THERE HAS BEEN A PROFOUND lack of political leadership in inland Southern California. The region’s low-skilled and undereducated workers have had to fend for themselves against the devastating flows of speculative capital while the evangelists of neoliberalism have cut back the safety nets of the Keynesian state. Members of the logistics regime were complicit in this. They convinced themselves and tried to convince everyone else that goods movement represented economic salvation for a region suffering through the job losses of deindustrialization. A sense of economic crisis justified spending on roads, bridges, and rail. At the same time, low wages and cancer-causing diesel pollution were written off as collateral damage. Yet the 2,339 estimated people who get cancer from diesel exposure every year in the Inland Empire and the many more who suffer medical problems that lead to premature death cannot be written off as unfortunate consequences of development; premature deathis an “intolerable failure,” not an unfortunate happenstance....
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