>And after 50 years of chronic underinvestment the infrastructure
"That's the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don't work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital." (Chomsky - on US privatisation).
With most public services and natural monopolies here in the UK it's worked (and people eventually pay more for less, if not happily then acceptingly). Only exception I can think of is NHS, where people still have the awareness to blame the collapse of service level on the defunding and policies intended to save costs - nonetheless every Conservative gov since the 70s has given it a hopeful go.