Millions of Americans are facing unaffordable bills for running water and risk being disconnected or losing their homes
Water bills weigh heavily on many Americans as utilities have been hiking prices to pay for environmental clean-ups, infrastructure upgrades and climate emergency defences to deal with floods and droughts. Federal funding for America’s ageing water system has plummeted, and as a result a growing number of households are unable to afford to pay their bills.
Typical story: Albert Pickett inherited water debts from his mother after she died. Pickett applied to get on to a repayment plan, but the water department refused as he didn’t have the money, several hundred dollars, required as a deposit. Cleveland Water didn’t inform Pickett, who survives on disability benefits, about his right to appeal – instead, they turned off the taps in 2013. “Without water you can’t do anything. I lost my family, my wellbeing, my self-esteem. It was humiliating, like I was less than human,” he says. (The Guardian. July 7 2020)
My comment: All who subscribe to the thought and ethics of Epicurus will be shocked at this situation, brought to my attention by a British newspaper! The disgraceful treatment of poor Americans by the money-crazed local, reactionary local officials should be outed and shouted out above the rooftops. We need to get rid of all local officials who are tolerating the situation.
I take it there are still some decent, kind, thoughtful and considerate people out there, even if they don’t vote the same way as I do. Black lives do matter. So do those of poor whites. End profiteering!