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.