My mild obsession with the America Dream is related to my much larger obsession with the general issue of why we can't have nice things. Sure there are corrupt local interests that are going to find ways to funnel government money into their pockets, but why can't they funnel government money into their pockets and then build nice things instead of stupid shit? Defense contractors don't have to actually make Freedom Bombs. You could give them them the SUPERTRAIN contract instead, and they could take their 20% and funnel the rest to someone who knew how to build the damn things. Anyway, my list of "nice things" might not be yours, but who thinks casinos and megamalls really are nice things worthy of government subsidies?
The grift isn't going away, but why is it focused on such horrible things? It's one thing to pay the 20% (or whatever) corruption tax and still have the potholes filled and garbage taken away. It's quite another to pay the corruption tax and have nothing but an empty carcass of a mall that will never open. I get that we can't dislodge the grifters, but can't we at least overpay them for nice things instead of shit?