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Bigger Implications of Detroit's Water Shut-off For Up To Half Its Population

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From youtube.com/watch?v=DP8JvRvKrAA: from Agenda 21! Detroit Families Beg UN for Help After City Cuts Off Water!
from Agenda 21! Detroit Families Beg UN for Help After City Cuts Off Water!
(image by YouTube)


This article takes a look at some of the not so obvious factors involved in the Detroit water shut-off. Think about predatory capitalism and the Shock Doctrine, for starters.

The city of Detroit has announced that it will be shutting off the water for customers who are $150 or two months behind in paying bills. Half of the customers fit the profile-- over 150,000 people. It's so bad that a collection of groups are appealing to the United Nations for help.

This is worst than bad. It's sick. It is also something we can expect a lot more of, on several fronts. What we have here is a city run by an un-elected mayor appointed by a right wing governor. This action is a warning for several trends we can expect from rapacious, predator capitalists.

  • Shock Doctrine-- break down the community, the support structures, break the unions, de-regulate and bring in outside corporations and big-money investors. Naomi Klein described it and it's been done again and again, first in third world countries where the US appointed dictators, now in a major city where a right wing Governor appoints a dictator. There is a predictable Shock Doctrine script which Naomi Klein has described. It looks alot like what's been happening to Detroit.
  • Privatization of resources-- we've seen this in other nations, where they attempt to privatize the commons, including water. Many are speculating that Detroit is attempting to sell its water operation to a private buyer.
  • Raising prices so the poor can't afford to live in prime real estate areas. The water rates in Detroit are almost double the average in the rest of the nation.
  • Creating predatory economies of community destruction: It happened with the housing collapse. After people lost their homes because of derivatives, corporations and the wealthy came in and bought them at bargain prices and turned them into rental properties.
  • Killing poor people- Let's call a spade a spade. Shutting off utilities can kill people. That's why humane cities offer special arrangements for the poor for heating. They don't shut off the heat.

  • Here's what Margaret Kimberley has to say about it at BlackAgendaReport.com

    "Desperate Detroiters represented by the Blue Planet Project, the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, Food & Water Watch and the Detroit People's Water Board, have made their case to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water. They issued a report which outlines the latest scheme to destroy Detroit as a city and as a home to poor and working people. The plan will ultimately privatize the water system and make Detroit another location for prime real estate and riches for the few.

    "Very powerful people in boardrooms and government offices made decisions that turned Detroit into an Iraq in America's midst and now sneer at pleas for mercy."

    President Obama and his cohorts in the Democratic and Republican parties will go to any lengths to prop up the empire, but do little to help people in need. American allies in Ukraine or Iraq and other countries receive astronomical sums of money in order to help maintain Manifest Destiny. Poor people in Detroit and the rest of the country are not so lucky. They are seen only as obstacles to putting the rule of capital firmly in place.

    Iraq was invaded with soldiers, guns and bombs. Detroit was invaded by the corporate "suits" who made a fast buck for themselves. The end result is the same for Michiganders and Iraqis alike. They end up suffering in a plundered society while other people make out like the bandits that they really are."

    This is not about poor people not paying bills. It is one of those "first they came for" stories. It is a foreshadowing of what the American middle class can expect-- from both Republicans and most Democrats. Just look at the three secret trade bills that President Barack Stab-the-Middle-Class-in-the-back Obama is pushing hard. They are massive betrayals of American industries and jobs, on the behalf of transnational corporations and special interests.

    Detroit argues that allowing people to not pay their bills puts the costs on others. I don't buy it. This is the sociopathic, Libertarian, Ayn Rand mantra of selfishness. It is insanely psychopathic to take away a necessity of life for half the population of a city. Detroit is spending a lot on labor to shut off water for 3000 people a month. They could be using that money to subsidize water.

    I'm not saying that Detroit should allow people to have unlimited amounts of water-- to fill swimming pools. Rationing is a reasonable response. But there are more humane ways to deal with this problem.

    When you see what's happening in Detroit, take action. Do something.





     

    Rob Kall is editor-in-chief, publisher and site architect of OpEdNews.com, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor. He hosts the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, aired in the Metro Philly area on AM 1360, WNJC. Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

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    Jeez, half the users are more than $150 in arrears... by Maxwell on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 2:17:47 PM
    Yes let's call it what it really is, the 'Save the... by Clarc King on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 2:24:56 PM
    Clarc you're having a bad day. Not ALL the united... by Shirley Braverman on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 7:22:41 PM
    We all have much more skin in the game than we rea... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 2:29:02 AM
    Good thinking Shirley. No doubt Hellery will save ... by Paul Easton on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 4:20:09 AM
    I notice you always have flip remarks for women on... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 5:19:47 AM
    Obviously the elite have decided to clear this cit... by Textynn N on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 2:33:51 PM
    The people who can't afford to live there will pro... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 2:30:03 AM
    FWIW, the Water and Sewage Department has a respon... by Scott Baker on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 2:34:42 PM
    Even based on that press release they are turning ... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 3:05:05 PM
    If this is like other cities, anyone can wait till... by Samson on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 12:30:37 AM
    Sorry for trying to provide constructive ideas for... by Samson on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 12:43:26 AM
    Chocabamba, Bolivia If you don't know what that me... by Samson on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 12:51:54 AM
    I know Chocabamba VERY well. Borders with Brazil. ... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 2:40:18 AM
    Yes Pal as we know you know everything very well. ... by Paul Easton on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 4:56:31 AM
    It sure sounds like a good idea but lets see if it... by Paul Easton on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 4:55:22 AM
    No fecal waste disposal and no safe drinking water... by Arthur M. Howard-(Scotoni) on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 10:38:12 AM
    So glad you wrote about this crime against our peo... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 2:52:20 PM
    We need to set up a fund that people can donate to... by Shirley Braverman on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 3:38:57 PM
    No. We do not have to set up a fund to save Detro... by Patricia Gray on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 3:56:54 PM
    As usual, you are almost right on Patricia. I pre... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 2:44:53 AM
    Before you start raising money, you might want to ... by Scott Baker on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 1:31:20 AM
    Scott Baker again, always with the insightful answ... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 2:48:00 AM
    Reading this information creates a dichotomy for m... by M.I. Lee on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 4:00:30 PM
    Congratulations for reaching the ripe old age of 8... by Shirley Braverman on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 4:12:03 PM
    If we think about whats happening in Ukraine, it a... by Paul Easton on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 3:03:05 AM
    The average rainfall in Detroit is about 30 inches... by Daniel Geery on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 4:04:12 PM
    Well, it would avoid this problem, from their site... by Scott Baker on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 6:34:36 PM
    Scott, It is good to see a thoughtful and progress... by Daniel Geery on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 1:07:25 PM
    I've been advocating this for 20 years. If rainwa... by Wupatki on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 12:42:53 AM
    Superb ideas. I also note that many countries coll... by Daniel Geery on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 1:28:00 PM
    There was a water tank on my roof in Rio de Janeir... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, Jun 27, 2014 at 1:28:27 AM
    I also don't recall all the details, in part becau... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Jun 27, 2014 at 11:49:43 AM
    It might be fun for someone to investigate some sy... by Pal Palsimon on Sunday, Jun 29, 2014 at 3:49:40 AM
    Uh, sorry guys. I should have weighed in sooner, ... by Scott Baker on Sunday, Jun 29, 2014 at 8:33:18 AM
    Scott, I mentioned this above and responded that I... by Daniel Geery on Sunday, Jun 29, 2014 at 3:17:56 PM
    Ugh! ... by Pal Palsimon on Sunday, Jun 29, 2014 at 7:11:30 PM
    This is an excellent idea that should be circulate... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 2:50:31 AM
    John Schafer was talking about such things in the ... by Daniel Geery on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 2:40:09 PM
    Yes. Please note my questions above to Wupatki and... by Pal Palsimon on Friday, Jun 27, 2014 at 1:30:22 AM
    You said: Detroit argues that allowing people to n... by Joe Reeser on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 4:25:11 PM
    Quite so.However, as the appealed to United Nation... by Scott Baker on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 6:39:08 PM
    How much of someone else's life are you entitled t... by Joe Reeser on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 7:47:19 PM
    I smell a Libertarian. When it comes to Libertaria... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 9:13:50 PM
    I smell someone willing to make others into slaves... by Joe Reeser on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 9:44:40 PM
    Yes, because protesting shutting people's water of... by J. Edward Tremlett on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 10:51:50 PM
    You and I have worked on tasks in the military whe... by Wupatki on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 12:51:27 AM
    Do you have no conscience about the Golden Rule. O... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 2:55:30 AM
    It has nothing to do with the middle of summer or ... by Joe Reeser on Friday, Jun 27, 2014 at 9:07:27 PM
    Your idea is libertarian, that you should not perf... by Pal Palsimon on Saturday, Jun 28, 2014 at 4:38:56 AM
    Yes, my idea is Libertarian. It's rather surprisin... by Joe Reeser on Saturday, Jun 28, 2014 at 7:56:54 PM
    I know enough about libertarians to know one when ... by Pal Palsimon on Sunday, Jun 29, 2014 at 2:29:08 AM
    If we go by the precedent that this country was fo... by Daniel Geery on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 1:36:28 PM
    We can do that for each other. We should do that f... by Joe Reeser on Friday, Jun 27, 2014 at 9:17:13 PM
    Joe, It does become a fuzzy line, and it is unlike... by Daniel Geery on Saturday, Jun 28, 2014 at 9:54:56 AM
    Our government, presumably, does derive its power ... by Pal Palsimon on Sunday, Jun 29, 2014 at 4:01:12 AM
    The problem regarding water supplies is a concern ... by E. J. N. on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 5:57:26 PM
    Water is the lifeblood of the West, and the laws r... by Daniel Geery on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 2:46:46 PM
    We really need some organization to take this issu... by Pal Palsimon on Saturday, Jun 28, 2014 at 4:46:04 AM
    As Dave Brower long ago noted (paraphrased): Even ... by Daniel Geery on Saturday, Jun 28, 2014 at 10:33:48 AM
    I usually feel so superior and proud whenever I do... by Pal Palsimon on Sunday, Jun 29, 2014 at 4:06:08 AM
    More criminal behavior directed against the people... by intotheabyss on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 6:19:51 PM
    Utility rates - water, electricity, natural gas, g... by Dan Baron on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 6:59:33 PM
    and then there's always Soylent green ... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 9:36:25 PM
    (I'll talk about America, because, I've never been... by Dan Baron on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 11:41:26 PM
    Clearly Dan, you need to do some research into the... by Eddy Schmid on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 12:55:10 AM
    I wrote about states making homelessness illegal, ... by Dan Baron on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 5:29:11 PM
    As far as prison goes, we have BOTH the highest pe... by Scott Baker on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 1:42:46 AM
    Before I jump on this bandwagon I'd like to know m... by S. Juniper on Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 9:43:38 PM
    Not to mention that two months behind on water bil... by b. sadie bailey on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 1:24:23 AM
    Great summary of all the reasons for the problems ... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 2:16:02 AM
    Did anyone see the recent movie 'Brick Mansions'? ... by Paul Easton on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 4:34:33 AM
    We need to recognize that the US is also a Colony ... by Paul Easton on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 4:38:12 AM
    Hate to get a little off-subject, but this link be... by Pal Palsimon on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 5:20:57 AM
    People of Detroit should simply announce a city st... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 6:02:31 AM
    At last, someone with good sense. But then mark ha... by Richard Girard on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 4:50:49 PM
    HARVESTING PRECIPITATIONDetroit receives about one... by Douglas Jack on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 1:25:25 PM
    WOW! I love the discussion. Too bad few readers ge... by Susan Lee Schwartz on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 1:48:32 PM
    Quite so.I saw the movie Ivory Tower last night (r... by Scott Baker on Sunday, Jun 29, 2014 at 3:06:33 AM
    Didn't I read sometime ago about a corporation try... by Dan Baron on Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 11:10:12 PM
    Links to must read news you won't find in major me... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Jun 30, 2014 at 6:40:11 PM