Most Americans take for granted the intricate systems that make it possible for us to engage in seemingly mundane day to day tasks like filling up our gas tanks, loading up our shopping carts at the local grocery store, obtaining necessary medications, and even pouring ourselves a clean glass of water. When we wake up each morning we just expect that all of these things will work today the same way they worked yesterday. Very few have considered the complexity involved in the underlying infrastructure that keeps goods, services and commerce in America flowing. Fewer still have ever spent the time to contemplate the fragility of these systems or the consequences on food, water, health care, the financial system, and the economy if they are interrupted.
[Ed. note: we need to revisit the idea of decentralized, fail-safe redundant systems, i.e. regional manufacturing & warehousing, local telecommunications & utility companies, small-scale agriculture and so forth... This is nothing new or radical: 19th & early 20th century North America had this kind of infrastructure.]