Flint, Michigan is What Happens When You Run Government Like a Business...
Republicans love to say we need to run government like a business. But, we only need to look to Flint, Michigan to see how that works out for our fellow citizens.
Thanks to the work of Rick Snyder and his team of little dictators – aka “Emergency Managers” - the people of Flint have been drinking and bathing in contaminated water for more than a year. And, Governor Snyder's decision to put money ahead of safety has left people with no access to clean water, and news that just keeps adding insult to their injuries.
First, residents learned that their complaints about brown, abrasive, nauseating water were ignored by state officials, and that water quality tests were manipulated to show lower levels of lead and other toxins.
Next, as if being ignored wasn't enough to anger Michiganders, next they learned that the whole disaster could have been avoided if city officials were not instructed to stop treating the water with an anti-corrosion chemical that only cost about $100 bucks a day. Instead, residents are stuck with toxic water and the state of Michigan will now have to spend tens of millions of dollars cleaning up the disaster in Flint.
To top all of that off, now residents are learning that the corrosive Flint River water that left their water full of lead and toxins has damaged their homes, plumbing, and water heaters, and they're still questioning whether Snyder and his cronies will help cover the cost of those repairs.
This is what happens when you run government like a business, and you concern yourself with short term costs instead of what's best for people in the long run.
Rick Snyder appointed little dictators in Michigan who never had to be accountable to Michigan voters – and so, they didn't consider – or they didn't care – how the people of Michigan would be harmed by their decisions.
Thankfully, environmental and civil rights groups are working to help Flint residents and they have even filed a lawsuit on residents' behalf, but the people of Flint can't wait through a legal battle for the help that they desperately need now.
Rick Snyder was wrong to thwart democracy and install emergency managers in cities like Flint, and it's time for him to be held responsible. For the people of Flint, let's help get Snyder out of office and get busy fixing the disaster that he created.
The people involved in the Flint disaster, all of them, should be criminally prosecuted on felony charges of fraud, abuse of power, endangering the public health, and VOLUNTARY manslaughter.
Government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" can never be a business, because government is ABOUT the people, ALL THE PEOPLE, not just a privileged few. Business is about profit, and making a very few people very rich.
"If there were no rich class, there would be no poor class"--old Pelagian saying.
I don't think we should dance around the point. These guys are fascists or worse. 'Running the government like a business'. It was Benito Mussolini that said, "Fascism should appropriatley be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power"
Mussolini ran his political platform based largely on privatization, the breaking of labor unions, reduced spending in government and balancing of the budget. His platform is just about like that of the republicans today who have both feet in fascism and don't seem to know it or don't care. They are blinded by the power they crave.
Beware-Mussolini also stated " We have buried the putrid corpse of liberty".
When political and corporate leaders sicken people, we must remove their current legalprotections.
If our lawmakers will not do this, then the people should post the names and addresses of negligent parties on a website.
What is going to happen when, god forbid a large fire starts in Flint?
Will the firemen use poisen water to fight the fire? Will the firemen be contaminated?
Will the ground and the ground water be poisened forever?
Would it be wiser just to let the city burn?
Time to break out the pitch forks me thinks.
Good luck to all in Flint!
Damn typos! Went from comment #2 to #6.
Government - or "democracy", as I call it here in the U.S.A. - belongs to everybody and is the collective will of the people. Business belongs to some rich asshole or assholes and is the individual will of those assholes. Thus, business must be made to answer to the democracy.
It is a fallacy to think that neocons, despite everything they say (which is always fraudulent, anyway), don't believe in government. Snyder believes strongly in government but a privately owned government, not too unlike a feudal vassal or monarchy.
He does not, of course, believe in democracy. He would have us in his personal, private tyranny as quick as you could say, "Bechtel" or the name of some other private water service if he could.
About having a 'businessman run the govenment': First they look with covetousnes at all that is the people's government.
1. They try to take away, give away when they are in office, the lands, the airways that are the public commons. Depriving royalties that are due the people's govenment.
2. They look at the revenues that fund the public coffers. They seek to tap into, and otherwise divert funds and revenue streams for their own and 'personal' (the business's. company's own) use.
3. They seek to interpose their interests between the government and the people. Their 'right' to 'speak' and legitimacy to act against the people (lie, misrepresent). ie the world bank 'imposing austerity' on the world.
They hate democracy, they want to exploit and enslave the people.
As long as our poorly educated population maintains its inability to comprehend anything other than simple logic, the obvious and almost perfect parallel of today's GOP to pre world war 2 Germany remains invisible.
Fascism, taken as a filthy and scary word by our popular tabloids and media, has never been integrated, taught or understood publically. Most are afraid to use it anyway.
America is better than this but it's use of classic denial has entered the Nausea Stage and soon will need more than emetics.
Why is it that the local activist that have been occupying a vacant wildlife refuge are railing against goverment overreach depriving them of the rights and property, haven't said a word of support for the citizens of Flint that have had their democratic rights and now their livelyhoods stolen from them ???????
Quote 2020Whalen:What is going to happen when, god forbid a large fire starts in Flint?
Given the time that has elapsed, there has undoubtedly been a fire or two. They're lucky the water itself didn't burst into flames.
The people of Flint need a lawyer like MIke Papantonio to come in and kick Rick Snyder's sorry ass into financial oblivion.
I foresee a bright future for Governor Snyder. He has demonstrated his ability to duck responsibility, deny involvement and be indifferent to the wellbeing of the public in the quest for the dollar. Once retired from his governorship, he will do well in a corporate environment.
You're right c-gull, they couldn't be rich if someone else wasn't poor. Mainly us, working people, those who work for them, who work so hard to make THEM rich (IOW, they stole OUR wealth, the product of our labor).
Snyder and whoever else must be held to account for the Flint disaster by the democracy and should go to jail.
Snyder was criminally negligent and belongs in jail for the better part of the rest of his life, period.
This severely tests my general opposition to the death penalty. Were Snyder to face a firing squad for this, I'd not shed tears over it.
As bad as the drinking water situation in Flint is, the same business first approach fouled the Flint River in the first place and it still flows into Lake Huron. This is why it is crazy when all these conservative republicans complain about too much regulation. There is not enough regulation to protect our environment.
WELL lets calculate the price per unit for the anti-corrosive:
$100.00 per day
divided by 100,000 units
.001 per unit per day
definitely too costly
Well we know we have to have new leaders who are willing to take responsibility for the all.
Responsibility is for adults willing to move from a primitive culture to one that thrives and puts stewardship at the heart of society .One that works for the highest good of all .A civil society where the rights of the few do not infringe upon the rights of the many .Does there not come a time when the higher good of all supersedes individual rights ?
Does society have a responsibility to itself ? Let that be the question of the day?