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.
"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 an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect,
connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.
Check out his platform at RobKall.com
He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity
He's given talks and workshops to Fortune
500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered
first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and
Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful
people on his Bottom Up Radio Show,
and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and
opinion sites, OpEdNews.com
more detailed bio:
Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet (more...)