Vulture capitalists are trying to take over life's most precious resource...

Vulture capitalists are trying to take over life's most precious resource...

Water. According to a new report by Food & Water Watch, a growing number of pirate equity firms are moving into struggling cities and buying out their public infrastructure – namely – the city’s water infrastructure. Anyone who is familiar with Mitt Romney – is familiar with pirate equity firms like Bain Capital – which take over a company – strip it to the bones – and sell it off for a profit.

When this strategy is used on public utilities – then consumers get screwed with insufficient services and price hikes. As Food & Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter warned, “Like Wall Street’s manipulation of the housing market in the previous decade, private equity firms and investment bankers are increasingly looking to cash in on one of our most essential resources—water.

These deals are ultimately bad for U.S. citizens, who will end up paying the price through increased water bills and degraded service.” As of January 2012, pirate equity firms raised nearly $200 billion to take over nearly 300 water infrastructure units. This is just the latest consequence of corporate capitalism run amok in America.

We are no longer manufacturing wealth together as a nation for our economy. We now have Wall Street preying on the rest of us to make a buck.

Comments

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 2 years 4 weeks ago
#1

Like mosquitoes or leeches sucking the life's blood out of us.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 2 years 4 weeks ago
#2

Thom's program talking about "THE BIG LIE" and showing FDR having to deal with the big lie likening the Republicans as using Nazi propaganda tactics was very good to point out. It is quite obvious to most of us liberals that the conservatives tell some really big whoppers and that there are a lot of Republican suckers that by in to them. It was stressed by Hitler's book Mien Kamph that the bigger the lie repeated over and over again would work to fool the people. I say that probably the biggest lie propagated by both the Republicans and the Democrats and the ruling elite who controls both is that "we have a democracy...oh, excuse me...a constitutional republic here in America that works". Bush already proved he doesn't care about the constitution ("just a piece of paper"..he said) nor the republic (because they committed treason when they did 911 and in so many other ways). Neither the Republicans or Democrats really care about democracy...unless you really warp the meaning of that term to fit their selfish definition. The real truth is that all these terms are just rhetoric that no politician really believes in or tries to achieve. They are all looking for that revolving door into the "carpet of gold" that the criminal elite will lay before them for having rigged the game their way. The US political system is a corrupt and venal outfit that serves only the wealthy. From time to time they will, perhaps, for show, throw us a bone. I really enjoyed watching that guest, Neil Borofsky, who wrote a book called "Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street" that Thom had on. Thank goodness for people like Neil Borofsky...and, of course, for Thom Hartmann for the great work they do to keep the criminals from going unheeded.

Tonycohenster 2 years 4 weeks ago
#3

So are almost all Republicans and Democrats psychopaths or do they have a new religion which justifies and rewards cruelty and greed? If so, be careful, they'll shed blood if necessary..

Kend's picture
Kend 2 years 4 weeks ago
#4

So let me get this straight. City managers mismanage there budgets and spend way more than they should and get in trouble. A company comes in and bales out the incompatint public service employees and they are crue and greedy. With out those companies those cities would have no services. When are Americans going to learn you can't spend more than you have. Do you know every american is in debt $51,000.00 and some state debt is over $10,000.00. So a family of four owes $244,000.00. How are you going to pay this off?

rs allen 2 years 4 weeks ago
#5

Thanks for opening the door all the way to let in the flood Bill.

While we're trying to stem the tide, you're basking in the lime light........prick.

MPeters's picture
MPeters 2 years 4 weeks ago
#6

I guess "Kend" never heard of the situation in Cochabamba, Bolivia, where they made it illegal to catch rainwater, and what they charged for water took, on average, 25% of the people's earnings. And maybe if something like that came to his town he'd think differently.

http://www.citizen.org/documents/Bolivia_%28PDF%29.PDF

Water is necessary for the survival of all living things and should be a public utility period. You don't hand something like that over to be owned and managed by sociopaths.

SalmonNationWoman's picture
SalmonNationWoman 2 years 4 weeks ago
#7

In Shawnee, KS, we saw our water mains to each individual house privatized earlier this year right when these lines are in deferred maintenance mode. Homeowners are required to get insurance or pay out of pocket for any repairs that may need to be done. With the drought deepening, hundreds of large bore mains and gas lines are rupturing due to ground shift. I don't like being forced to buy insurance but what other options do I really have? I can't afford to build up or keep an emergency slush fund of $10,000 or more for anything.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 2 years 4 weeks ago
#8

Government officials can never make as much money as CEOs and other top executives who will do anything to maximize their short term profits and the short term profits of their shareholders.

If Government officials act in a manner to misappropriate or misspend public funds it is usually because they are either pressured to do so by the rapacious private sector, or they see how ridiculously wealthy the corrupt private sector counterparts have gotten and seem to be getting away with it, or they are really closet private sector wannabes who are trying to cause the public sector to look bad so that the rapacious libertarians can have ammunition to privatize everything. The revolving door, fostered by the private sector, corrupts absolutely. If it wasn't for the corrupting influence of the private sector our government would work just fine.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 2 years 4 weeks ago
#9

The private sector has their fangs stuck deeply into the necks of most politicians who realize that they have to march lock-step and give their hearty seig heil salute to the corporate Nazi vampires that are the real cause of the disintegration of a valid democracy. Politicians...only the wealthy own them...the rest of us only get a hollow shell of a democracy built of lies and deceit.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 2 years 4 weeks ago
#10

You don't have it straight.... so let me help..... fact... many city managers face revenue shortfalls due to slumping property values and high unemployment rates. The budget problems are not caused by their mismanagement, they were caused in large part by Wall Street Banksters.....sidewinders who purposefully mismanaged in order to loot the hard working middle class of much of their wealth and in the end crashed the economy. Romney and Ryan are hungry for more of this economic mayhem, most Democrats are not. Bad city managers don't keep their jobs very long.....criminals on Wall Street do!

In answer to the blog question. It's pretty clear to me that Democratic Socialism would end most of this economic nonsense.

HalFonts's picture
HalFonts 2 years 4 weeks ago
#11

Years ago in the Civil Engineering literature I began to note discussions of: "Why just build the large infra-structure projects? Partner with financial investors to finance, build, own and then manage projects that local (and State, etc) governments couldn't afford; as long-term private investments."

These new (and old?) business models worked many places, especially internationally where local governments were short on management and capital-resources. Some of the biggest "design and construct" firms simply added "own (or lease) and manage" to their tech-services brochures.

Now we call it "privatization" as the Venture- and Vulture-Capitalists, look longingly at the huge financial resources available to governments -- through governmental powers of taxation.

Suddenly over the last half-century the vultures are circling-round the soon to be US-carcass.

We citizens MUST recognize the truths underlying todays reality -- as interpreted by both Left and Right extremists, and bastardized by the humongus global money-forces above (or below?). The looting of our nation is well under way, as we become a colony to the supra-national corporate interests. We gotta find our common concerns and wake-up to what's happening.

TruthAddict's picture
TruthAddict 2 years 4 weeks ago
#12

The money grabbers are now trying to monopolize the water here in the U.S. Lets see if we have enough back bone to fight them off like the people did in Bolivia.

It seems the global financiers are so greedy they are willing to collapse the very system that gave them tremendous wealth. It should be no secret that capitalism is designed to accumulate wealth. It should also be no secret that money is created by issuing debt. Both systems require economic growth to sustain itself. Unfortunately our planet can no longer tolerate unlimited growth. We cannot grow out of this problem. Capitalism should to be reformed to share wealth rather than accumulate it. The concept of money should change so that governments spend it into existence rather than private banks loaning it into existence. This is the time for fundamental change. We need a new vision of success.

markincorsicana 2 years 4 weeks ago
#13

T Boone Pickens bought up water rights to hundreds of thousands of acres in the texas panhandle years ago. In some states you cannot even capture the water that falls on your own land. There have been people fined for digging ponds or catching rainwater in barrels.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 2 years 4 weeks ago
#14

Good article, MPeters...here's a couple of quotes from the article: "The World Bank has predicted that by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population will run short of fresh drinking water. With little or no way to decrease the need for water as supplies shrink, Fortune magazine has dubbed water “the oil of the 21st century.” The private water industry, dominated by a handful of multinationals and their subsidiaries, stands to benefit handsomely as the global water crisis deepens. These corporations and other proponents of water privatization argue that the private sector can deliver basic goods and services more efficiently and at lower costs than the public sector. In reality, there is little evidence to support the argument that privatization actually benefits consumers — particularly the poor — by improving access and lowering costs. Quite often, water prices increase and quality problems follow on the heels of privatization." "Water tariffs, in fact, did indeed increase, by 200-300 percent in many cases, just weeks after Aguas del Tunari took over." http://www.citizen.org/documents/Bolivia_%28PDF%29.PDF

So, in just 13 years 2/3 of the world's population will run short of fresh drinking water. Looks pretty ominous doesn't it? And I'd say that in much less time than that, if the water supply is privatized, we will all have our last dollars squeezed out of us by these rapacious and opportunistic criminals. Maybe we will be able to float one of those Greenland ice-shelves that have been breaking off down our way..if they don't melt first....but then some worm would try to claim ownership and charge us a lot for the water.

I know my water bill is pretty high...although I do have a garden that I have to water. And I do have to take a shower at least once a month....just kidding...but I do "marine shower" every day.

ehillmax's picture
ehillmax 2 years 4 weeks ago
#15

I think all roads will lead us back to the same answer. To fix this and many of the social ills and corruption that now seems to permeate our society at every level it is imperitive that we get the money out of our politics. Short of that a mass popular revoluton ie (massive boycots or other measures that attack and diminish the wealth of the ruling billionaires & our wealthy politicians) may be our only options. The problem is money. Money will likely be the cure.

Kend's picture
Kend 2 years 4 weeks ago
#16

I live in Alberta Canada and my utilities are private. Competition keeps our prices low. We hold our city counsel accountable if they can't balance budgets. We privatised everything our DMV, Registries , highway maintance, basically everything. We are the only province/state in North America with no debt. We have the lowest taxes, and the highest standard of living in the country. We have had the same Conserative Gov in for 40 years, we tried it and it works. Maybe so should you.

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 2 years 4 weeks ago
#17

One of the Strategic Defense of America is simply water. Again our electromagnetic media hate cable and hate radio just concentrate on the nature of political signaling, dashing through and hiding important issues hiding things that Thom Hartmann seems to have the innate ability to sift through meet and debate to raise really good questions that lead to answers.

As an example, though a different issue, this George Zimmerman shooting of Trayvon Martin is not presented clearly especially when one understands that Zimmerman was an insurance underwriter? An insurance company has insight into things like life policies. Or what might the homicides in this particular parameter for young girls and boys might be? The implication totally was television prosecution by the electromagnetic journalistic complicities, and imams. Fox News being driven by three to four so called Judges in my view should have their resume and tax returns public. Who knows they are likely to have off shore bankster account in the Cayman Islands right next to the one hundred or so Arab financial front companies on the same island.

The oil companies and most of all the Arabs, those of the Bin Laden family, yes the Islamic Wahhabi sort, that think all Americans are infidels should be wiped off the earth are and have been in a long, centuries long plan to do just that eliminate the infidel. According to Gerald Posners Book, “Secrets of the Kingdom”. Our business, Congress and especially the Bush and Cheney family have been in long term economic profiteering enterprises for with them for decades.

From Watergate to Waterboarding and water as a strategic national defense argument especially when waterboarding used in so called interrogation. This in my opinion is definitely torture. The doctors know what important elements are left out of the discussion in waterboarding, which is “Angina” as in physical action in rape or being strapped to a board while trying to breath having water poured into your mouth. Actually, angina is and connected to both waterboarding and rape victims. Here because of micro spasms or contractions skewed by waterboarding were associated with increased risks of mortality. Including chest pains,walls of the arteries are damaged. Or improper functioning of the tiny micro vascular blood vessels that feed your heart. All kinds of crazy stuff at the quantum level in either case that don’t appear or realized immediately in or from a rape or waterboarding. Especially neuron micro activity to bombard aberrations in reason and thought process. For me the whole thing is a calamity of a cursed corruption by big money our Congress and in its presentation by our media.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 2 years 4 weeks ago
#18

Alberta, Canada...loved it...been to Edmonton, Banff, Calgary and through that Jasper National glacier park west of Edmonton. Fantastic mall in Edmonton. Very colorful...noticed all the different colors...reds, blues, greens, etc of the roofs on the houses. Brightly painted traffic signs. Very neat.

Crazy cops though...one ran right out in front of me pointing me to the side of the road...I was speeding on my way to work at the University one early morning. But I was very relieved that he let me go when he found out I was a crazy American. Thank you! Thank you! And I did watch my speed after that shocker. I liked the maze of tunnels and passage ways that connected the tall buildings in the center of the city...must come in very handy during the winter snows.

Must be nice to have all of that wealth from the oil and gas reserves.

"Government revenue comes mainly from royalties on non-renewable natural resources (30.4%), personal income taxes (22.3%), corporate and other taxes (19.6%), and grants from the federal government primarily for infrastructure projects (9.8%).[60] Albertans are the lowest-taxed people in Canada, and Alberta is the only province in Canada without a provincial sales tax (but residents are still subject to the federal sales tax, the Goods and Services Tax of 5%). It is also the only Canadian province to have a flat tax for personal income taxes, which is 10% of taxable income."

This quote first says that personal income taxes are 22.3% but then later states that there is a flat tax for personal income of 10%. Interesting!

"The Alberta personal income tax system maintains a progressive character by granting residents personal tax exemptions of $16,977, in addition to a variety of tax deductions for persons with disabilities, students, and the aged.[62] Alberta's municipalities and school jurisdictions have their own governments which (usually) work in co-operation with the provincial government."

"As with all Canadian provinces, Alberta provides for all citizens and residents through a publicly funded health care system. Alberta became Canada's second province (after Saskatchewan) to adopt a Tommy Douglas-style program in 1950, a precursor to the modern medicare system."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberta

Yup, it sure sounds conservatively privatized to me! ;-}

And you don't have to worry because no one but the police have guns...right? Oh, wait, what's that? "U of A shooting: Mother begs accused shooter to turn himself in (video)"

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Three+dead+after+shooting+University...

Suspect wanted on three murder charges in deaths of armoured car guards in Edmonton

Sounds like a nice place to live...

oh, and God Save The Queen!

GOP Blocks Equal Pay...again.

Just in time for election season, Senate Republicans blocked legislation aimed at closing the gender pay gap. For the third time since 2012, Republicans refused to allow debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act, and reminded women that the GOP doesn't believe in equal pay for equal work.

From Screwed:
"The powers that be are running roughshod over the powers that OUGHT to be. Hartmann tells us what went wrong — and what you and I can do to help set American right again."
Jim Hightower, National Radio Commentator, Writer, Public Speaker, and author of the bestselling Thieves in High Places
From Cracking the Code:
"In Cracking the Code, Thom Hartmann, America’s most popular, informed, and articulate progressive talk show host and political analyst, tells us what makes humans vulnerable to unscrupulous propagandists and what we can do about it. It is essential reading for all Americans who are fed up with right-wing extremists manipulating our minds and politics to promote agendas contrary to our core values and interests."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community and When Corporations Rule the World and board chair of YES! magazine
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
Paul Hawken, coauthor of Natural Capitalism and author of The Ecology of Commerce