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 How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People

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richard09

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PostSubject: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:00 pm

My mind is boggling again. This country has really gone to shit.

How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People
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_Howard
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:09 am

It really has. Imagine the uproar the US would make in the UN if another country did this (unless there was money in it for America Corp.)
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:33 pm

You go out there and turn it the fuck back on. (It's like a pipe bit you have to add back in here.)
And then you go around and do it for your neighbors.
Because fuck a government that can't provide poor people with water. Fuck them with an apple tree. And then fuck all the city admins who do have water.
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:51 pm

WELL NOW WAIT A MINUTE.  Before you go getting all populist, did you read the link?  Detroit is turning off the water on customers who are overdue on their water bills, two months or $150.  With the city in dire straits economically -- so bad they fired the mayor & city council and brought in an emergency city manager -- apparently many poor people (upwards of 39,000 households,  40% of their customers!) figured they no longer had to pay for utilities.  This is the very worst thing for the ailing city budget, to suddenly not have the cooperation of the governed.  It's a bit of a harsh treatment -- dunno if the scofflaws got letters of warning first, or offers of amnesty to pay overdue bills without penalty interest -- but I can understand a city manager, tasked with unfucking one of the most fucked-up cities in America, might go after utilities scofflaws in the hopes of stemming a bad trend.

It's not like they just decided to stop supplying water to anyone below a certain income.
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:00 pm

Suspect 
Yes, I read the link. Have you read more than the link? Because I'm still waiting for an answer to the increase in water amounts they claim people are using. There was one lady on one report whose bill was so high, and they didn't cover this in the report I saw the bill on the report- it was so high I question if she could have used that much water in a period even if she left every faucet running for all day every day.

If you can look me in the eye and tell me poor people not being able to afford water bills is what bankrupted Detroit and those people paying their bills will save it we need to talk.
Beyond that obvious argument I will add that we gain nothing by denying the masses access to clean water and sewage disposal.
Also- where do they think this money will come from? It will simply be shifted and more will be needed in food stamps or food pantry items, utilities assistance and charitable assistance. It's a shifting of funds from charities and other programs to the city so they can look good to the people they are trying to sell to who will privatize all of it and price these people out anyway. Why help that?
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:07 pm

No, the water bill shirkers didn't bankrupt Detroit, years of mismanagement did that.  But the water department's deficit of $5.7 billion (with a B) is fully one third of Detroit's deficit, so it's not insignificant either.
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:49 am

NoCoPilot wrote:
No, the water bill shirkers didn't bankrupt Detroit, years of mismanagement did that.  But the water department's deficit of $5.7 billion (with a B) is fully one third of Detroit's deficit, so it's not insignificant either.
I never claimed it was insignificant. What I claimed was:
1) It's not really helpful to a long term goal to make the poor masses go without water
2) It's shameful that we in a country that can take war across the world cannot provide our own with clean water
3) shutting off poor people's water won't save Detroit just like it didn't kill Detroit
4) I have serious questions about the accuracy of the numbers all around, including people's bills.
Those are my claims.

Even if every poor person paying their bill would save the city from bankruptcy would you get out there with a wrench and turn poor people's water off? Yes or no?
Because I wouldn't. I would not sacrifice the poor to save a city looted by politicians and the rich. I would instead seek federal help or declare bankruptcy but I wouldn't turn off clean water to poor families. I don't think most people would.
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:07 am

It's not that Detroit CANNOT supply clean water to its residents --

The issue is, Detroit is bankrupt so many people -- 40% of the residents, apparently -- have decided they no longer need to pay their utility bills.

How would YOU encourage residents to continue to pay their bills?
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:06 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
-- apparently many poor people (upwards of 39,000 households,  40% of their customers!) figured they no longer had to pay for utilities.

Exactly what in the article makes that assertion "apparent"?

Detroit has a high percentage of very poor people who have to choose which bills to pay each month. And the cost of water in Detroit is quite high - about three times what I pay, in a place where the cost of living is more than 65% above the national median.
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:13 pm

_Howard wrote:
Exactly what in the article makes that assertion "apparent"?
The article wrote:
Since this year's shut-offs started at the end of March, at least 15,000 Detroit households have had their water turned off. But the campaign, a tactic designed to pressure Detroiters into paying their water bills, began with little or no publicity last year, when 24,000 homes had their water shut off, says Darryl Latimer, the deputy director of the water department.
15,000 + 24,000 = 39,000
The article wrote:
In a city where the median household income is less than half the national average, 38 percent of residents live below the poverty line and 23 percent are unemployed, it comes as no surprise that at least 40 percent of customers are delinquent on their bills.
Let me know if you need any more remedial reading lessons. Smile
Another article wrote:
Anyone who owes $150, or is two months overdue, on their water bills, faces shut-offs by the private contractor, Homrich, a demolition company that is being paid up to $6m in public funds. The city says that about 80,000 residential customers are now past due on their bills, owing a total of $43m – more than $535 on average. Last month, the city council approved an 8.7% increase on water prices, which will push household bills to almost twice the US average.


Orr describes the shutoffs as “a necessary part of Detroit’s restructuring” as it works to reduce the $18bn in debts it listed when filing for America's biggest municipal bankruptcy a year ago. About $5.4bn of that total related to water and sewer bonds. Orr has said these creditors will be paid in full.

What it comes down to is this: is clean running water a right?  If so, why are we billed for it every month?


Last edited by NoCoPilot on Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:39 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:21 pm

Me work on reeding...


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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:38 pm

NoCoPilot wrote:
so many people -- 40% of the residents, apparently -- have decided they no longer need to pay their utility bills.
As a poor person who knows many poor people, many from Detroit because they come down here when they can't afford Michigan anymore, I disagree and am offended by this assertion no matter who makes it.

With very few exceptions actual poor people do not enjoy the stress of not paying their bills. It's not something you just do because you feel like it. More likely is that somebody wasn't getting paid and the water dept seemed nicer and therefore less a threat that than the gas people, maybe? I admit it is mindboggling that someone would come and cut off my water.


Yes, water is a human right and it's being paid for because that's what unregulated capitalists do. Nothing about the way we do this shit is anything close to what a community should be. I don't feel obligated to honor a system meant to crush me. If I get too short on money yeah, come cut me off, and I'll rehook. Just because its illegal doesn't make it wrong.

By the way, let it not get past you that when your water is turned off that's immediate grounds for removal of your kids. Thus guaranteeing that a lot of young poor black kids are about to have their first brushes with the system. A system that makes money off of making sure they end up as free jail labor.
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:47 pm

The Detroit News wrote:
Fully half of the water customers in Detroit don’t pay their bills. Advocates of free water for all blame the city’s 38 percent poverty rate for the high level of delinquency.

But nearly all of those with incomes below the poverty line receive public assistance. That’s money provided by their fellow citizens to help them pay for their basic needs — food, water, clothing, shelter.

And yet barely 50 percent of Detroiters pay their water bill. Meanwhile, up to two-thirds of city residents pay to keep their cable or satellite television service current. And 72 percent do the same to maintain their cellphones.

It’s not a stretch to guess the reason delinquency rates are lower for cable and cellphone service is that the cable and telephone companies cut off customers who don’t pay their bills. The Detroit water department hasn’t done that much, until now.

So instead of using what resources they have to cover their needs, many water customers instead have chosen to service their wants. That’s what happens when people are conditioned to think someone else is responsible for taking care of them.

Since the cut-offs began, more customers are paying up. The overwhelming majority of households hit with a shut-off are settling their debt to get the water flowing again, suggesting they could have been paying all along. The desperate cases are being offered a variety of assistance programs to make sure no one who truly can’t pay for water is shut off.

This is not a humanitarian crisis, as the Netroots entitlement nation proclaims. It’s a necessary forced reordering of priorities.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140717/OPINION01/307170005#ixzz38AKDXiBe
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:18 am

POS article written by a disgusting far-right asshole, Nolan Finley.



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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:27 am

But if his figures are accurate, it's a pretty damning portrait.
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:28 am

"But nearly all of those with incomes below the poverty line receive public assistance."

 Suspect 
Do I seriously have to explain why this fact doesn't change what I'm saying?

NoCo, I always get the feeling with you that while you want to be a good progressive you simply have never had to struggle hard and have no clue what the poor actually deal with. You aren't the only one, I get that impression from a lot of liberals. You have the instincts, you know something is off, but because you have never had to be in a position where you got public assistance and still couldn't pay a bill or been in a situation where yes, for various reasons of employment you had to chose a supposed "want" of a cell phone bill over paying something else that you just can't get your head around it all so when people say shit like that you and so many others believe them.

There is almost no help on utilities for poor people.
I understand the douchebag who wrote that shit might not want to hear that but I sort of expect better from people like you who seem to want to empathize with the actual struggle people deal with. If the government gives a person 50 bucks in food stamps then yes, that individual has received gov assistance but in no way does that assistance mean they can now pay their water bill.

Also I have yet to see any source really discuss the fact that the bills have skyrocketed when actual use has not: Those bills increased by nearly 120 percent in the past decade as unemployment soared. - See more at: http://wyofile.com/kerrydrake/everyone-outraged-detroits-water-crisis/#sthash.7HMXdejG.dpuf

Right now my water bill averages 100 a month. And I tend to shower at the gym. I have never in my life paid that for water but we are headed that same direction because the city is looking of ways to increase income and raising rates on people is a way to do that. Detroit priced its poor out of water and then wants to blame them for that.
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:30 am

And he provides no evidence that his figures are accurate or meaningful.
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:42 am

Well this paragraph from Jenni's article certainly shocks.
Quote :
The clearest explanation I have read about this gross economic inequality was in an article by John Nichols in The Nation magazine, who quoted environmental writer Martin Lukacs. “The official rationale for the water shut-downs — the Detroit Water Department’s need to recoup millions — collapses on inspection,” he noted. “Detroit’s high-end golf club, the Red Wings’ hockey arena, the Ford football stadium, and more than half of the city’s commercial and industrial users [also owe] a sum totaling $30 million. But no contractors [to shut off their water] have showed up on their doorstep.”
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:06 pm

All water should be controlled like it is in the little city in which I live.
The water belongs to the land owners. The water department is owned by the land owners and the only charges they are allowed are for the actual cost of delivering the water.

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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:17 pm

_Howard wrote:
All water should be ....
Well what "should be" and what "is" may not be related. The book I just finished, "The Crash of 2016," the author describes the arrangement in Alaska where the crude in the ground is assumed to be owned by the residents who live there, so every year the lease proceeds from oil&gas exploration are divided out among the residents. None of this "public assets" going to "private investors." Hartmann says that ALL natural resources -- water, wind, oil, timber -- should be held in a public trust for the public good.

That's unrealistic too.
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:23 pm

I finished the book a few days ago.

I agree with the concept of public resources belonging to the people.

It's only "unrealistic" under the economic system we have. That should be changed.

It works for water where I live and it works for oil in Alaska. It should be applied universally.
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:41 pm

Who's going to bell the cat?
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:50 pm

That's the question.
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:04 pm

To Jenni's contention.

No, I've never been "poor" to the point where I couldn't cover my bills. When I got kicked out of my parents house, at 18, with nothing but the clothes on my back it took me a good 4-5 years to be able to afford my first car, my first couch, a real bed. It was ten years before I had any money in the bank.

There were months in there where I had to choose between eating and paying bills -- although shacking up with my girlfriend sure helped!

But I was never delinquent on my bills. My folks instilled that in me, at least. I lived off credit more than a few months, and ended up paying about 3x the face value of an ill-advised loan I took out (learned my lesson on that!)

By my late twenties I was solvent and bought my first house at 30. Since then I have always strived to live within my means, with no debt besides the mortgage.
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PostSubject: Re: How Residents Cope When Detroit Shuts Off Water for 100,000 People   Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:27 am

NoCoPilot wrote:
Well this paragraph from Jenni's article certainly shocks.
Well, I'm glad you'll hear someone.

I get how they are spinning this and why the "average joe" might think what you did. But it's difficult for me to get my head around that you buy that crap.

NoCo wrote:
But I was never delinquent on my bills. My folks instilled that in me, at least.
Bingo! There's a lot of my issues with the average liberal.
1) It seems to me like a lot of people equate your character and worthiness and responsibility as a human being with whether or not they pay their bills on time. Your folks instilled that in you. Yeah, but it's not like other people don't have that same need to be "of good character". Poor people, people who are delinquent on bills- including me- I can't tell you the number of times I asked for an extension on my water bill- are not bad people whose parents/grandparents/guardians didn't raise them with character.

It's not a personal failing to not be able to be upwardly mobile.

2) I feel like people who think they struggled, think they get it, but they don't. Because they didn't actually have the same struggle that multi-generational poverty produces. It creates people who look at stuff like this and think "well, I struggled, I had to decide between this or that and I did ok, why can't they?" And the answer to that is most of the time the person who did ok didn't do it on their own. Poverty and the failures that come with it are like the Titanic. A lot of tumblers have to fall into place for that shit to be enough to weigh a person down. If anything gave the person would have a chance to advance but the system is not geared to give young people who are born into a lower status than you were a way out.

One of the things I learned getting a few dollars is how much is denied the poor. How many savings and how many opportunities they don't get simply because they don't have established credit or money to invest in something. Even the fact that when I pay my bills with a credit card and make a certain amount cash back is something that poor people don't get. Poor people credit cards don't have cash back even though those are the people who most need it. Poor people credit cards have high fees and no rewards.

It sucks you were kicked out. I can't say I would do that to my kid. In fact I haven't, Levi just turned 19. But at the same time you were at least raised with people who had some skills navigating the world. You have to remember a lot of people, especially people of color don't have that. Often poor people don't even know there is something available or a different choice, they don't approach the world in the same way with the same confidence.


As to Howard's point someone is going to have to bell the cat or we're gonna be in a pickle. A revolutionary pickle. And the pitch forks coming out won't be good for us anymore than it will be good for the ruling class.
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