…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
The water in Detroit is again free, or perhaps not. (Another incorruptible US Federal judge is about to decide) Detroit, a formerly flourishing city in America, is now the perfect, tangible, i.e. bricks and mortar, example of Obama’s achievements. Sure, the denizens voted for him and allegedly 40% of Americans still like him. Obviously, when one treats the low IQ population with the high intensity propaganda the socialists can rule almost forever.
The place was mentioned here last year: Fog of Chaos – Detroit, Detroit. It is not getting any better, though the majority of Detroit’s retired civil servants agreed to accept reduced pensions (another judge willing). The other, perhaps not so fat cats, still living in the disaster area, decided not to pay for their water and other municipal services. After all, free potable water is a human right, yet another one. We have so many rights now that nobody has time to worry about any duties. They are somebody else’s problem, preferably of the top 1%.
Over 80,000 (some more militant media claim 150,000) households were threaten with the shut off. Immediately, a trade union, National Nurses United, organised a protest march, “Lack of water, like unsafe sanitation, is a major health disaster that can lead to disease outbreaks and pandemic.” That’s true, though she (Jean Ross, vice-president) forgot to mention a climate change. Presumably the unionised nurses in Detroit are all working on an unpaid, voluntary basis. United Nations, that intrepid dispenser of the other people’s money, described the shutting-off water to non-payers as a human rights violation.
Another fearless advocate of human rights, Al Jazeera opined:
“Detroit’s bankruptcy and subsequent state-run emergency management system are not excuses to suspend human rights. In the age of growing privatization of public services in the U.S., it is more important than ever for Americans to assert that their fundamental rights are not for sale. International human rights laws have explicit standards regarding access to water. “
I admit I have some problem with that. Firstly – it means that the responsible people, those paying the municipal charges, are subsidising others, who elected not to.
Secondly – the notion that the residents can not afford to pay is laughable. Those unemployed and unemployable allegedly have no money for water, but presumably enough for drugs, sex and alcohol. Judging by the photographs of the demonstrators and customers, they certainly do not lack food, in fact, one could be forgiven for believing that they suffer from a surfeit of it. They also have enough money for ‘human rights’ lawyers, posters, TV media shots and T-shirts. If not them, somebody has. Soros?
Thirdly – water is not free.
The cost of supplying water varies significantly between western and developing nations, but prices are rising all around the world. Providing access to clean drinking water requires the construction and maintenance of a robust system that also disposes and treats dirty water. These services are among the most expensive public services and it is the developing nations that are suffering the most. Typically, their sanitation systems are of a low standard and they do not have the finances to develop the infrastructure.
In developed nations there is a significant variation in the price of water, ranging from the lowest cost in Canada to costs which are five times as high in Germany.3 The differences in price reflect the capital and operating costs as well as cost of cleaning the water. The most expensive water in the world is in Copenhagen, whereas water in Ireland is relatively cheap as the costs of water delivery is covered by property taxes. The table below shows some of the variation in prices across developed nations.
|Country||Dollars per M3|
|UK and Northern Ireland||$1.18|
Somebody had to dig, make pumps, make pipes, make electricity etc. before we can turn on that tap. Free access to the product of somebody else’s labour is now a human right?
If this is really a matter for UN, what about my human right? In Queensland, and undoubtedly elsewhere in Australia, a farmer can’t make a dam on his property to catch rain water without a permit from bureaucrats. Can I dig a well or make a dam when I want to? On my own land? No, certainly not, not without
|Application for licence to interfere with flow by impounding water||$113.60 (no GST applicable)|
Furthermore, all those Departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Agencies and such like, are infested by semi-educated greenies, hating farmers, industry and humanity in general. One has to beg them for a permit/privilege.
I am not suggesting that those thirsty and unwashed Detroitians try to dig wells. They would not know one end of a spade from another to start with. They also lack the required communal spirit. See Fog of Chaos – The well dug well.
Yes, Virginia, there are different strokes for different folks.