The US is like its people the older it gets the worse the sprawl gets. Eventually it could kill either. On a serious note,I will copy and paste an answer of mine from yesterday,I would link the question,but we can't right now.
As Americans left the farms and their neighborhoods for war,it opened a whole new world to them. Now I'm speaking of the world wars. Most Americans experienced things they never knew about in their sheltered world,not talking about the fighting,that is a small part of the change. Also because of the war most womens roles changed. Society and the way we lived changed. Prior to the suburbs you had neihborhoods that were communities,people knew and helped each other Most of what they needed was within their neighborhood. You also had the rural community,the people were not as close as in the city,but they did know and help each other. For the most part they were pretty independent and self sufficient though. I'm not saying there were no hard times in either,It was not paradise. Today we have the suburbs,full of those that are in competition with their neighbors that they really don't even know. They wave at each other,if they are not too busy or in too much of a hurry. You have to go make more and do more than the other guy,sometimes the cost is very high. People lose sight of what is really important and sometimes they lose by making more. America left their front porch and moved into their backyard retreat. There is more,but this should nudge you in the right direction in your quest for what went wrong.
· 1 decade ago