Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Ongoing Disaster of Water Infrastructure

The Wired article linked below on further investigations into the full scope of how bad our water infrastructure is reveals, as if we needed it, further indications of how federal agencies, as well as city municipalities, either jumped to little considered, short term solutions (where the "fix" caused even worse problems), or attempted to squelch efforts to find out just how bad things might be. And of course, the subtext here is the knowledge all of the officials involved in these various departments have: better to try and ignore it, or bury any suggestive testing results because nobody's got the money for truly fixing anything anyway, let alone the liability costs (both in lawyers fees and damage payments).

We, in turn, cry out in understandable rage as our children suffer, and we get sicker as well.

The thing is, this is all so predictable when viewed through the lens of the shortcomings of a cost based economic system; especially one where the politics has become so mired in the interests of the producers of profit. In that context cost reduction is religious mantra, made worse by the fact that these same interests can see only as far down the road as the next fiscal quarter, or two.

Play the states against each other with the game of granting tax breaks, which the cities can't avoid much either, and what would you expect would happen to maintenance, or reinvestment budgets? Shit, this is the same reason so many of our children are becoming more ignorant, even as they are also poisoned. And the other side of the cost coin is to choke down growth in real wages so the rest of us can barely afford to live, much less with a modest amount of real quality of life.

Is it any wonder then why everybody points the finger at the other guy when it comes time to raise somebody's taxes? Or everybody is ready to give the tax man the finger for thinking of suggesting more in the first place?

So.  Problems that are inevitably going to burn us one way or another get buried (literally and figuratively), punted down the road, or turned to mental vapor by the really effective propaganda of the candidates, or interest groups, of those same producers of profit. Very little of substance gets done and the beatdown goes on.

What a picture. I'd ask what's wrong with it but so many of you can't think straight anyway... I mean you think a really rich guy like Trump is the answer for christ sakes... so why bother. Go ahead and pop open another beer, or smoke another joint; link up to another favorite binge watch show and just let somebody else worry about it.

The Crisis in Flint Isn’t Over. It’s Everywhere.

by Ben Paynter
Photographs by Dan Winters