Monday, November 27, 2006

Not looking good to me

Today I saw something that fills me with fear. It is not related to what has been going on in my life recently. Rather, it was an article in today's Globe, "Water is the new oil: CIBC". When the business section of the paper starts telling people to invest in privatized water schemes because they are bringing in lots more money and are in-line for unprecedented investment (which the public sector won't be able or willing to make), I worry. When they make the point of ensuring people know that the world isn't running out of water, just that a small minority of us have access to it, I worry. When they don't highlight the fact that the very privatization that they are encouraging is likely to worsen the inequalities of access, I worry. One point, that is bound to set others to worry, is the note that the cost of water in the "industrialized world" has been increasing to bring it more in line with the actual costs. This has the capability of lessening the access gap. Still, shouldn't safe access be a right? Is the "free market" in the business for providing for people's rights? I'll let you answer that question yourself.

2 comments:

william said...

The "free market" is just a mechanism of perpetuating and increasing the possession of property by a few at the expense of the many. The established entities are permitted, with their "freedom" to buy or bury the competition until there are only 3 providers of the good or service remaining, at which point the 3 act as an effective monopoly. This is Adam Smith giving you the invisible finger.

The alternatives appear to be either the estabilishment of an economic ecosystem of inter-related employee-owned co-ops, which prevent the migration of wealth to a few owners by distributing it among the employee-owners or to unplug from the estabishment entirely. The second option is unfortunately not sustainable environmentally; there are too many people. The mantra for the 21st century needs to be "enough is as good as a feast".

les said...

Are you feeling that the politicos do not have the will to stand up to business and protect our public water? Sigh, I thought that it was only me that felt that big business was turning everything into a commodity to be traded at the highest price. Where is our sense of community, where "enough is as good as a feast?" Dog eat dog..... Can we get along and share in this world or should I just go out and hug a tree and forget it??