Recently, the company that provides power to parts of southwest Missouri, Empire Electric, has suffered a series of outages that resulted when an entire substation went down for no apparent reason. Was it due to antiquated equipment I'm not sure. Calling such companies and talking to a real person is rare. Calling such companies and talking to an informed real person is rarer still!
Our local cable provider, Mediacom, also seems to have difficulty providing service on a consistent basis with outages occurring with increasing regularity. Both utilities seem especially hard pressed whenever an electrical storm passes through the area, which is often. I went through a day this week when communications were disrupted twice in one day and the power flickered during an electrical storm. That it stayed on was a minor surprise.
The point I'm making is that services, which I used to take for granted and which were provided with only rare disruptions, are now becoming increasingly sporadic and unsure. I can't help but wonder if this is the start of a trend in a country that has seen it's best days and which is now sliding towards darker days. A country that is broke and which will be increasingly unable to provide even the most basic of services to the population at large.