America, the richest nation to ever exist, continues its proud march towards developing nation status as Detroit cuts off water to its poorest citizens:
Detroit — Hundreds lined up outside the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department’s East Side Customer Service Center Saturday in a last-minute effort to avoid having their water service shut off.
The water department is scheduled to start shutting off service Sunday to customers who owe money, and Saturday’s “Stay Connected to DWSD Water Fair” offered an opportunity to avoid disconnections by entering into a payment plan with the utility, spokeswoman Linda Clark said.
Contrary to the attitude of the Nestle Corporation, water is, in fact, a human right and no one should be deprived of it because of money. But try explaining that to Detroit.
Look, I get it: Delivering water to people’s homes is not free. A lot of work and infrastructure goes into pumping, purifying (but not really) and delivering water to people. But this is a survival level necessity for every person in the country/the planet. It should be a *gasp* socialized utility so everyone is guaranteed enough to live. That doesn’t mean everyone is entitled to take hour long, high-pressure hot showers, but it absolutely means that anyone, anywhere should be able to turn on their tap and get a drink of clean water.
The Detroit News reports that 23,000 residents owe an average of $663 in water bills. That’s over $15 million and it’s easy to see how a cash strapped water department would have to resort to stronger measures.
Buuuuuut…. TDN also reports:
Businesses and government-owned properties owe nearly twice as much as residences, $41 million compared with $26 million for homes, but only 680 were shut off in 2015, according to records obtained by The Detroit News through the Freedom of Information Act.
Doesn’t it seem strange that the people with the money to pay their bills are allowed to slide but the poor are squeezed like a sponge (no pun intended)? It’s almost like it’s easier to bully and intimidate those without power while those WITH power can ignore their obligations. This is what we call “Class Warfare,” in which those with money are treated with deference and preference that would never be extended to the poor.
Because in America the developing nation, water is fast becoming a privilege, not a right.
Featured image via Getty