year, South Dakota turned at least 100 miles of asphalt road surfaces to gravel. Counties in Alabama and Pennsylvania have begun downgrading asphalt roads to cheaper chip-and-seal road, also known as "poor man's pavement." Some counties in Ohio are simply letting roads erode to gravel.
The moves have angered some residents because of the choking dust and windshield-cracking stones that gravel roads can kick up, not to mention the jarring "washboard" effect of driving on rutted gravel.
But higher taxes for road maintenance are equally unpopular. In June, Stutsman County residents rejected a measure that would have generated more money for roads by increasing property and sales taxes.
"I'd rather my kids drive on a gravel road than stick them with a big tax bill," said Bob Baumann, as he sipped a bottle of Coors Light at the Sportsman's Bar Café and Gas in Spiritwood.
Maybe we need to realize that our old arguments about how Americans are so accustomed to living the good life that they would resist the natural consequence of this new feudalism aren't going to work. This anti-tax fervor has passed out of the political realm and into the religious. When people would rather that their kids choke on dirt than pay taxes, I'm guessing that pointing out that their unwillingness to pay taxes will result in tainted meat and dangerous drugs won't convince them. Living in a primitive state is a sign of their devotion.She's right, of course. "Well we can suffer that now because that makes you stronger and your real reward awaits you." It's a screwball mixture of the Divine Right of Kings -- the rich and powerful must be better than us otherwise the Lord wouldn't have given them money and power -- self-flagellation, and American exceptionalism. Law is derived from God to Jesus to the Founding Fathers to Rush and Glenn Beck to the Faithful...and the ultimate sin is classic liberalism and taxes.
Meanwhile, it's getting to the point where we can't even pave effin roads in this country anymore because raising taxes is absolutely impossible. Starve government and surprise...it can't do its job, so clearly we must reduce it some more and hey, let's cut taxes.
Logical endpoint is anarchic nihilism. Why pay taxes or have government at all?