The Water Has Been Sold; Next: Air. Pay up!
February 12, 2011 1:05 PM Subscribe
How Small, Mostly Conservative Towns Have Found the Trick to Defeating Corporations.
'As the Right pushes privatization as a solution to the economic collapse, one organization is teaching communities how to defeat corporations.''For the past 30 years, there has been a deliberate effort to deregulate industry and to choke off federal support for public services and public spaces, paving the way for greater corporate control.''The goal is the same as it's been for decades: "The elimination of the public sphere, total liberation for corporations and skeletal social spending," 'One of the places where this strategy can be most detrimental is the corporate takeover of public water sources and infrastructure, which is elemental to our survival.'
'Corporations used to swoop in to try and "rescue" communities when they couldn't afford expensive upgrades, but now, even cities with well-functioning, in-the-black water systems are looking to sell or lease them in hopes that privatization will bring an influx of cash to pay for other programs.
Sadly, that's not usually how it pans out. "It's always the same false claim: Private is more efficient than public. The public unions are impossible to work with, they'll say, and we have a corporation that can save us dollars," Jack E. Lohman, author of Politicians: Owned and Operated by Corporate America, wrote in the Capital Times. "Rarely is that true, especially after they add all of the exorbitant salaries, bonuses, shareholder profits, marketing and political bribes that must be passed on to the taxpayer. These costs usually far exceed government waste, unless offset by egregiously low salaries that further harm the economy."'
'Any sane financial adviser would know that selling off a recurring revenue stream for a one-time boost to the budget doesn't make sense in the long run. After looking at the 10 largest sales and concessions of public water systems, Food and Water Watch found that rates went up an average of 15 percent a year in the 12 years following a privatization deal.'
So what can be done? Perhaps a new approach being pioneered by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund