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Wednesday 23 Aug 2017 | 07:21 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 23 Aug 2017 | 07:21 | SYDNEY

This is the world's hegemon, right?

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10 June 2008 15:57

Hurricane Katrina drew the world's horrified attention to the internal vulnerabilities of the world's sole superpower. But it doesn't take a natural disaster of that scale to remind a US resident of the country's problems.

Last week, storms knocked out the power in a number of areas of Washington, DC, where my family and I are living this year — and some of these neighbourhoods are still without power. A heat wave in the past few days has taken down air conditioners everywhere, including ours. That caused me to make a dash tonight for temporary air con units to Home Depot, which was employing crowd control measures to keep the queues tidy. One of the main lines of the Metro derailed this afternoon, leaving workers to walk the streets of the capital looking for taxis.

The poverty of the infrastructure in this country — the roads and rail and much else — is quite disturbing for a newcomer, especially an Americanophile. And that's without mentioning US government bureaucracy, to which I'll return in another post.

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