Privatization of Water is Not a Good Idea
Quote of the day:
“Some of it is just completely inappropriate,â€ said Sen. Jennifer Beck of District 11 (Monmouth County), who supports the resolution.Â â€œTheyâ€™re really being piggish here.â€
The “piggishness” Senator Beck alludes to, as reported in today’s Asbury Park Press, is having water consumers – me and you – pay for country club dues, corporate marketing, and – get this – lobbying.
So, we are paying for a private water company to lobby legislators and regulators to increase their profits and weaken public health and environmental protections over the quality and quantity of our water supply!
The resolution cites witness testimony that said the water companyâ€™s costs included country club, lobbying and marketing fees in its calculation.
This is happening at a time when company profits rose by 16% in the last quarter.
But it could be worse.
We read that in Italy and Greece, bankers are dictating policy to democratically elected governments. Some of the dictates include mandating that labor laws be weakened, pension benefits be reduced, and water be privatized.
As University of Massachusetts at Amherst economics professor Epstein noted (read and watch the interview):
Here in the good ole’ democratic US of A, the dictates from Wall Street are not so transparent and heavy handed.
Much more subtle means are used, like threats to downgrade public debt ratings, destruction of pension plans, and advocacy of privatizing assets like the turnpike (for NJ examples, see:
- Gov. Christie says he’s not surprised by Fitch’s downgrading of N.J. credit rating
- Despite Pension Overhaul, New Jersey Suffers Another Credit Rating Blow
So why is it that the news papers never report these austerity, privatization and deregulation policy responses to Wall Street threats as fundamental attacks on the concept of democratic government?