Wake up call

Flint, Michigan public water

 

When we turn on our faucets, we don’t stop to think that what’s coming out could harm us.  We expect our water supply to be fit for consumption.  That’s just 1st world living.

What’s happening in Flint, Michigan is a travesty and one that could have easily been avoided.  It started because of a desire to save a few dollars in a financially strapped city, and now the decision to swap water sources and not treat the water properly is going to cost multiples more than what was going to be saved.  That’s not even considering the costs to people suffering from lead poisoning and other medical issues.

Image from water testing done on the Flint River water and Detroit water. Click the photo for more info.

Government seriously failed Flint.  Not only did the government fail them, but the private sector did as well.  Flint’s issues started when manufacturers took jobs away from the area.  With fewer jobs available, the tax rolls suffer.  Many people are playing the blame game, but the blame game doesn’t solve the problem at hand.  There’s plenty of blame to pass around though.

The top of the pyramid is the governor of Michigan himself.  It was his decision to put a manager in charge of Flint, overriding the wishes of the local voters.  That financial manager made the decision to switch water systems to save a few dollars.  The people responsible for ensuring the safety of the water failed the residents of Flint by not adding the necessary precautions to the water to avoid corrosion to the pipes.  From what I’ve read, people noticed the difference almost immediately after the water source was switched in 2014, but this hasn’t become a major issue until late 2015 early 2016.  In that time, how many lives have been permanently changed by the consumption and use of that tainted water?

If you think this is an isolated issue, then think again.  I recall Atlanta having an issue with their water infrastructure because of old terra-cotta pipes still in use that were installed probably in the 18th century.  When the stimulus plan was passed in 2009, there was lots of talk about repairing infrastructure.  People focused on roads and bridges, but how many people mentioned the water and power grids?  These systems have been in place for decades and likely at least a century in some places without upgrading.

It’s not the fault of one person but every single office holder that has decided to gamble with our lives.  Nobody likes paying taxes.  I get that.  What happened in Flint is the result of trying to live in a Neiman Marcus country while paying Wal Mart prices to keep it up.  At the rate we’re going, there will be many more Flints happening before something is done.  I hope I’m wrong, but given the current desire to cut government spending, don’t look for some private company to take a major revenue loss to build newer and safer utility systems.

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8 thoughts on “Wake up call

  1. Thanks, Brosephus. We need to keep this subject front and center because, as it illustrates, governments aren’t going to do anything until enough of us scream about it!

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    • True. I wonder if any of the people responsible for making the decision to switch the water sources actually live in Flint and use that same water themselves.

      Lead poisoning is irreversible as far as I’ve read. Been a bit under the weather so it’s been me, the bed, my tablet, and my phone. Don’t know how I survived without this technology before 😆

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        • I completely forgot about that. Thanks for the reminder.

          I don’t know if they have a way to recall the governor, but there should be. I don’t like the idea that a single person can come in and usurp the local voters, even if it’s supposed to be for a good cause.

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    • True. The head of the EPA office in the Midwest has offered her resignation, but I don’t think it’s a fed issue.

      It wasn’t the feds that put an emergency manager in charge of Flint even though they had their own elected government. The feds didn’t decide to cut costs by switching water sources and then foregoing a $100 a day treatment that would have prevented this.

      Seeing thing like this drives home the notion that our biggest danger and threat to our lives is our fellow Americans more than some terrorists.

      Heads will likely roll but I doubt it’s the ones that caused this to happen.

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  2. “What happened in Flint is the result of trying to live in a Neiman Marcus country while paying Wal Mart prices to keep it up.”
    A lot of truth in one simple sentence.

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    • I’ll admit that I don’t like paying taxes. At the same time, I know that keeping a first world country running costs first world money.

      You can’t keep electing the same kind of people and expect different results. This is why I think the polls are the way they are for this presidential election.

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