Should water be treated as just another commodity?

Poll

Should naturally-occurring water supplies be treated like the air--as that to which all humans have an "equal right" of access?

Yes. Water, like the air, is a basic human right. Rent-seeking oligarchs should therefore not be allowed to price-gouge the rest of us for mere access to a natural resource!
No. There is no basic human "right" to water. Treating our water supplies as anything other than "private property" is collectivism, and thus anti-liberty!

Author Topic: Should water be treated as just another commodity?  (Read 15961 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Geolibertarian

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,042
  • 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB! www.911truth.org
Should water be treated as just another commodity?
« on: August 29, 2013, 10:51:26 AM »
Before answering the above poll question, please carefully examine the following...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teuaXrhkyUw (Blue Gold Documentary: Great Lakes — Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDMenqKCXdw (The Corporation [10/23] Boundary Issues)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNcDTIcDaVU (Deborah Kaufman and Alan Snitow discuss their book, Thirst: Fighting the Corporate THEFT of Our Water)


http://www.prisonplanet.com/nestle-wants-water-privatized-previously-drained-millions-of-gallons-of-water-from-arkansas-rivers.html

Nestle Wants Water Privatized, Previously Drained Millions of Gallons of Water from Arkansas Rivers

Elizabeth Renter
Natural Society
June 12, 2013

Companies should own every single bit of water on the planet, according to Nestle’s former CEO and now-Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe. His position, shared by many others in his ranks, is one of profits over people and corporate rights over human rights. They advocate a sort of survival-of-the-richest, where only those with money should have access to “privileges” like water.

Making rounds several years after its creation, a video depicting Brabeck-Letmathe suggests that while 1.5% of the world’s water is for human usage, the other 98.5% “is not a human right”. He states that it’s this majority of water that should be “valued” through privatization. In other words, because the water is being treated as a human right (when in his mind it isn’t), it is being taken for granted. In order to ensure it’s used in an efficient manner, he suggests private corporations have access to owning it.

As if this isn’t frightening enough, Brabeck-Letmathe equates his position to that of Monsanto (another vile corporation who puts profits above people).

Nestle’s position on owning water is not new. A few years ago they began buying up property and water rights in Colorado to turn the world’s greatest natural resource into a bottled commodity. The Arkansas River Basin in Chaffee County, Colorado was ground zero for millions in land acquisitions. Private landowners sold their plots for as much as $1.1 million for 1.4 acres, according to a news report from the Colorado Independent at the time.

Nestle paid Frank McMurry $860,000 for 111 acres in Big Horn Springs. Though Nestle didn’t end up using the property, this was only a fraction of their purchases. They bought 1.4 acres from Steve Hanswn for $1,120,000 in order to build a loading station for its trucks to load up with bottled water. Another deal proved lucrative for Harold and Mary Hagen, who sold their 11 acres (including a spring which Nestle is no doubt presently bottling) for $2,850,000.

You would think local towns that depend on these resources would stand up to the corporate giant. Well, some of them do. But most have a price.

Colorado Independent reports:

    “In Colorado, where water supplies fluctuate wildly with the seasons, water-use permits like the one Nestle secured force holders to include a plan on how they will replace the water they will extract. In this case, Nestle failed to convince the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District to lease the company water and so it turned to the city of Aurora, 100 miles away.

    Aurora took up the deal, agreeing to lease the company 65 million gallons of water per year for 10 years, with an optional 10-year renewal. The first year payment is $160,000. The price will rise 5 percent a year. Aurora can cut the deal off in any year that it needs the water for its own purposes.”

Brabeck-Letmathe and his cohorts at Nestle may deny their intentions to privatize water around the world, but their actions speak louder than words. Drinkable water is being bought and sold as if we don’t all depend on it, as if it belongs to corporations rather than to humanity. The bottling of water is the greatest “sale” to ever take place and many people have lined up (and continue to line up) to keep companies like Nestle in the money. In a world where even water can be a corporate commodity, one has to wonder if and when a line will be drawn. Perhaps it will take the privatization of air before the people wake up.


http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-privatisation-of-water-nestle-denies-that-water-is-a-fundamental-human-right/5332238

The Privatization of Water: Nestlé Denies that Water is a Fundamental Human Right

By Kevin Samson
Global Research, June 27, 2013
Activist Post



The current Chairman and former CEO of Nestlé, the largest producer of food products in the world, believes that the answer to global water issues is privatization. This statement is on record from the wonderful company that has peddled junk food in the Amazon, has invested money to thwart the labeling of GMO-filled products, has a disturbing health and ethics record for its infant formula, and has deployed a cyber army to monitor Internet criticism and shape discussions in social media.

This is apparently the company we should trust to manage our water, despite the record of large bottling companies like Nestlé having a track record of creating shortages:

    Large multinational beverage companies are usually given water-well privileges (and even tax breaks) over citizens because they create jobs, which is apparently more important to the local governments than water rights to other taxpaying citizens. These companies such as Coca Cola and Nestlé (which bottles suburban Michigan well-water and calls it Poland Spring) suck up millions of gallons of water, leaving the public to suffer with any shortages. (source)

But Chairman, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, believes that “access to water is not a public right.” Nor is it a human right. So if privatization is the answer, is this the company in which the public should place its trust?

Here is just one example, among many, of his company’s concern for the public thus far:

    In the small Pakistani community of Bhati Dilwan, a former village councilor says children are being sickened by filthy water. Who’s to blame? He says it’s bottled water-maker Nestlé, which dug a deep well that is depriving locals of potable water. “The water is not only very dirty, but the water level sank from 100 to 300 to 400 feet,” Dilwan says. (source)

Why? Because if the community had fresh water piped in, it would deprive Nestlé of its lucrative market in water bottled under the Pure Life brand.

[Continued...]


http://www.newsfocus.org/water_grab.htm

The Great Water Grab

Our Water Is Being Stolen From Us!
The Rich Are Buying Up The Rights For Our Water, To $ell It Back To Us

NewsFocus - 120410

Unbeknown to most Americans, their most precious natural resource, as in life-giving drinking water, is being stolen, literally right out from under them. If they ever want a drink, they'll have to buy it back, at a considerable price.

A recent episode of the hit TruTV investigative program, "Conspiracy Theory With Jesse Ventura," has literally tapped into a water scandal that most of the US public has no idea about. Multi-national corporations and unscrupulous wealthy individuals are buying up water rights for some of the largest aquifers in the US and the world. With water predicted to become a scarcity within 20 years, it would appear that some of the elite wealthy are trying to corner the market on the earth's most precious life-giving resource, water.

American oil-tycoon T. Boone Pickens was one of the first to rush to capitalize on the impending water shortage, investing a meager $100-million in a scheme that he readily admits will make him an easy billion dollars, if not far more.

In the Texas panhandle, Roberts County sits over the largest underground aquifer in the US, the Ogallala Aquifer, containing a quadrillion gallons of water. This vast underground reservoir reaches as far north as South Dakota. Roberts county is roughly 924 square miles, yet has only a meager 900 residents. Some people would say they were "ripe for the picking." Perhaps that statement should read, "ripe for Pickens."

Mr. Pickens has purchased 68,000 acres, as well as the right to drain up to 50% of the Ogallala aquifer to sell for his own personal profit. Needless to say, that isn't exactly going over too well for many Texas residents.

[Continued...]

-----------------------------

http://geolib.com/sullivan.dan/commonrights.html
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,042
  • 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB! www.911truth.org
http://www.citizen.org/documents/Top10-ReasonsToOpposeWaterPrivatization.pdf

Top 10 Reasons to Oppose Water Privatization

by Public Citizen

The World Bank has predicted that by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population will run short of fresh drinking water. Given such a grim outlook, it comes as little surprise that Fortune magazine recently defined water as “the oil of the 21st century.” Poised to capitalize on this crisis are private companies, many of which are multinationals whose tentacles are probing the planet for opportunities to turn the misery of water-starved regions into profits for their executives and stockholders.

Instead of protecting existing supplies, enhancing conservation efforts, helping vulnerable populations, curbing pollution and raising public awareness, more and more government officials throughout the world are turning to privatization — transferring the control of this precious resource from the public sector to the private sector.

It is no underestimation to say that the very survival of untold millions of people could rest on decisions being made today — largely behind closed doors — in corporate boardrooms and government offices throughout the world. With each drop of water that falls into the hands of private interests, any sustainable solution to the global water crisis moves further and further from the public’s grasp.

Privatization Leads to Rate Increases

Corporations have utilized rate hikes to maximize profits, which, by definition, is their bottom line. This bottom line often comes at the expense of water quality and customer service, but not at the expense of maintaining inflated executive salaries. Among the more unseemly aspects of handling water as a marketable commodity, rather than a basic human need and a natural resource, is that the poor are often denied access. Because living without water is not an option, people are often forced to consume unsafe water, lest be faced with going without food, medicine or education.

Privatization Undermines Water Quality

Because corporate agendas are driven by profits rather than the public good, privatization usually results in the compromising of environmental standards. The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC), which represents the U.S. private water industry, intensively and perennially lobbies Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency to refrain from adopting higher water quality standards. The NAWC also persistently requests that all federal regulations be based on sound cost-benefit analysis, which means that public health is compromised for the sake of higher profits.

Companies Are Accountable to Shareholders, Not Consumers

In many cases, deals that government agencies make with water companies include exclusive distribution rights for 25 to 30 years, effectively sanctioning a monopoly. Companies are under little pressure to respond to customer concerns, especially when the product in question is not a luxury item that families can do without if they are dissatisfied with the performance of the only provider.

Privatization Fosters Corruption

The very structures of privatization encourage corruption. Checks and balances that could prevent corruption, such as accountability and transparency, are missing at every step of the process, from bidding on a contract to delivering water. Contracts are usually worked out behind closed doors with the details often still kept secret after the contract is signed, even though it is the public that will be directly affected by the conditions of the contract. This situation opens itself up to bribery, which, if recent scandals throughout the world are any indication, is not an uncommon occurrence.

Privatization Reduces Local Control and Public Rights

When water services are privatized, very little can be done to ensure that the company — be it domestic, foreign or transnational — will work in the best interest of the community. Furthermore, if a community is dissatisfied with the performance of the company, buying back the water rights is a very difficult and costly proposition. Again, the prime directive of the water companies is to maximize profits, not protect consumers.

Private Financing Costs More than Public Financing

There is a false perception that when water services are privatized, the financial burden will shift from the public to the private sector, which will save taxpayer money by assuming the costs of repairing, upgrading and maintaining infrastructure. In reality, taxpayers simply wind up paying for these projects through their monthly bills. Tax-free public financing translates into lower-cost projects, while taxable private financing results in higher interest rates. As a result, consumers are also forced to make these higher payments on company loans.

Privatization Leads to Job Losses

Massive layoffs often follow in the wake of privatization, as companies try to minimize costs and increase profits. At times, service and water quality are put at risk due to understaffing. As a result, layoffs can be devastating not only to the workers and their families, but to consumers as well.

Privatization is Difficult to Reverse

Once a government agency hands over its water system to a private company, withdrawing from the agreement borders on the impossible. Proving breach of contract is a difficult and costly ordeal. And multinational trade agreements provide corporations with powerful legal recourse. A private company, for example, can use the North American Free Trade Agreement’s secretive tribunals to contest challenges to privatization. And in World Bank loan deals, which often makes water privatization a condition, companies are usually guaranteed cash payments if a government agency returns its water system to public control.

Privatization Can Leave the Poor with No Access to Clean Water

Contrary to public assertions, World Bank and International Monetary Fund privatization schemes in the developing world usually result in reduced access to water for the poor. “Structural adjustment” programs foisted upon governments seeking loans often include water privatization as a condition. Impoverished, politically enfeebled countries are hardly in a position to refuse these conditions, as doing so would cause them to default on their debts. As a result, the World Bank and IMF are able to provide lucrative and virtually risk-free contracts for multinationals, due to guaranteed rates of return and investment protection clauses.

Privatization Would Open the Door for Bulk Water Exports

Fully aware of bleak water supply prognostications, corporations are in a mad dash to obtain access to fresh water that they can sell at huge profits, as high as 35 percent. It goes without saying that those who control water supplies will exercise economic and political power at almost unimaginable degrees. Bulk water exports — transporting water from water-rich countries to water-poor countries — could have disastrous consequences. Massive extraction of water from its natural sources can result in ecological imbalance and destruction. Disrupting aquifers by overextraction often damages the environment and socioeconomic standards. Groundwater is being over-extracted as it is, and once aquifers are emptied or polluted, they are almost impossible to restore.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,042
  • 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB! www.911truth.org
http://www.foodispower.org/water-usage-privatization/

Water Usage & Privatization

by Food Empowerment Project



Water is not the rarest element on Earth, but it is our most precious natural resource because every terrestrial life form—plant, animal and human—depends on H2O for survival. Most people know that water covers about two-thirds of the entire planet’s surface, but fewer are aware that most of that is saltwater, and only about 2.5 percent is freshwater suitable for drinking and growing food. Furthermore, less than 1 percent of the world’s freshwater supply is available to humans and ecosystems because most of it remains frozen in the remote Arctic and Antarctic regions.[1]

Today, at least 1.1 billion people (about one-sixth of the entire human population) do not have adequate access to clean drinking water, and 2.6 billion people lack proper sanitation[2]—causing nearly 250 million cases of disease and 5 to 10 million deaths worldwide every year.[3] And even though water is a renewable resource that can be managed sustainably and equitably, the global water supply is in fact rapidly declining due to misuse, pollution and for-profit privatization gambits. Meanwhile, as the human population continues to grow, water consumption is doubling every 20 years,[4] and other factors (like global warming) will also have major impacts on future freshwater reserves.[5] With population experts projecting that two-thirds of the human race will live in water-stressed areas of the globe by 2025,[6] political analysts speculate that wars will be fought over dwindling water resources in the coming decades.[7]

Animal agriculture and water use

water_small1Agriculture uses far more freshwater worldwide—70 percent of the global total—than any other human activity.[8] Much of this water goes to crop irrigation, but a significant proportion (about 8 percent of the total) is used to raise animals for “meat,” dairy and eggs. Animal agriculture’s water consumption varies greatly by country, however: for instance, in the US, animal agriculture accounts for nearly half of all freshwater used every year, with a withdrawal rate of about 1.8 billion gallons per day.[9]

Irrigating crops fed to animals raised for food is by far the industry’s main use of water. According to a Cornell University study, 253 million tons of grain are fed to these animals in the US every year, requiring a total of 66 trillion gallons of water to produce.[10] Animal agriculture also uses water for:

- hydration (providing water for animals to drink);
- cleaning (hosing down animals and facilities, and flushing out waste);
- processing (slaughter, evisceration and de-boning);
- rendering (turning unused body parts into by-products); and
- leather tanning (soaking hides to remove salt and dirt).[11]

“Meat” production also requires differing amounts of water depending on the species of animal being “processed.” For instance, pig production consumes the most water of any livestock sector because many factory farms rely on “flushing systems”—basically, the pigs live on slatted floors through which their waste drops into water troughs underneath that are periodically drained, conveying manure to slurry lagoons.[12] On a per-“unit” basis, processing “poultry” (i.e., “meat” from chickens, turkeys and ducks) trends toward greater water use than pig or cow production. This is due to the use of water for additional processes, like stunning birds into paralysis using electrified water “baths” before cutting their throats, scalding still-living birds in boiling water prior to de-feathering, transporting unsalable body parts (like heads and feet) to rendering piles using chutes, and preserving carcasses by chilling them in tanks.[13] As one of the primary causes of water pollution in the world, industrialized animal agriculture also depletes the world’s freshwater supply by contaminating it with manure, fertilizer runoff and other toxic compounds. Although some of the freshwater used by the industry is reused or recycled, between 80 and 95 percent of it becomes wastewater. This residue typically contains blood, feces, hair, fat, feathers, and bones, and may also harbor pathogens (such as Salmonella) that can infect drinking water and make people sick.[14]

Water privatization: Corporate vs. civic control

Water is a right and can be conserved for the benefit of all, yet the animal agriculture industry uses and pollutes a disproportionate share of this essential resource even while millions of people die every year for lack of clean water. But as scarcity increases, water’s value as an economic commodity rises—and multinational conglomerates are only too eager to profit from this deteriorating situation by buying up water rights on every continent. Like the animal agriculture industry’s overuse of water, privatization is another major threat to the world’s freshwater supply.

About 90 percent of the world’s freshwater stocks currently remain under public control, but privatization is becoming more common as revenue-strapped governments increasingly cannot afford to maintain and repair crumbling municipal water purification and delivery systems often built decades ago.[15] Historically, however, in places where privatization has been established, it has proven to be another cause of—rather than a solution to—chronic water shortage problems. That is, because corporations are (by their nature) more concerned with making money than serving people’s and communities’ best interests, water privatization has led to corruption, lack of corporate accountability, loss of local agency, weakened water quality standards, and steep rate hikes that eliminate poor people’s access to water.

Example 1: Nestlé in the US

Nestlé, one of the largest food corporations in the world, is also in the water business, leasing or owning 50 spring sites throughout the US.[16] However, in many places where Nestlé operates, they have unlawfully extracted water from aquifers,[17] engaged in price-gouging tactics,[18] and polarized communities.[19] For example, in Colorado, over a period of a few years, Nestlé spent a large amount of money negotiating a water deal with the three-member Board of Chaffee County Commissioners and with the Aurora City Council, while buying land in the areas near where the Arkansas River runs. Close to 80 percent of the county’s 17,000 residents opposed the deal,[20] mainly because environmentalists (citing Nestlé’s detrimental impact in communities where they already operate) raised alarms about the potentially devastating consequences for Aurora City’s watershed and nearby wetlands.[21] After a 7 to 4 vote of approval by the Aurora City Council and a unanimous agreement by the Chaffee County Commissioners, over the next decade Nestlé will extract 650 million gallons of Arkansas Valley water so that every day they can load 25 trucks with 8,000 gallons of water, drive 120 miles to a bottling plant in Denver, and fill millions of plastic Arrowhead Springs water bottles to be sold in the western US.[22]In addition to being targeted by locals who want control of their water sources back, Nestlé is also at the epicenter of the growing bottled water controversy. The company dominates nearly a third of the lucrative US bottled water market[23] with seven domestically-produced subsidiary brands (including Arrowhead Springs, Calistoga and Poland Spring)—making Nestlé a key contributor to one of today’s most significant environmental threats. That is, US consumers purchase about 28 billion bottles of water every year, but recycle only about 23 percent of the plastic petroleum-based containers used for water or soda. The rest end up polluting roadsides, landfills and oceans, and leach toxins into ecosystems while taking about a millennium to degrade.[24]

Example 2: Vivendi and Suez in Mexico

Water privatization now has a firm foothold in Mexico, thanks to President Vincente Fox’s PROMAGUA initiative, which uses a $250 million World Bank grant to promote privatization of the country’s water resources. This program, now operational in 27 of Mexico’s 30 states, encourages cities with populations of 100,000 or more to sign their water concessions over to corporations for contracts lasting between five and fifty years. This has allowed Vivendi and Suez, two major players in the water game, to partner with smaller companies to turn one-fifth of Mexico’s municipal water systems into profit-making businesses. However, in the process of making massive amounts of money from Mexico’s formerly public utilities, these multinational corporations have drastically raised rates, cut service to customers who can’t pay their bills, weakened water quality, and skimped on making essential infrastructure improvements.[25] While these two companies are foreign-owned, they also have large operations in the US. Vivendi became North America’s largest water company in 1999 after purchasing US Filter (a leading manufacturer of commercial and residential water purification systems).[26] Suez, meanwhile, is the parent company of United Water, the second-largest private operator of municipal water systems in the US—where it has established a reputation for environmental destructiveness. For example, Suez has been responsible for sewage overflows in Milwaukee, Wisc.; contaminating drinking water in Gloucester, Mass.; and dozens of discharge limit violations in Gary, Ind.[27] So if Suez, Vivendi or another private corporation tries to take control of your community’s municipal water system, be sure to join or organize an effort to keep this resource in public hands.

Example 3: Bechtel in Bolivia

The persistent pattern of social, environmental and economic abuse committed by water privateers has sparked a global movement opposing corporate control of community resources that has won some decisive battles. Among the most famous of these victories was the Bolivian uprising against the Bechtel Corporation, the fifth largest privately-owned company in the US,[28] which had taken over the Cochabamba region’s water supply in 1999. The company raised rates by 300 percent,[29]cutting off service to people who could no longer afford water—and even prevented residents from collecting rainwater unless they obtained a legal permit. Bechtel’s oppressive policies prompted several months of massive riots, which dissuaded foreign investors from doing business in the country. Bechtel subsequently abandoned their Cochabamban operation in 2000, surrendering control of the water supply back to the people,[30] but the struggle against water privatization continues in Bolivia[31] and other South American nations.[32]

Example 4: Coca-Cola in India

Soon after a Coca-Cola Company plant was licensed to manufacture their beverages in the village of Plachimada, they started unlawfully pumping an additional 1.5 million liters of water a day from local reserves. This caused the water table to fall—leaving farmers without enough water to irrigate their crops, and draining the community’s drinking water supply. While Coca-Cola stole the people’s water, the company’s plant produced waste that contaminated agricultural fields, underground wells and free-flowing canals, forcing residents to walk for miles just to get clean drinking water. In response, Plachimadans started a movement to shut the bottling plant down that gained international attention. Their rallying cry: “When you drink Coke, you drink the blood of the people!” The protesters successfully drove Coca-Cola out in 2004, when the plant was officially closed, inspiring dozens of other campaigns throughout the country against soda production plants that exploit local water supplies.[33] Yet private corporations continue to take over India’s municipal water resources with similarly disastrous effects.[34]

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,042
  • 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB! www.911truth.org
To those who've been brainwashed into thinking that the only alternative to the outright "privatization" of natural resources is the outright "collectivization" of them -- i.e., that the only alternative to legally recognizing these resources as the "private property" of rent-seeking "investors" (the inevitable result of which is the ridiculously unjust price-gouging of everyone needing or wishing to use them) is to legally recognize them as "collective property" (thereby subjecting everyone to the arbitrary dictates of power-seeking government bureaucrats) -- please see the following:

http://geolib.com/sullivan.dan/commonrights.html

Common Rights vs. Collective Rights

by Dan Sullivan, founder, Geolibertarian Society, and past chair, Libertarian Party of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania


One of the great tragedies of socialism has been the confounding of common rights (natural rights common to each individual) with collective rights (those that have been delegated to the community or its government). Common rights are inalienable, individual rights -- the very opposite of collective rights. Classical liberalism was based on the idea of common rights.

Free Speech: A Surviving Common Right

Freedom of speech is perhaps the best contemporary example of a common right, because it is still recognized, even among socialists, as an individual right. In public places, each individual has a right to express himself, limited only by the equal rights of others. No person, no majority of people, and no agency of the community has a right to interfere with a person speaking within his rights.

It is when people shout down others, or monopolize a public forum to prevent others from speaking, that they go beyond the limits of their rights, for at this point, their speech denies others the similar right to speak, which right the others equally possess.

The legitimate role of government being to protect these rights, government acts rightfully when it insures that all may speak, but acts wrongfully when it decides, or lets the majority decide, who may speak or what may be said. In doing so, it subverts a common right into a collective right, effectively destroying the rights of those individuals who are excluded.

Common Property vs. Collective Property

A parallel confusion exists between common property and collective property, and the classical liberal concept of common property has been all but obliterated. An open park perhaps comes closest to the idea of common property, for anyone has an equal right of access to the park. However, restrictions on what one may do in a park, to the degree that they are arbitrary, render the park a collective property.

A government maintenance building, on the other hand, is truly a collective property. Nobody is granted a right to trespass except on government-sanctioned business. This is another distinction blurred by socialists, who refer to "common property," but who propose to put that property under the control of governments, collectives, and majorities.

Common Property and Common Law

Prior to the degeneration of common-law communities into feudalism, land other than royal estates (government property) was held, not collectively, but "in common." This meant that any person had a right to take up land and use it, and in so doing, hold it in his exclusive possession for as long as he continued using it. The limit to this right was that he could not hold land out of use, nor take up so much as to deprive others their own right to similarly take up land. "Lords" (literally "great people") were given responsibility to serve as land stewards, and to settle disputes over access to land. (The royal family name "Stuart" is an early spelling of "steward.")

Gradually, however, lords exercised more and more control over the common property, sometimes converting it into collective property, and sometimes allocating more land to themselves and their assigns, thereby converting it into private property. Much land that had not been claimed as property of the nobility was set aside "for the preservation of game" (a precursor of modern wilderness preserves). In both ways, they violated the common-law right of access to the earth.

The Lockean Proviso

John Locke's chapter "On Property," from his Second Treatise on Government, asserted that any person has a right to exclusive possession of land, "provided that there is enough, and as good, left to others." This is but another way of saying that the common right to hold land is limited only by the equal rights of others. As long as this proviso is met, the landholder has no reciprocal obligation to the community or its members, because his holding land has not prevented others from exercising their rights to do likewise.

Locke also noted that economies relying on private possession of land are vastly more productive than nomadic economies, and that it is in the public interest to grant possession within the limits of his proviso.

Locke further noted that his proviso referred to there being land as good as the unimproved value of the land already taken up:

    He that had as good left for his improvement, as was already taken up, needed not complain, ought not to meddle with what was already improved by another's labour: if he did, it is plain he desired the benefit of another's pains, which he had no right to, and not the ground which God had given him in common with others to labour on, and whereof there was as good left, as that already possessed, and more than he knew what to do with, or his industry could reach to. {Sec. 34}

Locke went on to state that, when populations were sparse and the economy was not fully monetized, there was no incentive for people to take up more land than they intended to use, and so there was little violation of the rights of others. However, with the growth of population, good land became scarce, and with the introduction of money, it became profitable for people to take up land they had no intention of using, so that others would pay them to let go of that land. It is at this point that Locke's proviso was violated, and systems of land tenure had to be established by social compact.

Locke did not state what the particulars of social compacts should be, but it would be logical for him to advocate a compact that would be harmonious with his proviso that land should be accessible to others, and with his other proviso, that land should not be appropriated to be held out of use.

Herbert Spencer's Error

In 1850, when Herbert Spencer was relatively young, he wrote Social Statics, a truly radical work that challenged the authority of the state generally, and land titles particularly. In doing so, however, he argued that a person did not have a right to use land except by permission of the community. This assertion substituted a notion of collective rights for that of common rights.

In response, Henry George wrote A Perplexed Philosopher -- a thorough critique of Social Statics and of Spencer's later renunciation of his libertarian assertions. In this critique, George made a clear distinction between common rights and collective rights.

    The fact is, that without noticing the change, Mr. Spencer has dropped the idea of equal rights to land, and taken up in its stead a different idea -- that of joint rights to land. That there is a difference may be seen at once. For joint rights may be and often are unequal rights.

    The matter is an important one, as it is the source of a great deal of popular confusion. Let me, therefore, explain it fully.

    When men have equal rights to a thing, as for instance, to the rooms and appurtenances of a club of which they are members, each has a right to use all or any part of the thing that no other one of them is using. It is only where there is use or some indication of use by one of the others that even politeness dictates such a phrase as "Allow me!" or "If you please!"

    But where men have joint rights to a thing, as for instance, to a sum of money held to their joint credit, then the consent of all the others is required for the use of the thing or of any part of it, by any one of them.

    Now, the rights of men to the use of land are not joint rights: they are equal rights.

    Were there only one man on earth, he would have a right to the use of the whole earth or any part of the earth.

    When there is more than one man on earth, the right to the use of land that any one of them would have, were he alone, is not abrogated: it is only limited. The right of each to the use of land is still a direct, original right, which he holds of himself, and not by the gift or consent of the others; but it has become limited by the similar rights of the others, and is therefore an equal right. His right to use the earth still continues; but it has become, by reason of this limitation, not an absolute right to use any part of the earth, but (1) an absolute right to use any part of the earth as to which his use does not conflict with the equal rights of others (i.e., which no one else wants to use at the same time), and (2) a coequal right to the use of any part of the earth which he and others may want to use at the same time.

    It is, thus, only where two or more men want to use the same land at the same time that equal rights to the use of land come in conflict, and the adjustment of society becomes necessary.

    If we keep this idea of equal rights in mind -- the idea, namely, that the rights are the first thing, and the equality merely their limitation -- we shall have no difficulty. It is through forgetting this that Mr. Spencer has been led into confusion.

    In Chapter IX., "The Right to the Use of the Earth," he correctly apprehends and states the right to the use of land as an equal right. He says:

    "Each of them is free to use the earth for the satisfaction of his wants,
    "Provided he allows all others the same liberty."

    Here, in the first clause, is the primary right; in the second clause, the proviso or limitation.

    But in the next chapter, "The Right of Property," he has, seemingly without noticing it himself, substituted for the idea of equal rights to land the idea of joint rights to land. He says (Section 1):

    "No amount of labor, bestowed by an individual upon a part of the earth's surface, can nullify the title of society to that part, . . . no one can, by the mere act of appropriating to himself any wild unclaimed animal or fruit, supersede the joint claims of other men to it. It may be quite true that the labor a man expends in catching or gathering, gives him a better right to the thing caught or gathered, than any one other man; but the question at issue is, whether by labor so expended, he has made his right to the thing caught or gathered, greater than the preexisting rights of all other men put together. And unless he can prove that he has done this, his title to possession cannot be admitted as a matter of right, but can be conceded only on the ground of convenience."

    Here the primary right -- the right by which "each of them is free to use the earth for the satisfaction of his wants" -- has been dropped out of sight, and the mere proviso has been swelled into the importance of the primary right, and has taken its place.

    What Mr. Spencer here asserts, without noticing his change of position, is not that the rights of men to the use of land are equal rights, but that they are joint rights. And, from this careless shifting of ground, he is led, not only into hypercritical questioning of Locke's derivation of the right of property, but into the assumption that a man can have no right to the wild berries he has gathered on an untrodden prairie, unless he can prove the consent of all other men to his taking them. This reductio ad absurdum is a deduction from the idea of joint rights to land, whereas the deduction from the equality of rights to land would be that under such circumstances a man would have a right to take all the berries he wanted, and that all other men together would have no right to forbid him. Indeed, so great is Mr. Spencer's confusion, and so utterly unable does he become to assume a clear and indisputable right of property, that, be has to cut the knot into which he has tangled the subject, and finds no escape but in the preposterous declaration that the dictates of ethics have no application to, and do not exist in, any social state except that of the highest civilization.

    Locke was not in error. The right of property in things produced by labor -- and this is the only true right of property -- springs directly from the right of the individual to himself, or as Locke expresses it, from his "property in his own person." It is as clear and has as fully the sanction of equity in any savage state as in the most elaborate civilization. Labor can, of course, produce nothing without land; but the right to the use of land is a primary individual right, not springing from society, or depending on the consent of society, either expressed or implied, but inhering in the individual, and resulting from his presence in the world. Men must have rights before they can have equal rights. Each man has a right to use the world because he is here and wants to use the world. The equality of this right is merely a limitation arising from the presence of others with like rights. Society, in other words, does not grant, and cannot equitably withhold from any individual, the right to the use of land. That right exists before society and independently of society, belonging at birth to each individual, and ceasing only with his death. Society itself has no original right to the use of land. What right it has with regard to the use of land is simply that which is derived from and is necessary to the determination of the rights of the individuals who compose it. That is to say, the function of society with regard to the use of land only begins where individual rights clash, and is to secure equality between these clashing rights of individuals. {Chapter 4, "Mr. Spencer's Confusion as to Rights."}

The Nature of Rent

Clearly, the statements above assert that society or government has no right to withhold land from individuals, nor to arbitrarily impose rent charges, but merely to resolve disputes between individuals to protect each one's right of access to the earth.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,042
  • 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB! www.911truth.org
http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/10/08/the-race-to-buy-up-the-world-s-water.html

The New Oil

Should private companies control our most precious natural resource?

The Daily Beast
Oct 8, 2010

Sitka, Alaska, is home to one of the world’s most spectacular lakes. Nestled into a U-shaped valley of dense forests and majestic peaks, and fed by snowpack and glaciers, the reservoir, named Blue Lake for its deep blue hues, holds trillions of gallons of water so pure it requires no treatment. The city’s tiny population—fewer than 10,000 people spread across 5,000 square miles—makes this an embarrassment of riches. Every year, as countries around the world struggle to meet the water needs of their citizens, 6.2 billion gallons of Sitka’s reserves go unused. That could soon change. In a few months, if all goes according to plan, 80 million gallons of Blue Lake water will be siphoned into the kind of tankers normally reserved for oil—and shipped to a bulk bottling facility near Mumbai. From there it will be dispersed among several drought-plagued cities throughout the Middle East. The project is the brainchild of two American companies. One, True Alaska Bottling, has purchased the rights to transfer 3 billion gallons of water a year from Sitka’s bountiful reserves. The other, S2C Global, is building the water-processing facility in India. If the companies succeed, they will have brought what Sitka hopes will be a $90 million industry to their city, not to mention a solution to one of the world’s most pressing climate conundrums. They will also have turned life’s most essential molecule into a global commodity.

The transfer of water is nothing new. New York City is supplied by a web of tunnels and pipes that stretch 125 miles north into the Catskills Mountains; Southern California gets its water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Colorado River Basin, which are hundreds of miles to the north and west, respectively. The distance between Alaska and India is much farther, to be sure. But it’s not the distance that worries critics. It’s the transfer of so much water from public hands to private ones. “Water has been a public resource under public domain for more than 2,000 years,” says James Olson, an attorney who specializes in water rights. “Ceding it to private entities feels both morally wrong and dangerous.”

Everyone agrees that we are in the midst of a global freshwater crisis. Around the world, rivers, lakes, and aquifers are dwindling faster than Mother Nature can possibly replenish them; industrial and household chemicals are rapidly polluting what’s left. Meanwhile, global population is ticking skyward. Goldman Sachs estimates that global water consumption is doubling every 20 years, and the United Nations expects demand to outstrip supply by more than 30 percent come 2040.

Proponents of privatization say markets are the best way to solve that problem: only the invisible hand can bring supply and demand into harmony, and only market pricing will drive water use down enough to make a dent in water scarcity. But the benefits of the market come at a price. By definition, a commodity is sold to the highest bidder, not the customer with the most compelling moral claim. As the crisis worsens, companies like True Alaska that own the rights to vast stores of water (and have the capacity to move it in bulk) won’t necessarily weigh the needs of wealthy water-guzzling companies like Coca-Cola or Nestlé against those of water-starved communities in Phoenix or Ghana; privately owned water utilities will charge what the market can bear, and spend as little as they can get away with on maintenance and environmental protection. Other commodities are subject to the same laws, of course. But with energy, or food, customers have options: they can switch from oil to natural gas, or eat more chicken and less beef. There is no substitute for water, not even Coca-Cola. And, of course, those other things don’t just fall from the sky on whoever happens to be lucky enough to be living below. “Markets don’t care about the environment,” says Olson. “And they don’t care about human rights. They care about profit.”

In the developed world—America especially—it’s easy to take water for granted. Turn on any tap, and it comes rushing out, clean and plentiful, even in the arid Southwest, where the Colorado River Basin is struggling through its 11th year of drought; in most cities a month’s supply still costs less than premium cable or a generous cell-phone plan. Many of us have no idea where our water comes from, let alone who owns it. In fact, most of us would probably agree that water is too precious for anybody to own. But the rights to divert water—from a river or lake or underground aquifer—are indeed sellable commodities; so too are the plants and pipes that process that water and deliver it to our taps. And as demand outstrips supply, those commodities are set to appreciate precipitously. According to a 2009 report by the World Bank, private investment in the water industry is set to double in the next five years; the water-supply market alone will increase by 20 percent.

Unlike the villain in James Bond’s Quantum of Solace who hatched a secret plot to monopolize Bolivia’s fresh-water supply, the real water barons cannot be reduced to a simple archetype. They include a diverse array of buyers and sellers—from multinational water giants like Suez and Veolia that together deliver water to some 260 million taps around the world, to wildcatter oil converts like T. Boone Pickens who wants to sell the water under his Texas Panhandle ranch to thirsty cities like Dallas. “The water market has become much more sophisticated in the last two decades,” says Clay Landry, director of WestWater Research, a consulting firm that specializes in water rights. “It’s gone from parochial transactions—back-of-the-truck, handshake--type deals—to a serious market with increasingly serious players.”

Eventually, Olson worries, every last drop will be privately controlled. And when that happens, the world will find itself divided along a new set of boundaries: water haves on one side, water have-nots on the other. The winners (Canada, Alaska, Russia) and losers (India, Syria, Jordan) will be different from those of the oil conflicts of the 20th century, but the bottom line will be much the same: countries that have the means to exploit large reserves will prosper. The rest will be left to fight over ever-shrinking reserves. Some will go to war.

Until recently, water privatization was an almost exclusively Third World issue. In the late 1990s the World Bank infamously required scores of impoverished countries—most notably Bolivia—to privatize their water supplies as a condition of desperately needed economic assistance. The hope was that markets would eliminate corruption and big multinationals would invest the resources needed to bring more water to more people. By 2000, Bolivian citizens had taken to the streets in a string of violent protests. Bechtel—the multinational corporation that had leased their pipes and plants—had more than doubled water rates, leaving tens of thousands of Bolivians who couldn’t pay without any water whatsoever. The company said price hikes were needed to repair and expand the dilapidated infrastructure. Critics insisted they served only to maintain unrealistic profit margins. Either way, the rioters sent the companies packing; by 2001, the public utility had resumed control.

These days, global water barons have set their sights on a more appealing target: countries with dwindling water supplies and aging infrastructure, but better economies than Bolivia’s. “These are the countries that can afford to pay,” says Olson. “They’ve got huge infrastructure needs, shrinking water reserves, and money.”

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,042
  • 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB! www.911truth.org
http://www.stopcorporateabuse.org/about-campaign

Everyone Has the Right to Water


Young girls collect water on the outskirts of Blantyre,
Malawi


On the edge of Blantyre, one of Malawi’s largest cities, 56-year old Felista rises at dawn every day and makes the long trek to collect water from a crowded, contaminated well. In the city, affluent residents pay for clean, safe water at the tap, delivered by the private corporation that owns the system. But Felista simply can’t afford to buy for the water her household needs.

Felista is just one of millions of people around the world whose human right to clean, safe water is threatened by global water corporations.

Water Profiteers Exploit Crisis

Today, we are facing a global water crisis.

- One in nine people lack of access to clean, safe drinking water.
- More people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war.
- Water systems around the world – including in the U.S. – critically need investment.

Water corporations and their financial backers are exploiting the crisis to transfer public water into private hands. The result: corporate-driven projects that prioritize profit, not people’s needs for access.

We must ensure the investments needed to guarantee universal access are put into public water systems – rather than into the coffers of global corporations like Coke, Pepsi, Nestlé, Suez and Veolia.

Democratically controlled public-water systems work. They have long been the backbone of public health, economic development and environmental sustainability in communities around the world.

But the bottled-water industry and its collaborators has aggressively promoted the false claims that the only place to get water is from a bottle and corporations do a better job of providing clean water than governments. Meanwhile the World Bank dogmatically finances private water projects that  consistently fail to improve access and bolster development. And, it continues to promote private profit over the human right to water.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,042
  • 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB! www.911truth.org
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,042
  • 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB! www.911truth.org
http://freakoutnation.com/2013/08/26/rand-paul-water-is-not-a-right-giving-water-to-others-is-servitude/

Rand Paul: Water is not a right, giving water to others is servitude

By Anomaly
FreakOutNation
August 26, 2013



Rand Paul has made some mind boggling statements and this one is no different. The Kentucky Republican gave a speech which was followed by a Q&A with medical students at the University of Louisville.

Paul was asked whether health care is a commodity or not.

National Review reports, “There’s a philosophic debate which often gets me in trouble, you know, on whether health care’s a right or not,” Paul, in a red tie, white button-down shirt, and khakis, tells the students from the stage. “I think we as physicians have an obligation. As Christians, we have an obligation. . . . I really believe that, and it’s a deep-held belief,” he says of helping others.”

First off, not everyone is a Christian. This is not a Christian nation, but one with various held beliefs.

Paul then asked rhetorically, if students have a right to food and water. “As humans, yeah, we do have an obligation to give people water, to give people food, to give people health care,” Paul muses. “But it’s not a right because once you conscript people and say, ‘Oh, it’s a right,’ then really you’re in charge, it’s servitude, you’re in charge of me and I’m supposed to do whatever you tell me to do. . . . It really shouldn’t be seen that way.”

That sounds familiar.

“Access to water is not your right. Believing you have a right to water – is an extreme belief. Water is a raw material and a 'foodstuff' that should be privatized and commercialized.”

That quote is from the Nestles corporation.

I’ll take his GOP Jesus and raise him my long-haired Liberal Jesus: When Jesus walked the Earth, did He pay for water? Would He charge the poor for water? Did He say, “LOL! I can’t heal you bitch, that’s Socialism!”

WWJD, Rand Paul? It’s a fair question to a man that thinks this is a Christian nation.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,042
  • 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB! www.911truth.org
http://freakoutnation.com/2013/08/26/rand-paul-water-is-not-a-right-giving-water-to-others-is-servitude/

Rand Paul: Water is not a right, giving water to others is servitude

By Anomaly
FreakOutNation
August 26, 2013

In the comments section of the above article, long-time geolibertarian activist, Dan Sullivan, wrote:

    Nobody has to "give" people water or land. It's not like someone is forced to make land, or creeks, or rivers or oceans for someone else's benefit. The water and land are here for everyone, and we just need people to stop hogging it for themselves

    Water has to be purified, but only because somebody contaminated it. Those who take away access to clean water are not put "in servitude" if they have to provide clean water to those they have deprived.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,042
  • 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB! www.911truth.org
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline iamc2

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,812

I concur that WATER belongs to Everyone: But to The NWO Nazis' it is 'LIQUID GOLD'
"When the Truth was murdered:
Common Sense ran away..."

Offline Geolibertarian

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,042
  • 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB! www.911truth.org
Thirst: Fighting the Corporate THEFT of Our Water
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2013, 09:11:36 AM »
The following excerpt is from Chapter 1 of Thirst: Fighting the Corporate Theft of Our Water, by Alan Snitow & Deborah Kaufman:

--------------------------------

More than food, guns, or energy, the control of water has defined the structure of civilizations. Ruling classes have always been water rulers, and cities and farms can exist only to the extent that the control their water resources. For thousands of years, the conflicts between towns and countries have been defined by the battle over who gets to use the stream. The words rival and river have the same root.

Water is not merely a medium of conflict, it is also a purifying, regenerative, and hallowed element. The essential nature of water is sanctified in Christian baptism, the Jewish mikvah, and Hindu submersion in the holy waters of the Ganges River. Muslims and Hopis have their sacred water rituals, as does virtually every other spiritual group.

Water itself isn't just a substance, it's a flow--the hydrologic cycle--from cloud to rain to river to sea and back to cloud. Until recently, this marvelous circulation has blinded us to the very limits of water. Whether we believe in a Creator or not, no one is making more water. We have only the amount that we've always had. We drink the tears of Leonardo da Vinci and wash in the saliva of dinosaurs. Fresh water is a finite resource that is quickly dwindling compared with the world's growing human population and the rate at which we are polluting the water we have.

Although the majority of the earth is covered by water, most of it is in the oceans--salty, undrinkable, and unusable for growing food. Much of the remainder is in polar ice caps and glaciers, leaving less than 1 percent for human use in rivers, lakes, streams, and aquifers. The plenty we imagine as we look at satellite photos of a blue planet dwindles quickly to those thin blue capillaries on the map.

Scarcity is the soul of profit--if profit can be said to have a soul. The water crisis is already here, and that means clean, fresh water can command ever higher prices. Eager investors are bidding up water-industry stocks and lining up at industry-sponsored forums to get into the "water business." But because governments own most water services, investors have few choices. 'How do we take some of the market share away from the government?' asked the vice chair of Southwest Water at an investors' conference. The water industry's answer is to ally with the financial industry, which also wants to open up the market. "It sounds like an exciting opportunity," an investment adviser told Bloomberg News, "but you have to have viable vehicles with which people can buy into the asset."

Corporations hope to fill that void primarily by privatizing urban water systems, either by outright purchase or by operating them under long-term contracts euphemistically called "public-private partnerships." The aim in both cases is to siphon profits from the flow.

Water is fast becoming a commodity to be bought and sold, rather than the medium through which a community maintains its identity and asserts its values. But for most people in the United States water is still just water--not the stuff of profit or politics. We don't give it a second thought until the tap runs dry or brown or we flush and it doesn't go away.

Public Water in the United States

In the past, most conflicts over control of water have been local, typically confined to a single watershed, the area drained by a stream or river. It's difficult to see great national political trends or global corporate strategies at work when local politicians, technical consultants, and engineers personify the arcane power relations of our plumbing. Although hidden out of sight and scent, even sewers have a history. In the United States in the nineteenth century, water ownership and management were largely in private hands. River or well water was tapped for local needs by individuals and, as the country grew, by small private companies.

Historian Norris Hundley, author of The Great Thirst, has written about a chaotic period in the late nineteenth century when "entrepreneurs promised clean, bountiful, reasonably priced water supplies" in return for a chance to make a profit. "These dream deals soon became nightmares of diversion facilities ripped out by floods, wooden pipes leaking more water than they carried, mud holes pitting the streets, pollution exceeding anything witnessed in the past, and an escalating fire threat." Across the country the pattern was repeated: private water management often meant leaky pipes, pollution, and disease.

In New York City, Aaron Burr's early-nineteenth-century Manhattan Company (later to become Chase Manhattan Bank) was one of the most corrupt, incompetent, and disastrous experiments in water privatization on record. As the city grew, access to clean drinking water was uncertain at best. People drank beer rater than risk disease and death from fetid waters. Some customers received no water at all, and many fire hydrants failed to work. It took the devastating cholera epidemic in 1832 and the Great Fire of 1835--so huge it was seen as far away as Philadelphia--to push the devastated commercial center of the United States into taking its water future into its own hands.

The story was similar in cities across the United States and Canada. As populations grew, private water companies did not have the resources to meet the need. Citizens demanded and eventually won modern public water systems, financed through bonds, operating by reliable engineers and experts, and accountable to local governments. The nation built a dazzling system of community waterworks, which provided clean, reasonably priced water and sewer systems that still rank among the best in the world. Approximately 85 percent of Americans are presently served by the thousands of publicly owned and locally operated water systems. For several generations, water has been a public trust.

But the country's once dependable public water systems now face a worsening crisis. In a survey of water professionals released in 2006 by the American Water Works Association, many utility managers chose the adjective failing to describe their water infrastructure rather than choosing the word aging as they had in previous years.

The growing crisis arises not just from scarcity but also from the failure of politicians at all levels of government to invest in water and sewage works. Federal cutbacks, in particular, have devastated city budgets, forcing elected officials to choose which programs to cut. Water services have been high on their lists. Wenonah Hauter of the national consumer-rights organization Food & Water Watch warned of this danger in a 2005 letter to the U.S. Conference of Mayors: "The more financially troubled a city's water system, the more receptive leaders will be to ceding control over that system to a private operator in a long-term monopoly contract or through an outright sale." A 2005 survey indicated that the mayors of two hundred cities, large and small, would "consider" a privatization contract "if they could save money." In addition, local politicians have often raided profitable public water systems to pay for other programs, stripping local water departments of resources needed for maintenance or new equipment. And many rural water companies, public and private, are too small to afford the large investments necessary to upgrade their systems to meet environmental regulations.

In spite of these problems, public utilities in the United States are considered a model in many parts of the world. Public operation ensures transparency and documentation It provides the opportunity for communities to work for positive outcomes through public hearings, citizen action, and elections.

Nevertheless there's lots of work to do. Industry and government studies calculate that water utilities need to invest enormous sums over the coming years to fix the aging network of pipes under every street and the outdated plants that clean drinking water or treat sewage. A report issued by the Congressional Budget Office estimates the cost of $500 to $800 billion through the early 2020s. Much of that investment is necessary to meet new federal clean-water mandates handed down without the funding needed to fulfill them.

In the past, working such challenges was a sign of national pride and purpose, but those days now seem like distant history. U.S. government spending for water infrastructure is being reduced, even slashed, year after year. "In recent years, what we have seen is a kind of theft of the commons," says Maude Barlow, chair of the Council of Canadians, an independent, nonpartisan citizens' group. "The notion [is] that absolutely everything should be commodified and put on the open market, and it is happening very, very fast. Basically, we see this as an issue of human rights versus corporate rights."

The conservative agenda of small government, deregulation, and privatization has given big business an opening to create a private water market to replace a public service. Repeating promises made by nineteenth-century entrepreneurs, the private water lobby praises the efficiency of corporate enterprise and demands that water become like other industries that run for profit. The potential market is huge and extends beyond municipal drinking water and sewage ssytems to include the bulk transport of water, bottled water, and new technologies like desalination.

The Players

If you've seen Roman Polanski's Chinatown, the classic film about obsession and corruption in a mythical, drought-stricken Los Angeles, or if you've read Marc Reisner's brillian Cadillac Desert, a study of the savage billion-dollar battles over western water rights, you know there have always been ruthless and colorful players in the water business. However, today's corporate water executives are hardly the Horatio Algers, risk-taking moguls, and colorful scoundrels of the past. There's an entitled seediness rather than unbriddled optimism to their efforts. Their wealth typically comes from buying and selling businesses rather than building them....

Old notions of public service seem to evaporate when water becomes a business and profit becomes the motive. Seeking to consolidate market share, private water companies are merging or buying other companies, creating a volatile and unpredictable market--hardly the knid of stability required for a life-and-death resource like water. The turmoil continues as control of this most basic resource has become as volatile as ownership in a game of Monopoly.

Three corporate players have controlled the water game--Suez and Veolia, based in France, and the German utility corporation RWE, which in 2006 announced plans to sell its major water assets. Few Americans have heard of them, but the Big Three have dominated the global water business and are among the world's largest corporations. Together they control subsidiaries in more than one hundred countries. When the Center for Public Integrity issued a report on these powerful companies in 2003, their rapid growth had already triggered "concerns that a handful of private companies could soon control a large chunk of the world's most vital resource." The title of the report was The Water Barons.

Each of the Big Three bought subsidiaries in the United States after a 1997 Bill Clinton administration decision to change an Internal Revenue Service regulation that limited the potential market. Previously, municipal utility contracts with private companies were limited to five years. Now, such public-private partnerships could extend for twenty years. The rule change unleashed a wave of industry euphoria with predictions that private companies would soon be running much of what is now a public service.



--------------------------------
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline chris jones

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 21,273
Geo. A friend of mine, James Sturdivant (RIP) was a geoligy professor, back in 1993 he began pounding his students about water deposits.
  I asked him a dumb question as to why he was relentless on this subject.
  He said " Why, come on CJ,, they ( meaning the big dogs) want it all"  CONTROLL.
  He was pizzed I didn't grab the elites intent immediatly.

Offline Geolibertarian

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,042
  • 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB! www.911truth.org
Obama Allows Great Lakes Water To Be Sold To China As We Face Water Crisis
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2013, 07:06:57 AM »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/obama-allows-great-lakes-water-to-be-sold-to-china-as-half-the-u-s-faces-extreme-water-crisis.html

Obama Allows Great Lakes Water To Be Sold To China As Half The U.S. Faces Extreme Water Crisis

Michael Snyder
American Dream
December 17, 2013

What in the world is Barack Obama thinking?  At a time when the United States is facing the greatest water crisis that it has ever known, Obama is allowing water from the Great Lakes to be drained, bottled and shipped to China and other countries around the globe.  Right now, the Great Lakes hold approximately 21 percent of the total supply of fresh water in the entire world.  Considering the fact that global water supplies are becoming extremely tight, that is an invaluable resource.  One recent UN report projected that two-thirds of the people in the world will be dealing with “water stress” and 1.8 billion people will be facing “absolute water scarcity” by the year 2025.  So why are we allowing foreign corporations such as Nestle to make millions upon millions of dollars pumping water out of the Great Lakes and selling it overseas?  Considering the massive worldwide water crisis that we know is coming in the years ahead, shouldn’t we be doing everything that we can to protect this precious natural resource?

Most Americans don’t realize this, but earlier this year water levels in Lake Huron and Lake Michigan were at their lowest levels ever recorded.  The following is from a recent article by Suzanne Eovaldi

    “Two of the Great Lakes have hit their lowest water levels EVER RECORDED,” the US Army Corps of Engineers reported early this year. Corps measurements taken in January of 2013 “show Lake Huron and Lake Michigan have reached their lowest ebb since record keeping began in 1918.”  The chief watershed hydrology expert warns Americans that “We’re in an extreme situation.”

So what is causing all of this?  Well, of course most of the water that leaves the Great Lakes is lost by evaporation.  But the fact that water is being steadily pumped out of the Great Lakes and sold overseas is certainly not helping matters

    “Plunging water levels are beyond anyone’s control,” says another expert, James Weakley. But in one of our most popular posts, last year we warned, “Lake Michigan water is being shipped by boat loads over to China! By using a little known loophole in the 2006 Great Lakes Compact, Obama minions are allowing Nestle Company to export precious fresh water out of Lake Michigan to the tune of an estimated $500,000 to $1.8 million per day profit.”

For even more on this, please check out the episode of “Conspiracy Theory” with Jesse Ventura that I have posted below…

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,042
  • 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB! www.911truth.org
Re: Obama Allows Great Lakes Water To Be Sold To China As We Face Water Crisis
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2013, 07:34:52 AM »
"But that's not true privatization!" I can hear Austrians exclaim.

Ok, fine, so what would be "true" privatization of a free gift of nature, then?

Ted Turner selling the Great Lakes to Bill Gates?

If not, then what?

Explanations, please, not platitudes.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline JohnBFTOR

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,330
  • The Banksters Of Trilateral
NESTLE Claims Water ISN’T A PUBLIC ‘RIGHT’, And the World Bank Agrees [VIDEO]
http://investmentwatchblog.com/nestle-claims-water-isnt-a-public-right-and-the-world-bank-agrees-its-the-great-takeover-of-water/
--------------------------------------------------

RELATED: Feds may decide to deny water to pot growers.

Will Corporate controlled water controllers deny water to organic farms be far behind?
http://dswoodopines.blogspot.com/2014/04/feds-may-decide-to-deny-water-to-pot.html
Some say that I've been Delphied I'm not sure what it means.  They say that I'm a victim of some much bigger scheme. Do you believe it?
http://www.iror.org/delphied.asp

Have you been Delphied?

Mass Hopenosis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y32uFsgFmeQ

Offline Geolibertarian

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,042
  • 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB! www.911truth.org
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-new-water-barons-wall-street-mega-banks-are-buying-up-the-worlds-water/5383274

The New “Water Barons”: Wall Street Mega-Banks are Buying up the World’s Water

By Jo-Shing Yang
Global Research, May 22, 2014
Market Oracle 21 December 2012



This article was first published on December 21, 2012

A disturbing trend in the water sector is accelerating worldwide. The new “water barons” — the Wall Street banks and elitist multibillionaires — are buying up water all over the world at unprecedented pace.

Familiar mega-banks and investing powerhouses such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Macquarie Bank, Barclays Bank, the Blackstone Group, Allianz, and HSBC Bank, among others, are consolidating their control over water. Wealthy tycoons such as T. Boone Pickens, former President George H.W. Bush and his family, Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing, Philippines’ Manuel V. Pangilinan and other Filipino billionaires, and others are also buying thousands of acres of land with aquifers, lakes, water rights, water utilities, and shares in water engineering and technology companies all over the world.

The second disturbing trend is that while the new water barons are buying up water all over the world, governments are moving fast to limit citizens’ ability to become water self-sufficient (as evidenced by the well-publicized Gary Harrington’s case in Oregon, in which the state criminalized the collection of rainwater in three ponds located on his private land, by convicting him on nine counts and sentencing him for 30 days in jail). Let’s put this criminalization in perspective:

Billionaire T. Boone Pickens owned more water rights than any other individuals in America, with rights over enough of the Ogallala Aquifer to drain approximately 200,000 acre-feet (or 65 billion gallons of water) a year. But ordinary citizen Gary Harrington cannot collect rainwater runoff on 170 acres of his private land.

It’s a strange New World Order in which multibillionaires and elitist banks can own aquifers and lakes, but ordinary citizens cannot even collect rainwater and snow runoff in their own backyards and private lands.

    “Water is the oil of the 21st century.” Andrew Liveris, CEO of DOW Chemical Company (quoted in The Economist magazine, August 21, 2008)

In 2008, I wrote an article, “Why Big Banks May Be Buying up Your Public Water System,” in which I detailed how both mainstream and alternative media coverage on water has tended to focus on individual corporations and super-investors seeking to control water by buying up water rights and water utilities. But paradoxically the hidden story is a far more complicated one. I argued that the real story of the global water sector is a convoluted one involving “interlocking globalized capital”: Wall Street and global investment firms, banks, and other elite private-equity firms — often transcending national boundaries to partner with each other, with banks and hedge funds, with technology corporations and insurance giants, with regional public-sector pension funds, and with sovereign wealth funds — are moving rapidly into the water sector to buy up not only water rights and water-treatment technologies, but also to privatize public water utilities and infrastructure.

Now, in 2012, we are seeing this trend of global consolidation of water by elite banks and tycoons accelerating. In a JP Morgan equity research document, it states clearly that “Wall Street appears well aware of the investment opportunities in water supply infrastructure, wastewater treatment, and demand management technologies.” Indeed, Wall Street is preparing to cash in on the global water grab in the coming decades. For example, Goldman Sachs has amassed more than $10 billion since 2006 for infrastructure investments, which include water. A 2008 New York Times article mentioned Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and the Carlyle Group, to have “amassed an estimated an estimated $250 billion war chest — must of it raised in the last two years — to finance a tidal wave of infrastructure projects in the United States and overseas.”

By “water,” I mean that it includes water rights (i.e., the right to tap groundwater, aquifers, and rivers), land with bodies of water on it or under it (i.e., lakes, ponds, and natural springs on the surface, or groundwater underneath), desalination projects, water-purification and treatment technologies (e.g., desalination, treatment chemicals and equipment), irrigation and well-drilling technologies, water and sanitation services and utilities, water infrastructure maintenance and construction (from pipes and distribution to all scales of treatment plants for residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal uses), water engineering services (e.g., those involved in the design and construction of water-related facilities), and retail water sector (such as those involved in the production, operation, and sales of bottled water, water vending machines, bottled water subscription and delivery services, water trucks, and water tankers).

Update of My 2008 Article: Mega-Banks See Water as a Critical Commodity

Since 2008, many giant banks and super-investors are capturing more market share in the water sector and identifying water as a critical commodity, much hotter than petroleum.

Goldman Sachs: Water Is Still the Next Petroleum

In 2008, Goldman Sachs called water “the petroleum for the next century” and those investors who know how to play the infrastructure boom will reap huge rewards, during its annual “Top Five Risks” conference. Water is a U.S.$425 billion industry, and a calamitous water shortage could be a more serious threat to humanity in the 21st century than food and energy shortages, according to Goldman Sachs’s conference panel. Goldman Sachs has convened numerous conferences and also published lengthy, insightful analyses of water and other critical sectors (food, energy).

Goldman Sachs is positioning itself to gobble up water utilities, water engineering companies, and water resources worldwide. Since 2006, Goldman Sachs has become one of the largest infrastructure investment fund managers and has amassed a $10 billion capital for infrastructure, including water.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,042
  • 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB! www.911truth.org
25 Shocking Facts About The Earth’s Dwindling Water Resources
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2014, 06:08:44 PM »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/25-shocking-facts-about-the-earths-dwindling-water-resources.html

25 Shocking Facts About The Earth’s Dwindling Water Resources

Michael Snyder
Economic Collapse
June 19, 2014

War, famine, mass extinctions and devastating plagues – all of these are coming unless some kind of miraculous solution is found to the world’s rapidly growing water crisis.  By the year 2030, the global demand for water will exceed the global supply of water by an astounding 40 percent according to one very disturbing U.S. government report.  As you read this article, lakes, rivers, streams and aquifers are steadily drying up all over the planet.  The lack of global water could potentially be enough to bring about a worldwide economic collapse all by itself if nothing is done because no society can function without water.  Just try to live a single day without using any water some time.  You will quickly realize how difficult it is.  Fresh water is the single most important natural resource on the planet, and we are very rapidly running out of it.  The following are 25 shocking facts about the Earth’s dwindling water resources that everyone should know…

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,042
  • 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB! www.911truth.org
Re: Should water be treated as just another commodity?
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2014, 05:59:49 PM »
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0