First it was Flint, Michigan and now it is Jackson, Mississippi which has failed in its efforts to provide the citizenry with clean and safe drinking water. Recent flooding has damaged their main water treatment facility and they cannot offer a date as to when the municipality will get this fixed. The schools are closing, the supermarkets may or may not get sanitary ice to sell fresh produce.
Hospitals in the area no longer have functional flushing toilets. The hospitals will use portable ones instead. ABC News offers a straight news report on the situation.
People in Mississippi’s capital are poised to lose running water for an undetermined amount of time, the state’s governor said Monday night. A major pump at Jackson’s main water treatment facility was damaged and the city has been using backup pumps, Gov. Tate Reeves said during a news conference. Until it’s fixed, there will be no reliable running water in Jackson, which will impact up to 180,000 people. The city won’t be able to produce enough water for serious needs, including fighting fires and flushing toilets, Reeves said.
Perhaps someone will trouble-shoot this problem and try to figure out why the treatment plant failed. One can expect an effort to subvert the trouble-shooting session into a blame-shifting one instead. Yahoo!Finance tosses out enough chum to prevent us from ever really figuring out how to fix it or to prevent it from transpiring again.
The water crisis unfolding in Jackson, Mississippi, was decades in the making: the culmination of crumbling infrastructure, systemic racism and more extreme weather. It’s also a stark warning of trouble to come as climate change piles new stress onto the essential services Americans rely on every day…
So if we blame the infrastructure for crumbling, the system, Man!, and the weather for changing, then how do we ever fix the problem? We don’t. The entire point of singling out these causal vectors is to argue the problem is insoluble. This serves our elected overlords well. If it can’t be fixed, then they don’t have to fix it. Blame-peddlers start your engines!
Let’s look at what is really happening. The least intelligent cannot maintain an infrastructure built by their betters. The current population of Jackson, MS does not resemble the people that originally built the place. To put this quite brutally, they are far less capable and intelligent. People will dissemble and claim that IQ means nothing while it measures nothing. All you need is one smart guy (however you determine that since IQ is now fake and gay) and the smart guy will just direct the others to fix it. Amerika becomes more stupid every year. To avoid acknowledging that obvious reality, denigrate the reality of what IQ measures.
Orwell would know this process well. Change the language enough, and the truth cannot be expressed. When the truth cannot be expressed, it cannot be visualized and consequently addressed. Stupidity works for the political leaders of our increasingly democratizing republic. They would never seek to address that which is the wellspring of their continuance in power. Do you think an intelligent electorate would clamor for Mayor Lumumba of Jackson, MS?
This brings us to another possible cause. The current mayors of Amerika Cities are not there to run them in a functional fashion. Chokwe Antar Lumumba did not run for office to make Jackson, MS a better place. He ran for mayor to goose his resume and run for Congress or something more powerful. The Nation flacks for him as he attempts to build a Dignity Economy in Jackson, MS.
In 2017, running on a people’s platform and an agenda of social justice and economic democracy, he won the mayoralty by a landslide, taking 94 percent of the general election vote. He promised to make Jackson the most radical city on the planet. As mayor, he has stood up to Donald Trump, and he has taken on national issues, but his primary focus has been on the grassroots work of delivering services, people-powered budgeting, and community empowerment.
In fairness to Mayor Chockwe, he is nothing new, radical, or even all that special. He is no more lacking in genuine civic virtue than were Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey or Trenton, NJ Mayor Cory Booker. Barack Obama showed more civic pride as a local politician in Chicago by showing up at White Sox baseball games. When the elected politicians use the place they rule instead of serving, the time preference narrows to the next election and no further.
Infrastructures operate on very long time scales. Our electrical, railroad, and telephone grids were designed to last maybe fifty years and then need renewed sunk investments. I’ve been told that you can visually see the difference in safety between New York, NY bridges that charge tolls and those that do not. Adding five dollars to Jackson, MS water bills every month to fund a sinking fund for recurring infrastructure reinvestment would get Mayor Chockwe unelected faster than Nation Magazine could proclaim his new successor even more radical and people-powered.
Blaming Global Warming as the citizens suffer is far more conducive to success in democratic societies than showing some basic self-discipline. A good sinking fund requires the elected leadership to sink the people’s cash into it. Then those leaders must be honest enough not to raid that fund the next time they want to build an Indian Gaming Casino.
So what really causes situations like Flint, MI or Jackson, MS? This is a failure of The Amerikan Republic. Elected leaders both depend upon and fear the will of the people. They subvert it by stroking the egos of the people. These leaders know demotism will never permit them to rule wisely or with any orientation towards the future. Try to explain to Mayor Lumumba about how drinking non-potable water isn’t a logical part of anything called a Dignity Economy and you will be talking to a wall. He knows, he agrees, and he understands that his sorry butt gets fired next election if he acts on, or even admits, that his own decisions are partially to blame for the total lack of any anti-fragile systems in Jackson, MS.
The Amerikan Republic will fail a little bit more every day and in every way. Complex systems require maintenance. Maintenance requires the diversion of resources away from gratification. This requires the sort of discipline that is antithetical to democracy. Laugh at Mayor Chokwe until you are forced to acknowledge just exactly how backwards, tribal and ignorant every other municipality in The United States becomes more and more every year. The failing water treatment plant is just the symptom. Amerikan Democracy is the lethal cancer eating at us all.