Flint Water Crisis

What To Do About Flint? Evacuate The Residents And Turn it Into a Landfill for Liberal Good Intentions

Liberals simply won't quit blaming privatization for the government-made disaster

|

Flint Water Pollution
Bert van Dijk via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Private companies had as much to do with Flint's lead poisoning as Adam Smith had to do with the bread lines in the former Soviet Union. In fact, as I have noted before, Flint was a government-made disaster from top to bottom. Private companies didn't run the system or profit from it. Government officials switched Flint from the Detroit Water and Sewage Department (a government-owned-and-operated system) to the more—not less—expensive Karegnondi Water Authority (another government-owned-and-operated system). Why? Because it would create union jobs and boost the local economy. This wasn't an austerity cost-cutting effort but a stimulus move, as I noted previously.

But since KWA wasn't going to be ready in time, government officials decided to reopen a local mothballed plant that drew water from the polluted Flint River. That's what caused the poisoning. Authorities certainly thought that ditching Detroit would save them money. But given that KWA was going to cost $800 million more over 30 years, it is really hard to argue that the interim arrangement was driven by austerity concerns.

However, liberals have a story and they are sticking to it, facts be damned, as my colleague Robby Soave noted. So if they can't pin the debacle on private companies, then "private sector ideology" will do just fine. Thank you, very much!

Among the first to identify this ideology as the real culprit was Washington Post's Dana Milbank. And now The Nation's Michelle Chen in a piece entitled "Water Privatizers Have Their Eye on Flint's Lead Crisis" rails: "The cruel calculation of risking public health to choose 'cheaper' source of water is less a product of bureaucratic incompetence than that of a corporate mindset that monetizes human welfare."

If only! Indeed, had Flint "monetized human welfare," it wouldn't be in so much trouble.

Let's review the facts: Flint has been under a state-appointed emergency manager since 2011 because it failed to "balance its books"—a euphemistic way of saying that it was spending its citizens blind. Why? There are many reasons, but one is that the city's public unions for decades extracted lavish benefits for their employees while saddling taxpayers with the costs. Indeed, Flint's unfunded pension liabilities right now exceed $1 billion—about 20 times the city's $51 million annual budget. What's more, Flint charged its water customers—indeed, still does—on average $140 monthly, far more than many other cities in the county and elsewhere.

Now consider what would have happened if one of Chen's imaginary rapacious profiteer had been in control in Flint and had run up the company credit card to overpay its employees and then overcharged company customers to pay its credit card. Shareholders would have pulled out, regulators would have been on its ass, customers would have gone elsewhere, and the company would have collapsed.

What happened to Flint? It simply became ripe for a state takeover, which didn't mean substituting competent managers for incompetent managers as might have happened with a private company. No. It meant having it run by two sets of incompetent managers.

Although, technically the tragic decision to switch the city to the local Flint River plant rather than have it stick with Detroit happened on the state emergency manager's watch, there is reason to believe that the emergency manager was doing the local politicos' bidding (not the least because the Detroit emergency manager was accused of being too much of a hardass and insufficiently cooperative with Mayor David Bing or the city council). This is not in any way meant to absolve Gov. Rick Snyder or Flint's emergency managers of blame. Hey, they had a hand in breaking Flint, so they own it. That means state taxpayers should be on the hook for fixing the mess, and Gov. Snyder—and his Republican cronies—ought to pay the political price for it.

But of course Gov. Snyder, after saying that the "buck stops with him," is trying to hit up federal taxpayers for a buck—or a few million. So far President Obama has only put funny money in his tin cup. May be Obama will eventually be shamed into throwing in some real cash, but it's inconceivable it'll come anywhere close to fully compensating Flint's 100,000 or so residents, who are effectively imprisoned in a town where there are no jobs in homes they can't sell—at least not without swallowing a huge loss given the renewed hit to their already cratering property values.

As if that's not bad enough, unlike a private company, they can't sue the government for full damages because of the doctrine of sovereign immunity. This is not disaster capitalism, as Chen rails, it is disaster socialism.

And the problem with disaster socialism (is there any other kind, btw?) is not just that you eventually run out of other people's money, as Margaret Thatcher famously said, you also run out of the next level of government to kick the can to. If Chen has a plan to convince the United Nations to stick poor Third Worlders with the bill of rescuing relatively better off Flint residents, she should share pronto.

In truth, privatizing Flint's water system was always even less on the cards than a UN rescue plan. Indeed, efforts to privatize even DWSD, Flint's old supplier, run up against the intractable problem that private companies would have a hard time getting permission to charge the rates necessary from the city's ever-shrinking population base to pay off the system's existing debt while investing in future infrastructure upgrades. And these cities are hardly alone. So much as "privateers" like me and Adrian Moore would like to privatize water utilities to establish some modicum of consumer accountability, the reality is that the government has mucked things up too much for that to be an attractive option everywhere. Hence, Chen can relax a little.

So what should be done? IMHO, if liberals were truly interested in helping Flint residents rather than simply sacrificing them to the altar of the God of Beneficent Government, they should approach private philanthropists for donations to buy out the houses of Flint's residents and let them flee to better climes where jobs are more plentiful and the government less intrusive. (Houston, anyone?) Giving each Flint resident $10,000—or $40,000 to a family of four—will require about $4 billion, which is hardly beyond the means of the wealthy trinity of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Mark Zuckerberg. And surely there are others whose help liberals will allow Flint victims to accept!

And what about the city of Flint? Indeed, if liberals were really as caring as they claim to be, they would shift their focus from saving geographical areas to saving living, breathing human beings.

But if they really, really want to do something about it, they should hand it to private developers to turn it into a giant landfill to bury liberal good intentions. The sheer volume that folks like Chen keep generating will guarantee good profits.

NEXT: Felony Charge for Selling a Wisconsin Beer In Minnesota: Americans, This is Where We Live

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I have it on good authority from a Facebook meme that Governor Snyder is solely and completely responsible for poisoning the water in Flint because racist Republican, and should spend the rest of his life in jail.

    1. I have it on good authority from a Washington Post comment that the fault lies with Flint’s private water manager, whoever that was. That comment was left on an article on the role of sovereign immunity in the Flint disaster. Peak derp will never be reached.

    2. It really is scary how oblivious people are.

    3. I have it on good authority that we are all responsible, which, of course, means none of us are… Winning!

    4. No, I saw a Facebook video blaming it on Nestle.

      There were pictures of empty reservoirs man!

      1. Let’s fill Flint with the corpses of all the progressives. And don’t stop until every last progressive is stuffed in there.

        1. will all public education also be “privatized”? and national “defense”…..or offense as it most commonly is in the u.s.?

  2. Wasn’t the actual problem a lack of proper treatment of the water rather than the source of the water itself?

    1. Yes,and government.

    2. Yes. The lead pipes were in and of themselves not a serious problem. The water was corrosive, but could have been treated pretty cheaply to nearly eliminate all the lead in the water. It was a bureaucratic engineering failure.

      1. Lead pipes for drinking water are obsolete and inherently dangerous and should be replaced; adding water treatments to live with them is a workaround, not a long term solution, because there are many ways in which lead can still get into drinking water from such pipes. The long term solution is to replace lead piping, something that the US is gradually doing.

        1. Yes it’s a workaround, but it does work, and given that they were only going to use it for a three years because the KWA pipe would be ready then it was a sensible solution. But even spending $50K to avoid massive damage to their citizens and damage that would cost hundreds of thousands to repair wasn’t done.

          It’s not desire for cost cutting that did this, it’s desire to be seen as being cheap until the real costs surface. The corrosion will cost maybe over a billion dollars to fix. Nobody obsessed with doing things cheap would have done this.

    3. Not totally. Before the city went bankrupt it got its water from Lake Michigan and everything was fine. As a way to cut costs after the bankruptcy, the city switched to getting its water from a river. And that is when the problems began.

      The other question no one seems to be asking is how the city went bankrupt in the first place? Had it not gone bankrupt, it would have continued to get its water from the lake and none of this would have happened. If you really want to get to the root cause of this, a good candidate is the fact the city had to cut what it was spending on water because it couldn’t afford to pay its employees and their pensions. But I don’t think that is a conversation liberals are too interesting in having.

      1. “As a way to cut costs after the bankruptcy, the city switched to getting its water from a river.”

        What I’m asking is if the river water itself was a problem or if it was a matter of not treating it properly? From what I’ve read all they needed to do was add more chemicals that would have prevented the corrosion of the lead pipes.

        1. The river itself is polluted and the lake is not. I have not heard if the river is so polluted you could never treat it and make it safe or if you could and the problem was the city treated it like it was still getting water from the lake.

          1. That is incorrect. The Flint river is no more or less polluted than any other, the water just wasn’t treated correctly. Simple incompetence on the part of the people running the treatment facility.

        2. It was purely a treatment issue. Completely predictable and avoidable.

          1. So they switched water sources and did not also change their treatment levels to reflect the lowered quality of water they were treating?

            1. Basically. The river water was more corrosive, which ate away at the lead pipes and released the lead into the water in addition to damaging the pipes themselves.

              The fact that the engineers did not predict this (or were ignored) combined with the painfully slow response was lead was discovered in the supply is a criminal act. It is fully within the responsibility of the waterworks to monitor and react to changes in water quality, incoming and outgoing.

              1. I read an interview with the scientist at Virginia Tech who blew the whistle on this. He said the lead levels were so high and the water so toxic that there is no way the scientists at the State and EPA did not know it. Yet, they all claimed it was safe. Criminal is exactly what it was.

                I think what happened was the EPA and state were negligent in allowing the switch to be made and then lied about the water being toxic in an effort to cover their asses. But remember, government is the people and cares about them where corporations don’t.

                1. I’ve shared this before, but what the hell: My GF just moved to Denver from Flint. She taught at the college. She said that one day, they brought in water coolers, and told all the staff not to drink the water. They told the kitchen not to use the water for soup or drinks. I don’t know if they told the students, I’ll have to ask her.
                  So, the state absolutely knew about it, and were concerned enough to take steps to protect their employees, but apparently they didn’t care about the rest of the city’s residents.

                  1. Fuck the serfs, protect the knights, nobles, and the church.

                  2. Bullshit

                2. This problem created by the same kind of people who preach climate religion at us.

            2. Correct p

            3. My understanding is Flint had been getting treated water from Detroit and they only used the Flint River plant as backup and to run it a few days a year just to make sure it was operational. When they brought it online as their primary water source, I suspect there was not anyone in the department who knew how to deal with a completely untreated water supply in the long term.

            4. The river water isn’t “lower quality”, it’s simply more corrosive to lead pipes.

        3. The problem wasn’t the water per se, but the Ph of the water once it had been drawn from the river and treated. The cleaned up water was too acidic, meaning it started to corrode the lead lining of the pipes, releasing excessive amounts of lead into the water. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the river water, they just missed a step in treating it. Lake water has the same issues, but it’s being properly treated by the city of Detroit

          1. But they didn’t have this problem before they switched. Whatever they were doing to the lake water, it was working. The water only got unsafe after they switched to the river or at least that is what I read.

            1. Different water source AND different people were treating it. Flint had no experience treating water previously. They were just distributing pre-treated water purchased wholesale from Detroit.

              1. Okay. That is why they switched to save money. They didn’t want to pay Detroit to treat it. As I say above, the angle of this story that is not being talked about enough is why exactly they felt the place to save money was by cutting spending on their water supply and exactly what did and did not get cut during that bankruptcy.

                1. They wouldn’t have just saved money, they would have made money. Flint joined the new water authority and was to become a water wholesaler.

                  Detroit FUCKED them hard. Out of spite.

                  Here is the best summary I’ve read so far.

                  Detroit was pissed to be losing Flint as a customer, so they terminated the contract even though Flint still needed water until the new water authority was up and running.

                  1. Thanks Playa. This story is just fucking amazing.

                    It doesn’t surprise me that those rat bastard Republicans running Detroit are the real villains here. Right?

                  2. Detroit FUCKED them hard. Out of spite.

                    That’s unclear. Detroit itself faced an aging infrastructure, rising costs, and financial problems. To continue to deliver to Flint for several years, they probably had to make capital investments that they would never be able to recoup from Flint once Flint switched. Apparently, their contract with Flint allowed for termination with a year’s notice, so they took advantage of that. Why shouldn’t they?

                    The city of Flint should have negotiated longer term contracts beforehand if that’s what they wanted and needed. But they thought they didn’t need it because they always had their own plant in reserve. And they did, they just didn’t know how to run it. How is that anybody’s fault other than the Flint city government’s?

            2. Less than $100,000 worth of Orthophosphate would have prevented the lead contamination.

              1. This is the kind of thing that your SimCity citizens would riot over.

              2. Phosphates take time to coat the pipes. If the finished water from the new source was sufficiently corrosive it is likely something similar would have still occurred.

              3. With their level of incompetence they may have used organophosphates instead.

            3. When they got the water from Detroit, they got it already treated, I think.

        4. The leached (dissolved) out of lead and/or brass plumbing components.

      2. As a native of Milwaukee this baffles me. Why the heck would anyone choose NOT to get Lake water if at all possible?? The Great Lakes are much better sources than the alternatives, and if you’re fortunate enough to live close enough to get the Lake water you’d have to be a fool to advocate getting water somewhere else!!

        1. The intent was always to get water from Lake Huron, they are currently building a 70 mile pipeline. When flint informed detroit that they were dropping detroit water, the city of detroit cancelled the contract. That’s when Flint started drawing water from the river, strictly on an interim basis until the pipeline is finished.

        2. In 1989 in Milwaukee it wasn’t so great to get water from the lake. Look up Crypto.

        3. What does being a native of Milwaukee have to do with it.

          River water and Lake water are not inherently better or worse. The problem was not the water, the problem was that they didn’t properly treat it. Had they gone from the river to the lake the same thing might have happened. Hell, had they gone from someone else treating the lake to treating the lake themselves the same likely would have happened.

          The flint river is a perfectly acceptable source of water, the problem is that they didn’t know what they were doing.

          1. Government rarely does.

  3. Man, the Democrats (Facebook) and Hillary Clinton sure are hammering this Republicans-are-at-fault thing. Hammering it hard. What was it Goebbels said about the Big Lie?

    1. Fascists never change, do they?

    2. The rest of the media is in on it too. Pick any random news article on the Flint water crisis and note that:

      a) They mention Rick Snyder by name but do not mention any Democrats.
      b) They mention that Rick Snyder is a Republican (R) but do not even mention the word Democrat or (D).

      I think I’ve only seen it here on libertarian Reason and at conservative sites like National Review and Breitbart that the problem was originally caused by Democrats and that the emergency financial manager was a Democrat selected by Snyder as a gesture of goodwill towards Flint’s other Democrats.

      It’s this wholesale lying that has turned me off to leftist media sources. I used to read everything from The Atlantic to Mother Jones (to balance out conservative sources) but can’t stomach their open disdain for the truth any more. We’re not stupid–we know they’re lying to us.

  4. It’s Adans Smith,get it right.

    1. He penned The Wealth of Derp, right?

      1. Oh,so you are familiar with my work?

      2. And without an editor.

        1. I like to cut out the middle man.

  5. Oh…

    I just realized…it’s nutpunch Thursday.

    1. And it’s before noon here, so we have a long way to go.

    2. Was wondering why my BP was spiking.

      1. Stop looking at http://www.furries4U.net, FdA.

        1. Not clicking that link, no sir.

          1. I actually just made it up and didn’t realize it would instantly go to hyperlink. A deep, dark, idiotically curious part of me wants to click it.

            (prepares for call from HR)

              1. Soooooo…what you’re saying is you clicked on it.

  6. “However, liberals have a story and they are sticking to it, facts be damned”

    “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that, it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before”.

    —-Rahm Emmanuel

    Mayor of Chicago
    Chief of Staff, Obama Administration
    Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy, Clinton Administration
    Campaign Finance Committee Director, ’92 Bill Clinton Campaign
    Lord, King, God, Mr. Liberal / Mr. Progressive

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yeA_kHHLow

  7. Feel the chemical Bern.

    1. Free poisoned water for everyone!

    2. The government shouldn’t just take over the water.

      They should take over the banks, too.

      Feel the Bern!

      I swear, it doesn’t matter who wins between Hillary or Bernie, he or she will quickly become the most hated President since Richard Nixon.

      1. Nixon was a mere piker compared to what our current crop of corruptocrats have been up to.

        1. Nixon engaged in harmless, amusing hijinx, in comparison. A silly, pointless break-in to an election HQ during an election he already had in the bag. No taxpayer money was wasted (except in the investigation), nobody was hurt. No U.S. interests were harmed (except in the ensuing scandal).

          But Nixon is remembered as a huge villain. Meanwhile Rapist-in-Chief Clinton and Emperor Barack feel no shame at showing their faces in public.

          1. And for his faults, Nixon genuinely cared about America. No democrat does. Other than the potential communist regime they can replace it with.

  8. Call in the Drainage Commissioners!

  9. It never ceases to amaze that a vast portion of the population can so quickly ignore all the evidence that contributed to the rotting municipal carcass that is Flint and just point at someone with an “R” after their name because they happen to be the highest elected official with any oversight.

    Meanwhile back in the proverbial smorgasbord of government failure and lawlessness called Washington, not a peep of criticism can be heard…

    1. And what does the governor have to do with the decisions of a municipal water bureaucrat? The leftoids doth protest too much.

      1. And unless the governor called out the national guard to force them to do this, how are the locals still not responsible even if the governor did okay it?

      2. I believe the governor approved the switch, but as John points out, that doesn’t excuse the dozen or so bureaucrats with D’s behind their names whose idea it was in the first place.

        1. I also think that it is fair to say the governor should be able to rely on the judgement of the local officials. Is it really the governor’s job to constantly oversee and second guess the judgement of the elected local officials? I don’t think so. Moreover, if the governor had done that and disapproved the plan, the same people who are today blaming him for this would have been blaming him for stepping on the local government and wanting to punish the poor people of Flint.

          1. That’s something I’ve been struggling with re agency theory. Normally the CEO (in this case, the governor) rightfully takes blame for the actions of his underlings even if he knew nothing about them, but must that be true in every instance?

            1. I think it depends on how the organization is set up. If the organization is set up to catch bad behavior and just doesn’t because no system is perfect, I let the CEO off. In this case, we have the principle of local autonomy. Unless you want to place the cities under the complete control of the state, I don’t see how you can hold the governor responsible when one of them does something wrong.

              1. “Unless you want to place the cities under the complete control of the state”

                That is what happened and that is why the Gov. Snyder is getting the blame. He took over the city and placed an emergency manager in charge. Now it wasn’t his fault that the city needed an emergency manager, that was local officials (presumably dems) in charge who racked up yuge debts giving away lavish employment packages to city workers. He does deserve partial blame and on my scale it would be 5-10% of the total blame. His manager blatantly ignored all the evidence of a problem when it was brought to his attention.

                1. That is what happened and that is why the Gov. Snyder is getting the blame. He took over the city and placed an emergency manager in charge.

                  The emergency manager’s job is to keep spending under control so that the state doesn’t have to bail out the city. The city government is still responsible for everything else.

            2. I wouldn’t hold a CEO primarily accountable for a policy decision that the board made (unless the fault was largely through his implementation of it). The Governor of the State of Michigan may bear ultimate authority for this decision, as he was the one who signed off on it, but if his head must roll, it should be at the top of a tall pile.

              The whole situation was one giant clusterfuck created by the spoiled children (Detroit and Flint) supervised by a delinquent adult (the EPA) while the parent (Michigan) was dealing with bigger problems. Snyder’s name should be a long way down the list of people who should be punished, many of them criminally.

              1. I hereby second Kbolino’s plan to execute all democrats in Michigan by decapitation. We should aLL get behind this plan.

      3. Look, it’s his Michigan regulators and his emergency manager. The nature of executive authority is you take the knocks when your people fuck up. But the tendency of the left is to just say “ZOMG it’s Snyder’s fault! He’s in charge!”

        But they are deaf, dumb and downright retarded when you ask about the IRS, ATF, EPA, etc.

        1. Snyder didn’t know about this until he read it in the paper! (Works for Obama, right?)

    2. Wouldnt Obama be the highest elected official with any oversight? The EPA was involved after all.

      1. Shut up, he explained.

  10. “This is not in any way meant to absolve Gov. Rick Snyder or Flint’s emergency managers of blame.”

    Yeah it is.

    1. joe would prefer that only one party complicit in this criminally negligent act be held responsible. It’s more convenient that way.

      1. Specifically, the one party with an R after his name.

    2. Government failure is a non-partisan thing, joe.

    3. And if the governor had denied this, you and your ilk would not have blamed him for stepping on local authority and preventing the city of Flint from getting back on its feel. You would never have done that you fucking jackass. Go fuck yourself Joe. These people being poisoned are the wages of your disgusting and corrupt ideology.

    4. jack who would you say was responsible here?

      1. I believe we all know who is to blame. It’s those people with the flappy heads and beady little eyes.

        The blame lies with the Canadians.

    5. The measure of Snyder and the emergency manager’s blame is dwarfed in comparison to that of Detroit, the prior Flint government, and the EPA.

  11. I actually kind of love the idea of buying poor people out of their shitty Detroit houses as a charitable effort. I can’t imagine it working, but it would be a fascinating social experiment to see what they did with a little cash and nothing tying them down.

    1. but it would be a fascinating social experiment to see what they did with a little cash and nothing tying them down.

      They would do what any one of us would do: Ecstasy and Thai ladyboy hookers.

      1. I would have just said “hookers and blow”, but okay.

      2. Don’t you mean Thai ladyboi hookers? Although, those might be too expensive for the Flint refugees with their charitable stipend.

        It’s much more likely that they would rent a cheap apartment and then buy a $1500 TV to put in it.

      3. Not the smart ones, they will buy a shit ton of heroin and then go to Rhode Island and sell it while impregnating white women before they left.

  12. Best way to establish silence in my Green friends? Point out that th EPA was busy poisoning two other rivers when this was going on.

  13. Flint has 99,000 people. The Detroit Land Bank has about 80,000 empty properties.

    Give every family in Flint a free home in Detroit and 30 days to move. Then level Flint and salt the earth.

  14. God, even when government agents make stupid risk calculations, it’s blamed on an evil private market risk calculation.

    Because we all know that government risk calculations are pure of heart, and provide pure security at no cost.

    It’s like no true government Scotsman would screw up risk management.

    1. Saying this was a risk calculation is giving the government too much credit. You have to care or bother to even look to do a risk calculation. They didn’t do any kind of calculation. They just didn’t care and then only started to care when it went bad and then only acted to cover their asses.

  15. They won’t stop repeating a lie?

    Huh. Y’know,what woukd be useful right now, would be some kind of historical wisdom about the repetition of lies. Maybe do a riff on the idea of how big a lie it can be-call that the Big Lie.

    Anyone know of such a quote?

    1. Look, when Reason showed that the Love Canal leaks were forced at gunpoint on property owners by politicians and agents with guns, “Love Canal” simply vanished from the language. I doubt anyone under 40 today has a clue what it was. When a big lie implodes, the Ministry of Truth rectifies (elides) all mention of the inconvenient facts.

  16. I would say that Michelle Chen is an idiot, but I don’t think she is: I think she’s mendacious. She’s intentionally twisting the story to serve her ideological bent: Flint situation bad, and privatization bad, therefore Flint situation equals privatization.

    ? ? The cruel calculation of risking public health to choose a “cheaper” source of water is less a product of bureaucratic incompetence than of a corporate mindset that monetizes human welfare.

    Except that, as Dalmia points out, it wasn’t cheaper, and more importantly to the argument, as far as I can tell nobody thought that they were making a tradeoff anyway. Nobody thought it was a risk. If Chen has some evidence to the contrary, she should present it. So yeah, it’s pretty much 100% bureaucratic incompetence.

    Also, you have to monetize human welfare. If you have X dollars in the treasury, and it costs X dollars to provide a community with clean water OR to vaccinate them against a disease, then you have to do one or the other. Or get another X dollars from somewhere else. There is just no way around that. But Chen acts like the cause of every problem is that government hasn’t played Santa Claus hard enough.

    Seriously, you can see this at work in every single paragraph.

    1. To continue…

      ? Heritage Foundation fellow John Seibler compared Flint to another recent water disaster, the toxic spill at the Gold King Mine in Colorado (caused by an engineering mishap by federal environmental authorities), arguing that it “may be another case of negligent government behavior that would raise criminal prosecution had it come from a private party.” In other words, he suggests the federal government supposedly gets a free pass while beleaguered businesses suffer unduly from pesky environmental lawsuits.

      Firstly, Seibler didn’t say “beleaguered businesses suffer unduly”, that’s just Chen putting words in his mouth. Secondly, and more importantly, there is in fact that sovereign immunity thing, and the fact that the feds have a long history of exempting themselves from the rules that the rest of us have to follow.

      ? Privateers have evidently been stalking Flint’s waterworks for a while. The city, amid rising public concerns about water hazards, contracted with the French water service multinational Veolia as a “consultant” on water quality. The company issued a report last February recommending some improvements, but gave the water an overall clean bill of health?in retrospect, another symptom of austerity’s cure being a double dose of the disease.

      …and what the fuck does this have to do with austerity?

      1. The two minutes hate is designed to arouse the emotions, not to engage people’s reason.

      2. By the way, she is outright lying about what Veolia recommended:

        ? Corrosion Control ? The primary focus of this study was to assure compliance with the TTHM limits. That
        is not the only problem facing the city and its customers though. Many people are frustrated and naturally
        concerned by the discoloration of the water with what primarily appears to be iron from the old unlined cast
        iron pipes. The water system could add a polyphosphate to the water as a way to minimize the amount of
        discolored water. Polyphosphate addition will not make discolored water issues go away. The system has
        been experiencing a tremendous number of water line breaks the last two winters. Just last week there
        were more than 14 in one day. Any break, work on broken valves or hydrant flushing will change the flow of
        water and potentially cause temporary discoloration.

        Corrosion control is the 5th item on the action plan they recommend.

      3. Privateers have evidently been stalking Flint’s waterworks for a while.

        And what was the EPA doing? Having a party?

    2. I’d say that no one “monetizes human welfare” more than governments. Particularly those that run health care systems.

      1. When they do it, it’s compassion.

    3. So… Santa Claus is really a cat burglar? That fits pretty well with looters being liberals and private industry causing government monopolies to become disasters.

  17. So would the KWA have been more expensive for water? Was the KWA a jobs program? Who made the call to get terminate with Detroit?

    1. It was jobs program. Flint wanted the “stimulus”

      1. You really can’t make this shit up can you?

        1. Ryan cooper at theweek on his personal webpage said he would work to be a fair and objective journalist. Before waiting for the facts came out, he blamed it on Gov Snyder and “austerity”.

          From reading his other stuff he has turned into a full blown prog hack. Sensational, full of fallacies to straight up dishonest. Does not have much substance.

          Anyone else know about him?

          1. I don’t know anything about him, but anyone who promises to be “fair and objective” is lying from the minute those words leave their mouth. Nobody is fair and impartial (no one of the mortal variety can be truly objective) in every case. What you should do when setting out your goals as a “journalist” is to talk about the beat you’re going to cover and what qualities you bring to the table that are related to it. The fairness and impartiality of your articles (as well as many other qualities) are to be assessed by the reader, not professed in advance.

            1. He has been covered on reason a few times…i think one was regarding the new deal program of burning crops and calling out rand paul. Came off as a smug douche. Paul waldman is just like him

      2. Flint wanted the “stimulus”

        Hey – if it worked for Harrisburg, why not?!

    2. Yes, Dalmia wrote a piece that showed how an EPA administrator (who had taken over DWSD and got rid of a lot of dead weight) offered Flint water at basically half the prior rate. The Gov had an engineering firm do a coat analysis, said firm figured Flint would save 800 million over 30 years staying with DWSD.

      But stimulus, 1000 construction jobs for 3 years and I’d guess 50 or so running the new waterworks were worth 28 million a year for Flint. So jerbz, no matter what they cost is what local pols went with.

      1. cost

      2. Except that DWSD would only guarantee that rate for 1 year. And they have been raising their rate every year for the last 20 years. Which is a large part of why Flint wanted to drop them to begin with.

  18. Up to I looked at the draft which was of $7319 , I be certain …that…my neighbour was like they say realie receiving money part time at there labtop. . there moms best frend started doing this less than and just paid the mortgage on their apartment and bought a gorgeous Lexus LS400 . site here……..

    Click This Link inYour Browser….

    ???? ? ? ? http://www.Wage90.com

  19. Jim Hightower: What Really Poisoned the Water in Flint, Michigan
    Flint reveals that there is a much deeper contamination poisoning our country’s political morals.

    The mantra of every Koch-headed, right-wing politico is that government should be run like a business, always focused on cutting costs.

    http://www.alternet.org/news-a…..t-michigan

    The evil KKKorporations headed by the evil KKKoch Bros are to blame !!!

    1. Well, the next time a proggie says,

      “Hey, we should implement policy X, and we’ll save money on the long run,”

      you’re supposed to respond,

      “WHY YOU WANT TO MAKE HIS ALL ABOUT GREED, YOU AUSTERITY NAZI?”

  20. Most water treatment is straightforward and “easy.” Corrosion control is not. You have a huge unknown with what is actually present in the distribution system as well as the customers’ plumbing. I have seen outstanding water treatment professionals end up with Lead and Copper Rule issues after they have made treatment changes. Any design that I work on involving modifying the treatment gives me concerns over creating corrosion problems. I use the RTW method to evaluate the chemistry.

  21. Somebody show Shikha a dictionary so she can distinguish between “liberal” and “looter”…
    Conservative prohibitionists lost the election and dry law in 1932, but that does not entitle them to foist nationalsocialist definitions of jewish and liberal onto American English. All we need is for young people with dictionaries to conclude that “libertarian” means some sort of prohibitionist mystical bigot.

  22. Up to I looked at the draft which was of $7319 , I be certain …that…my neighbour was like they say realie receiving money part time at there labtop. . there moms best frend started doing this less than and just paid the mortgage on their apartment and bought a gorgeous Lexus LS400 . site here……..

    Click This Link inYour Browser….

    ???? ? ? ? http://www.Wage90.com

  23. The comments section of the MIchelle Chen article are even scarier than the article. Man, people are dumb.

  24. just before I looked at the bank draft 4 $4970 , I accept …that…my father in law was like they say actualie making money in there spare time from their laptop. . there great aunt had bean doing this for less than thirteen months and at present paid the mortgage on there condo and purchased a brand new Volkswagen Golf GTI . check out here….

    Clik this link in Your Browser
    ????? http://www.Wage90.com

  25. cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing j0bs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $6694 a month. I’ve started this j0b and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too……

    http://www.alpha-careers.com

  26. Giving each Flint resident $10,000?or $40,000 to a family of four?will require about $4 billion

    Couldn’t they fix the water system for a lot less than that?

    1. I am surprised Michael Moore still shows his face in public. The very residents of his home town he is always bleeding his heart out for are literally poisoned as a result of the ideals he promotes.

      1. you are really a moron and know very little about much of anything.

      2. michael moore had about as much to do with the garbage traps that gm manufactured in the 80’s and 90’s as adam smith had to do with the bread lines in the former soviet union..honda and toyota merely just whooped their asses.

  27. til I looked at the draft which had said $8465 , I accept that my friends brother was like trully making money in their spare time on their apple labtop. . there aunt haz done this less than 1 year and recently cleard the loans on there house and bought a gorgeous Saab 99 Turbo . view ….

    Clik this link in Your Browser
    ????? http://www.Wage90.com

  28. til I looked at the draft which had said $8465 , I accept that my friends brother was like trully making money in their spare time on their apple labtop. . there aunt haz done this less than 1 year and recently cleard the loans on there house and bought a gorgeous Saab 99 Turbo . view ….

    Clik this link in Your Browser
    ????? http://www.Wage90.com

  29. my classmate’s mother-in-law makes $78 hourly on the computer . She has been out of work for 6 months but last month her check was $17581 just working on the computer for a few hours. view website…..
    ???????======= http://www.workbuzz60.com

  30. No, they just did not care and then only started to care when it went bad and then only acted to cover their asses.

  31. what about the cuyahoga river in 1972….hehe

  32. RE: What To Do About Flint?
    Sarcasm Switch On:
    The powers that be should put all libertarians there and make them drink the water. This way we won’t have to listen to their constant talking about freedom, the Bill of Rights, economic liberty, personal responsibility, etc.
    Power to the Socialist Slavers everywhere!
    Sarcasm Switch Off

  33. The technology is so developed that we can watch videos, live streaming, TV serials and any of our missed programs within our mobiles and PCs. Showbox
    All we need is a mobile or PC with a very good internet connection. There are many applications by which we can enjoy videos, our missed programs, live streaming etc.

  34. Main objective and aim of water treatment plants is to remove contamination and waste solids from water completely and to make it reusable.. for more information water treatment plant

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.