Austerity programs do not work. From cutting budgets for social programs to ‘trickle down economics’ which offers the wealthy tax breaks while reducing funding for the most needy of Americans, have failed without exception.
The best, or actually worst example of this fact is Flint Michigan. Governor Rick Snyder re-routed Flint’s water supply from Detroit to the Flint River in an attempt to save money for the state. The result was a murderous increase in the level of lead in the city’s water supply.
In April of 2014 the decision was made with the approval of Governor Rick Snyder to switch the water supply of predominately black Flint, Michigan, to the Flint River.
The governor’s representatives stated that the diversion was temporary, and would result in no danger to Flint’s residence.
“Even with a proven track record of providing perfectly good water for Flint, there still remains lingering uncertainty about the quality of the water. In an effort to dispel myths and promote the truth about the Flint River and its viability as a residential water resource, there have been numerous studies and tests conducted on its water by several independent organizations. … Michael Prysby of the Michigan DEQ Office of Drinking Water verified that ‘the quality of the water being put out meets all of our drinking water standards and Flint water is safe to drink.’”
What these state officials failed to recognize was the condition of the city’s infrastructure. The city’s pipes were antiquated and lined with lead. As of this date, June 16, 2017, no solution has been established. Snyder has been busy diverting blame for his decision to other individuals.
The dangers of lead are well known, but an additional problem occurred after Flint’s water supply was diverted.
Legionella bacteria, the cause of “Legionnaire’s Disease” was discovered in the water. When ‘mist,’ created by a hot shower, a humidifier, or other device, is inhaled, it can result in a deadly infection.
This week deaths caused by Flint’s poisonous water have been addressed by the State Attorney General. Charged with voluntary manslaughter are Health and Human Services, Nick Lyon; Darnell Earley, the former Flint emergency manager; Howard Croft, former City of Flint Water Department manager; Liane Shekter-Smith, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Drinking Water chief; and Stephen Busch, water supervisor.
As it is in our failed justice system, no charges have been filed against Governor Rick Snyder who is ultimately responsible for the decisions in his state. The rich and powerful seldom receive punishment for their crimes.
Republicans have proven themselves incompetent when ‘governing’ is necessary. Whether it is state government or the failed leadership of lyin Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell in Washington, GOP politicians lack the knowledge, foresight, and desire to make good decisions. Under Trump’s regressive leadership, rash actions have become the norm, and a reason for constant failures.
Support the people of Flint; remove Republicans from office in 2018.
Please re-post; thank you.
Op-ed by James Turnage
Image courtesy of DonkeyHotey
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