Here in the U.S., corporate influence does not just distort our laws: it distorts our land. The power of the petroleum and automobile industries is inscribed in our very topography, and recent decisions by Republican governors to scuttle federally-funded rail projects suggest that their power to warp the landscape remains as strong as their power to warp democracy. The two go hand in hand. ... Our imaginations are likewise in chains: many Americans simply cannot imagine that their cities could be designed any differently than they are today. I experienced this last year when I spent the 2009–2010 academic year in Tampa, Florida, a city with no possibility of movement without the automobile.