Capitalism offense


Charlie Pierce:

If there is one element that cannot be turned over to whatever people believe market forces to be, it’s water. It should never be commodified or sold off to make some investor wealthy far from the people who need it. That this ever needs to be argued is a measure of how far we’ve allowed corporate power to change us as a nation.

Pierce was commenting on an effort by Nestle to get its corporate mitts on 200,000 gallons of water per day drawn from Kunkletown, PA:

Kunkletown residents organized against Nestle’s attempts to move in. They formed an informal community group and five residents retained a lawyer. Last December, a group of five filed a lawsuit against the Eldred Township Board of Supervisors alleging the area’s zoning rules were unfair.

Earlier this year, the Eldred Township Planning Commission held a public meeting with Nestle representatives and attorneys in attendance to present on the project and answer questions. During the meeting, residents challenged Nestle and their actions.

In March of this year, the planning commission voted unanimously to recommend that the township zoning board deny Nestle’s application.

Like the Terminator, they’ll be back.

As mentioned earlier, the North Carolina legislature’s forced transfer of Asheville’s water system to a regional authority goes before the state Supreme Court tomorrow. Over 50 cities and towns across the state and the N.C. League of Municipalities condemned the state’s legislative appropriation of the system fearing theirs could be next. According to the city’s brief, 360 municipalities in the state run their water systems. The health and safety issues raised by the lead contamination of the Flint, Michigan water system after the state took control in Flint will play a part in the city’s arguments tomorrow.

When it’s not obsessing over its citizens’ bathroom habits, North Carolina’s GOP-led legislature is ogling any public infrastructure that generates revenue for state cities. Take it away and you cripple the economic base of those centers of blue-leaning voters. Which happens to coincide with the interests of international corporations in getting control of “their water” out of the hands of not-for-profit public agencies.

(Cross-posted from Hullabaloo.)

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