Skip to main content

View Diary: Rick Snyder's Michigan: Detroit citizens appeal to the UNHCR for water (75 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I guess people should just not have to pay their (9+ / 0-)

    bills year after year?

    •  You actually get to the issue. (9+ / 0-)

      Detroit provides water for the region and because many are not paying their water bills, the cost is going up for the surrounding suburbs. I just read this morning that Grosse Point Park is planning on building their own water system and I suspect that many other suburbs will do the same.

      So where does this leave Detroit? With an oversized water system that isn't funded. Sound familiar? This is an infrastructure asset that the city owns that will be abandoned much like everything else that was once an asset for the city.

      •  @Yoshimi ... F.Y.I. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peregrine kate

        re: "... Detroit provides water for the region and because many are not paying their water bills, the cost is going up for the surrounding suburbs."

        If/When you have time, please watch this video interview: "Water is a Human Right: Detroit Residents Seek U.N. Intervention as City Shuts Off Taps to Thousands".

        According to Meera Karunananthan, international water campaigner for the Blue Planet Project:

        ... And when you look at the number, the amount, the average household income in the city of Detroit is something like $25,000. I compared that to our situation here in Ottawa, Canada, where the average household income is in the range of $90,000, and we pay something like $50 a month for our water and sewerage bills. So, the rates are exorbitant and unaffordable in a city where the poverty rates are as high as they are in the city of Detroit.

        In addition, the Democracy NOW! interviewer asked the following question:

        ... Maureen Taylor, I have to ask you, there’s been basically no federal aid for Detroit. There was a measure to give about $300 million that’s been proposed in private and federal funding. But seeing how banks, how auto companies got big bailouts, and Detroit was left to bleed, it’s a city that’s four-fifths black, 80 percent African-American. Do you think racism is at play here?
        Just for the record, I agree with Maureen Taylor, State Chair, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization when she stated that:
        ... Racism is always at play. People of color can never escape the shadow of the plantation. But we are moving quickly, not away from that, but we are joining this question of black and white with green. This is about greed. This is about the fact that there used to be about 1.4, 1.5 million people that lived in Detroit, and just in Detroit. And what was popular here was Dodge Main, Chevrolet Gear and Axle, Huber Avenue Foundry, Lynch Road Assembly, Rouge Plant, the great Rouge Plant, where the great, late General Baker worked for many, many years. And these factories built something called a middle class across the country.

        Just where I live in Detroit alone, 400,000 manufacturing jobs have disappeared. No one can take that kind of a hit. And where did they go? They went the way of technology. That’s the technology that used to enhance labor, now replaces labor. So R2-D2 robots now work at these, quote-unquote, "factories." These dinosaurs are gone. And so those good-paying jobs left with them. And, of course, you have people of color—let’s go get them first. Of course, you have blue-collar workers—let’s go get them first.

        But this is more egregious. A woman and a child living on welfare in Michigan gets $420 a month in cash assistance. That tabulates to $5,040 in a year. This no-good, trifling, backstabbing Kevyn Orr, the emergency manager, is getting a thousand dollars an hour. This man makes $8,000 in one day; and a family of two, $5,040 in a year. It’s outrageous. And then to come after folks that have lost work, that have lost jobs, that are sticking and staying in Detroit to try to help to rebuild and repopulate my city, and then to say, "What we’re going to do is turn your water off because you can’t pay for it"? Not going to tolerate this mess.

        [Emphasis mine]
        Source: Water is a Human Right: Detroit Residents Seek U.N. Intervention as City Shuts Off Taps to Thousands
    •  we pay for big oil year after year (17+ / 0-)

      and global warming is devastating fresh water supplies. Big oil hasn't paid its bill, but the nation is.

      Easy to blame poor people in Detroit now, wait until some more cities enter crisis stage as providing water becomes an impossibility and prices rise.   No one is immune from the way that rising demand, aging infrastructure, shifting populations and climate change are going to change how we live.   We aren't going to be able to pay in the future either.

      •  bingo! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jfromga, Anika, Eric Nelson, CFCLFM

        "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

        by Sybil Liberty on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 02:04:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There is no water shortage in Michigan (13+ / 0-)

        Detroit Michigan ahs access to one of the largest fresh water supplies in the world, The Great Lakes.  This is about maintaining the system of water distribution.  Great Lakes water can only be used in the Great Lakes draining area.  Illinois can not pump Lake Michigan water to west and south of Chicago, because all of Illinois is not in the Great Lakes drainage.  My home state is supposed to be better than this.  

        •  I agree (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sb, northerntier, Cali Scribe, annan, dfarrah, NewtC

          that the problem in Detroit right now is that the water is available (though the Great Lakes are drying precipitously in geological terms so that may not always be the case).

          My response was both admonition and caution for the supercilious tone of the post that indicated that the only reason these folks in Detroit weren't paying their bills is that they are some kind of deadbeats by choice.  

          I pointed out there were much bigger deadbeats in the world with less reason and we pick up the tab for them.

          Furthermore,  people who think this can't be them, aren't looking very far down the road.  This could be a large percentage of everybody not being able to afford water as the impacts of global climate change worsen.  Not to mention private companies scheming with right wing legislators wto privatize water delivery.   The people sneering now may be the next victims of circumstances beyond their control.

      •  Water is Life (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        So the Constitution guarantees life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing is more essential to life than water, yet somewhere along the line we took it from the people, gave it to either government agencies or private companies, then priced it out of reach for many, particularly the poor and sick. We subsidize Big Oil to the tune of over 5 billion a year, but can't subsidize a basic necessity of life for our citizens. The rich love to bequeath large sums to their alma mater or the arts and sciences; it would be great if they would help those closer to dire need.

    •  I'll take this one. (7+ / 0-)

      Water is not an option for life. People living together need to have it or they die. Do you suggest that people with no money should die?

      A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

      by onionjim on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 01:59:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Average bill in Detroit = $75 month. (10+ / 0-)

      Nationwide average = $40.  If Detroit has excess capacity, it only makes sense to have the treatment center serve a wider region.  But no one wants to take on the debt, so Detroit will further sink and wasteful facilities will be constructed where other localities are flush with resources... for now.  

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site