Marimike6 at cs.com
Marimike6 at cs.com
Fri Sep 23 22:12:53 EDT 2005
Genest says "who can afford the revamping of dilapitated
water infrastuctures but corporations? What politician would dare
propose that taxpayers foot the bill for a project of such magnitude ?"
I think we have to examine how we got here. The experience of Washington, DC
is probably typical.
Ninety years ago, when the water and sewer mains were first installed,
responsible people realized that the system would one day grow old and need
replacement. So they estimated the lifetime of the pipes as 75 years and, much as a
condo board would put aside a roof fund, advised the city that each year it
should set aside one 75th of replacement cost-- so the money would be there when
we needed it.
Politicians can't stand looking at unspent money. So over the years every
administration pilfered from this fund, to balance the budget. Once manhole
covers started blowing in the streets (literally, manhole covers would pop out of
the ground from the pressure of the pipes cracking) we found the cupboard was
So the Water and Sewer Authority raised the rates four times in the next two
years, each time by 30 to 50 percent, to slap together a new replacement
I only mention this because this is exactly what has been happening with your
Social Security. Back in 1983 Congress anticipated that one day there would
be a shortfall in the fund, so they increased the FICA withholding to create a
reserve-- to draw from when disbursements began to exceed contributions.
Every cent of that fund-- $1.7 trillion-- has been spent by Congress. Every
penny that comes in today in excess of disbursements is spent as soon as it
arrives in the federal purse..
Libertarians point to this as being a good reason never to trust government,
and certainly never to give them any of our money. But how much better would
private industry be in preserving our right to drink clean, affordable water?
Their mandate, after all, is to subsume every other person's rights and
interests to their overriding duty to provide maximum returns for their investors.
This is a matter of business ethics, and corporate officers could be removed for
dereliction if they considered the rights of the consumer to be paramount.
It's something to think about.
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