Struggle for Water Rights in Detroit Is Showing How to Fight (and Beat) Austerity

Jul 22, 2014 Full story: The Nation 48

The austerity agenda as it plays out on the ground in American cities is often so relentless in demanding cuts in public services that it is easy to imagine that it cannot be upended.

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bensleys thoughts

Nashua, NH

#1 Jul 24, 2014
gee if you pay your water bill the water just keeps on flowing, you can waste as much as you want.

so get a job and pay your bills.
Zeppelin

Corryton, TN

#3 Jul 25, 2014
Pay the bill !!!
mike

Akron, OH

#5 Jul 25, 2014
their is no right to water. quit sucking the life out of everything you come near and learn to pay your bills.
Brian Adam

United States

#6 Jul 25, 2014
When Quinn The Eskimo gets here, everybody's gonna drink for joy!
Cordwainer Trout

Elizabethtown, KY

#7 Jul 25, 2014
Most people are ignorant by choice.

The bureaucrats will deprive people of basic necessities to maintain their high paying minimal work employment. Do these people think others are blind? Four times as many employees as necessary is the common bureaucratic hold these people have on the communities they no longer serve, but rob. All of them are Democrats, you can be sure... setting up their good old boy mafias and selling our birthrights to foreign owners in fake back and forth sales leading to nothing but raised rates on absolute necessities each time they perform their "privatized" sales. They've done it with other birthright utilities constructed and distributed by the taxes our forefathers paid. Higher utility costs equal enslavement, which is exactly what Obama and his Marxist conspirators promised. Wake up people and generate some actual people oriented patriots in office, or the powers that be will starve you rather than lose their position of power over you.

Why do you think these Democrats and Marxist accepting RINOs are setting up a scenario in Europe that inevitably raises your natural gas prices here? They'll take Billions of your dollars to help implement a coup and ultimately supply YOUR natural gas at higher prices to Eastern Europe's, which raises YOUR energy costs, which is exactly what Obama promised in his first term.

It's the same thing with water. If these bastards can make backroom deals to allow selling major natural gas supplies to owners in Germany, what do you think they'll do with your water?
kuda

Cincinnati, OH

#9 Jul 26, 2014
The basic flaw in this story of abuse by Michigan's ruling party lies in their unconstitutional seizing of power by repealing democracy in Detroit, in essence to further victimize its economic victims.

Let's not lose sight of these basic facts:
- The United Nations insists that access to water, a basic human need, is a human right.
- Michigan's appointment of an emergency manager for Detroit is a de facto draconian repeal of democracy by the ruling political party, which rendered Detroit's elected officials powerless to govern.
- In similar circumstances Marie Antoinette was so unpopular that she lost her head.

The arrogance of rulers depriving people of basic human rights is a downright foolish battle against their subjects that they inevitably can't win, no matter how elegantly they might try to rationalize their actions as a somehow necessary altruistic measure for the betterment of their subjects.

We need to have enough confidence in American democracy to restore it in Michigan. Michigan's ruling party must stop abusing its power.
kuda

Cincinnati, OH

#11 Jul 26, 2014
bannedagain3 wrote:
<quoted text> Water is not a basic human right Everyone pays for water one way or the other Normally by paying the bill when it is due Millions of Americans pay theirs ,why should Detroit be exempt
So, you would deny men, women and children the right to live if they're unable to pay you for a sip of water from your plentiful well? The United Nations, Christianity and I all consider access to water a human right. You disagree with a position that no ethical argument could justify.
kuda

Cincinnati, OH

#12 Jul 26, 2014
Michigan voters need to restore democracy by electing a new regime — one that values respecting the basic human rights of all over policies of inhumane austerity in service to the economic interests of a privileged minority.
kuda

Cincinnati, OH

#14 Jul 26, 2014
bannedagain3 wrote:
<quoted text> Detroit Michigan is not a civilized society The UN has no business interfering with the actions of the US .
since most properties in Detroit are in shambles. Why should we .as tax paying Americans' pay anymore into a failed system to benefit the same people that are responsible for making it fail to begin with ....... the politicians and greedy unions that overcharged the people to line their own pockets.
You sir, must be an avid obamsa supporter to entertain the tough that all people deserve all of life's necessities jus t because they are alive I doubt very much if your savior lord obabma will allow the shutoffs to continue
iI you read the articles written about this ,the people have already forund a way to turn the water back on. Essentially stealing what they refused to pay for
My citing the UN, as did the linked story in The Nation, does not constitute UN intervention, as you appear to suggest.

I take particular exception with characterizing the people of Detroit as "not a civilized society." By contrast, I think it is blatantly uncivilized to disenfranchise them by calling them uncivilized.

While Detroit is indeed in shambles, Michigan's ruling party has chosen to victimize its people by overruling its democratic local government to render it powerless to help itself care for its citizens. Being poor does not make people unworthy of survival.

I most certainly do appreciate President Obama's policies, efforts and persistence despite his vociferous detractors whose sole goal is to make his administration appear as a failure and portray him as an evil villain. While it's legitimate to disagree with policies that will best serve our overall best interest as a nation, I don't believe in blaming, bullying or beating down anyone doing his best in the face of vicious adversity to serve as Chief Executive.

I believe most, if not all, of us would "steal" water from those who have a supply if unable to pay for it. The same is true for food, air and other basic human necessities.

How calloused we appear to have become that I find it necessary to argue the case advocating basic human decency!
Zeppelin

Corryton, TN

#15 Jul 26, 2014
bannedagain3 wrote:
<quoted text> Detroit probably has it's own water authority which leads to higher prices Union workers and government employee Seventy five dollars a month juts for water is ridiculous Sewer is probably an additional tax paid by the homeowner in the form of a tax.
In NY county water bills are far less than those of a city Detroit is probably set up the same way More room at the public trough for the mayors reletives
You are right,$75 a month for water is way too high. But the info I have shows that Detroit's water is much lower. It shows that the "Average Monthly Bill For A Family Of Four" is around $16 a month. That does not include sewer charge.

In fact Detroit is well below the national average in cost.
Fact Checker

Dallas, TX

#16 Jul 26, 2014
Zeppelin wrote:
<quoted text>You are right,$75 a month for water is way too high. But the info I have shows that Detroit's water is much lower. It shows that the "Average Monthly Bill For A Family Of Four" is around $16 a month. That does not include sewer charge.
In fact Detroit is well below the national average in cost.
"According to the Free Press, the average Detroit water bill is now $65 a month — much higher than the nation’s average rate of about $40."
http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2014/06/23/nearly...
Delbert

Newport News, VA

#17 Jul 26, 2014
Denying a population access to water is just a moral obligation and basic human right.

Not to long ago conservatives were up in arms over access to federal water and lands for Bundy's live stock.

Only a ruthless oligarch could argue such an asinine argument intent to justify limiting access to citizens of any society water over the needs of animals.

You're standing up for a medieval custom from the dark ages, in denying a human water..
bannedagain3 wrote:
<quoted text> Detroit Michigan is not a civilized society The UN has no business interfering with the actions of the US .
since most properties in Detroit are in shambles. Why should we .as tax paying Americans' pay anymore into a failed system to benefit the same people that are responsible for making it fail to begin with ....... the politicians and greedy unions that overcharged the people to line their own pockets.
You sir, must be an avid obamsa supporter to entertain the tough that all people deserve all of life's necessities jus t because they are alive I doubt very much if your savior lord obabma will allow the shutoffs to continue
iI you read the articles written about this ,the people have already forund a way to turn the water back on. Essentially stealing what they refused to pay for
Fact Checker

Dallas, TX

#18 Jul 26, 2014
I could accept the premise that water is a basic right. We all understand that it costs something to produce the water too. Therefore, everybody should contribute something to the cost. This cost has previously been allocated to the owner of the property in Detroit. Collection has been allowed to get way out of hand. Now some people have learned to defer their rightful cost and push it off to other citizens-black and white. As a basic right, these people should feel obligated to cover that cost first. They don't because they don't have to. Socialism works until you run out of other people's money and that is what has happened.
Jim Crow

Roseville, MI

#19 Jul 26, 2014
If they have free water they will need free heat in the winter or the pipes will freeze. They will need free electricity to run the furnace. They will need free food to have the energy get out of bed to adjust the thermoset. They will need A free water heater too. After laying in bed phukinn all day you gots to takes A bath. It be a human rite
Free Kwame

Seattle, WA

#21 Jul 26, 2014
Jim Crow wrote:
If they have free water they will need free heat in the winter or the pipes will freeze. They will need free electricity to run the furnace. They will need free food to have the energy get out of bed to adjust the thermoset. They will need A free water heater too. After laying in bed phukinn all day you gots to takes A bath. It be a human rite
Hey MAN! Isn't this the definition of
Public Assistance?
serfs up

Ormond Beach, FL

#22 Jul 26, 2014
kuda wrote:
<quoted text>
So, you would deny men, women and children the right to live if they're unable to pay you for a sip of water from your plentiful well? The United Nations, Christianity and I all consider access to water a human right. You disagree with a position that no ethical argument could justify.
Progressive laws have ended poverty.
mike

Akron, OH

#23 Jul 26, 2014
kuda wrote:
<quoted text>
My citing the UN, as did the linked story in The Nation, does not constitute UN intervention, as you appear to suggest.
I take particular exception with characterizing the people of Detroit as "not a civilized society." By contrast, I think it is blatantly uncivilized to disenfranchise them by calling them uncivilized.
While Detroit is indeed in shambles, Michigan's ruling party has chosen to victimize its people by overruling its democratic local government to render it powerless to help itself care for its citizens. Being poor does not make people unworthy of survival.
I most certainly do appreciate President Obama's policies, efforts and persistence despite his vociferous detractors whose sole goal is to make his administration appear as a failure and portray him as an evil villain. While it's legitimate to disagree with policies that will best serve our overall best interest as a nation, I don't believe in blaming, bullying or beating down anyone doing his best in the face of vicious adversity to serve as Chief Executive.
I believe most, if not all, of us would "steal" water from those who have a supply if unable to pay for it. The same is true for food, air and other basic human necessities.
How calloused we appear to have become that I find it necessary to argue the case advocating basic human decency!
Well, it was only a matter of time until the word disenfranchise was used. congratulations, you can now proudly wear you Occupy sash!
kuda

Cincinnati, OH

#24 Jul 26, 2014
mike wrote:
<quoted text>
Well, it was only a matter of time until the word disenfranchise was used. congratulations, you can now proudly wear you Occupy sash!
"Well, it was only a matter of time until the word disenfranchise was used" has a sarcastic ring to it, but your reference to a "you Occupy sash" is unclear. I imagine you rolling your eyes in disagreement with my reference to disenfranchisement, but if that's the case perhaps you could make an effort to refute it. It would be a true contribution to the discussion if you would.
Shinichiro Takizawa

Tokyo, Japan

#25 Jul 26, 2014
The U.S. must sell Made-in-U.S.A.-cars to foreign-countries, and make money!
The U.S.Gov ernment must begin Trade-Wars!
The U.S.Gov ernment must make money from foreign-countries!
The U.S.Gov ernment must be a mercantilist!
So, professors, MBAs, rich-leibrals and Wall-Street are useless!
Give Detroiters Warter!
The U.S.Gov ernment's failures in Trade-Policy are the cause!
The U.S. now has NO money!
And, Wall-Street, rich-liberals, main stream of republicans, American-generals, American-Military-Industry and top1% have been concealing the fact!
We are American-99%!
I love the U.S.!
I love American-99%!
I am one of American-99%!
We American-99% want and demand Democracy in the U.S. for Americans now!
We American-99% need another Subprime-mortgage-crisis.
We American-99% had a chance to change at Subprime-mortgage-crisis (Bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers) in 2008.
And, We American-99% had wasted the chance.
Another subprime-mortgage-crisis will solve all the problems which the U.S. now has.
American-stock-prices must crash now!
S&P must be 300. Dow must be $3,000.
The U.S. must tighten its monetary-policy now!
So, the U.S. must raise Dollar-value now!
The U.S. must contract its domestic-demands now!
Economic-bubble of the U.S. must crash now!
Economic-growth-rate of the U.S. must be lower than Japan's, Germany's, China's, Taiwan's, and South-Korea's economic-growth-rates!
American-bond-prices must crash now!
Occupy Wall-Street!
We need "Occupy Wall-Street"!
When we consider these-years,
high-prices of American-stock-prices (high-prices of Dow and S&P) have only bad effects for our America!
Nikkei-225 must be 150,000-Yen now!
When Japan raises its consumption-tax-rate, then Nikkei-225 must be 300,000-Yen in order to cancel out the effect of Japan's rising consumption-tax-rate!
Economic-bubbles must occur in Japan, Germany, China, South-Korea and Taiwan now!
Japan, Germany, China, Taiwan, and South-Korea must make a shift from manufacturing to the service-industry in Japan, Germany, China, Taiwan, and South-Korea.
Japan's, Germany's, China's, Taiwan's, and South-Korea's economies must move from manufacturing-bases more towards service-bases.
Japan, Germany, China, Taiwan and South-Korea must loosen their monetary-policies now!
Japan, Germany, China, Taiwan and South-Korea must expand their domestic-demands now!
Japan's, Germany's, China's, Taiwan's, and South-Korea's stock-prices must be 10-times as high as their current-prices now!
Japan's, China's, Taiwan's, Germany's, and South-Korea's societies must be competitive-societies now!
The U.S. must have Universal-Health-Care-System in the U.S. now!
The U.S. must revive Labor-Unions only in the U.S. only for Americans now!
The U.S. must revive antitrust-law only in the U.S. only for Americans now!
The U.S. must decrease the gap between the rich and the poor only in the U.S. only among Americans now!
The jobless-rate of the U.S. must be 2%!
Minimum-wage of Americans must be $70,000 per person per year now!
The U.S. must revive American-Heavy-Industry and American-Manufacturing-Industr y only in the U.S. only for Americans now!
The U.S. must be the largest-creditor-nation in the world ever in world-history now!
The U.S. and American-makers must monopolize all the markets all over the world now!
The U.S. must be the world's factory now!
The U.S. must fill the world with made-in-U.S.A.-products now!
The U.S. must have 5-Trillion-dollar-current-acco unt-surplus per year and 5-Trillion-dollar-trade-surplu s per year!
Shinichiro Takizawa

Tokyo, Japan

#26 Jul 26, 2014
The current-situation is caused by Wall-Street, rich-liberals, main stream of republicans, American-generals, American-Military-Industry and top1%.
Wall-Street, rich-liberals, main stream of republicans, American-generals, American-Military-Industry and top1% are useless.

The U.S. must take Monroe-Doctrine now!
The U.S. must withdraw American-Forces from NATO, from Europe, from Japan, from South-Korea, from Asia, from Singapore, from Afghanistan, and from Pakistan now!
The U.S. must withdraw American-Forces now from all the wars in which the U.S. now involves!
The U.S. must decrease its military-budget to 100-billion-dollar per year now.
Or, the U.S. must decrease its military-budget to 1% of its GDP now.

Chechen Independence war, South Ossetia war, Xinjiang (Uyghur) Independence war, Tibetan Independence war,
Asian war, Korean war, Japan-Russia war, Japan-China war, Japan-N.Korea war, Japan-S.Korea war,
Indo-Pakistani war, Sino-Indian war, Sino-Russia border conflict, Sino-Vietnamese war, China-Malaysia war, China-Indonesia war,
European war, Germany-Russia war, British-Russia war, Balkan war, Falklands war, Northern Ireland Independence war, Cod war, Intifada,
must begin now!

The U.S. must not be involved these wars!
The U.S. must make ships, steel, airplanes, PCs, cars, and home-electric-appliances in the U.S.,
and the U.S. must export those ships, steel, airplane, PCs, cars, and home-electric-appliances from the U.S. to the world!
(This can be called a Monroe Doctrine.)

Wars, natural-disasters, earth-quakes and Nuclear-power-plant-disasters must occur in Germany, China, Taiwan, South-Korea, Russia and Japan now!
Wars, natural-disasters, earth-quakes and Nuclear-power-plant-disasters in Germany, China, Taiwan, South-Korea, Russia and Japan
will cause reconstruction-demands in Germany, China, Taiwan, South-Korea, Russia and Japan!
Wars, natural-disasters, earth-quakes and Nuclear-power-plant-disasters in Germany, China, Taiwan, South-Korea, Russia and Japan
will increase Germany's, China's, Taiwan's, South-Korea's, Russia's and Japan's domestic-demands!
Wars, natural-disasters, earth-quakes and Nuclear-power-plant-disasters in Germany, China, Taiwan, South-Korea, Russia and Japan
will decrease supplies from Germany, China, Taiwan, South-Korea, Russia and Japan.

Germany, Taiwan, South-Korea, Japan, British and Italy must protect Germany, Taiwan, South-Korea, Japan, British and Italy by themselves!
Germany, Taiwan, South-Korea and Japan must increase Germany's, Taiwan's, South-Korea's and Japan's military-budgets and Germany's, Taiwan's, South-Korea's and Japan's military-forces now!

China, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, South-Korea and Russia are evil-fascism-communism-empires !
Remember Pearl Harbor!
Finally, Japan will be destroyed!

Japan needs military-draft-system in Japan of Japan now!
All Japs, all Japanese-men, all Japanese-women, all Japanese-boys and all Japanese-girls except mental-parients must be drafted by Japanese-Forces now!

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