Saturday, January 19, 2013

Want a Drink of Water - Grab Your Water ATM Prepay Card

Last week I posted a blog entry where in a video clip the President of Nestle’ talking about the free market.
This video is an example (if the close captioning is correct) of the extremist views held by corporations who hold a free market philosophy.

              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.
The conclusion I drew from that video was:
This video is an example of the extremist free market philosophy probably held by many of the corporations that belong to the American Legislative Exchange Council - your death means nothing compared to corporate profits.

Here it is less than a week later, and on Common Cause I find an article about the commercialization of water.  Not only is water a commodity - from a commercialized foodstuff perspective - it is also becoming a commodity from a wall Street perspective.

Where are the checks and balances?

In the United States, diversion of water for expanded commodity crop production, biofuels and gas hydro-fracking is compounding the crisis in rural areas. In areas ranging from the Ogallala aquifer to the Great Lakes in North America, water has been referred to as liquid gold. Billionaires such as T. Boone Pickens have been buying up land overlying the Ogallala aquifer, acquiring water rights; companies such as Dow Chemicals, with a long history of water pollution, are investing in the business of water purification, making pollution itself a cash-cow.

    several others had already seen water as an important investment opportunity, including GE’s Energy Financial Services, Goldman Sachs and several asset management firms

The much quoted statement by Willem Buiter (chief economist at Citigroup) gives an inkling of Citigroup’s conclusion: “Water as an asset class will, in my view, become eventually the single most important physical-commodity based asset class, dwarfing oil, copper, agricultural commodities and precious metals.”

National and international regulatory mechanisms must be put in place to ensure that basic resources such as land, water and the means for accessing fresh water do not become merely the means for profit accumulation for the wealthy, but are governed in a way that ensures the basic livelihood of those most dependent on it.

The practice currently in India -
For-profit companies such as Sarvajal have begun setting up pre-paid water kiosks (or water ATMs) that would dispense units of water upon the insertion of a pre-paid card.

Well – America
Unless you stop the privatization of the commons
YOU TOO – will need a prepaid card to drink a glass of water.

No money?
- your death means nothing compared to corporate profits.

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