In the metropolitan capital of what used to be the most advanced nation in the world, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people still have no electricity, following the quick storm that ripped through the mid-Atlantic on the night of June 29. A spokesman for one of the area power companies said, "We're looking at approximately a week before we get our last customer restored."
All the while, people are putting up with day after day of triple-digit heat, roads blocked by downed power lines and trees, debilitated public transportation, and having to boil possibly contaminated water. Lots of good it does that Nero, just back from fiddling while Colorado burns, has made a show of instructing FEMA to assist the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and other affected states.
But even Nero's "home town" has not gone unscathed. This afternoon a Chicago-area thunderstorm has knocked out power to some 150,000 ComEd customers.
Had the American people not allowed the nation's infrastructure to undergo decades of collapse at the behest of Wall Street, the storm with its 80 mile-per-hour wind gusts would have proven to be a momentary inconvenience, not a protracted life-altering and life-taking brush with Third World conditions.
Last month, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the U.S. infrastructure a near-failing D grade, and said that an extra $2.2 trillion is needed just to bring it up to its former functioning status.