"Newsnight" is a BBC political magazine show, and I found this report from their US economics guy deeply sad.
Route 66, but not in a good way.
" ...With the south-west in the grip of its worst drought for 60 years, old-timers here are beginning to talk about the Dust Bowl years, years Steinbeck chronicled in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book of migration, poverty and social injustice.
I decided to retrace the route Steinbeck's fictional family took from Oklahoma City to Bakersfield, just north of Los Angeles. I hired a boaty old Mercury and put my foot down... "
" ...When he wrote the novel in 1939, Steinbeck pointed to a new economic model that would sustain the economic recovery, create jobs and drive the US into the era of prosperity and full employment.
That is the question that still confronts the US, as its president and legislature - as the Onion magazine so wryly put it - "continue the debate over whether the country should be economically ruined". "
BBC News - In Steinbeck's footsteps: America's middle-class underclass