Infrastructure investment in California has not kept up with population growth, which leaves the state increasingly vulnerable to fires. From James Pinkerton at theamericanconservative.com:
The state didn’t invest in infrastructure and so the fires rage.
Once upon a time, the U.S. government looked ahead to a growing population—and looked to make sure that people would be safe and productive where they lived.
It was understood that while the familiar elements of nature—earth, wind, water, and fire—could be life-giving, they could also be death-bringing. And so, as part of the modern social contract, the state stepped in to aid growth and curb destruction.
Yet today, as wildfires engulf much of California, that social contract has been incinerated. That is, at least 79 are dead, and perhaps 1,000 are missing, yet officials seem mostly helpless to stop the damage. Indeed, the entire state seems to be de-modernizing, as air quality plummets, refugee camps are built, and fears of epidemics re-emerge.
But here’s a bet: that can-do spirit that once aided human flourishing will make a comeback. That is, it’s only a matter of time before Californians—and all Americans—demand that the government once again start putting people first.
Why this confidence? Because it happened before.