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Corruption is less of a problem than incompetence and general “not giving a fuck.” Municipal infrastructure makes the most sense in relatively dense cities. But in America, cities are disproportionately where poor people live. (Contrast say Paris, where poor people live in the suburbs and rich people in the city). These are disadvantaged voting blocs that won’t (or can’t) complain that loudly when their public services suck. I saw this starkly when I lived in Wilmington and Philadelphia. The busses in Wilmington might as well not keep any schedule. But nobody cares because the DuPont executives don’t rise the bus, they live in the very nice surrounding suburbs and drive in.

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