Recently I received my bill for water and sewer from the City of Bellingham. It was a final notice before my services were cut off. I pay months ahead for most of my bills, including to the city. I found the errant bill under other mail. The bill that got lost in the shuffle was $8.78. The new one had a $5 late fee added. This was reminiscent of what is happening with the threat of water shut-off in Detroit, Mich. I was under threat by way of a form letter the city sends out of having my services cut off for an overdue payment of $8.78.
Concerned, I called the city and discovered that in a two-month period, 4,431 households had had shut off threatened and 400 had had their services shut off.
People have lost income and the cost of services has increased. Government services have had funding cuts as a result of what I beleive is Wall Street's takeover of in this country and an ill-informed public. With a faulty tax system that rewards the ultra wealthy, and with the financial and corporate interests robbing ordinary folks of the common good, combined with the corporate/financial institutions' mandate of pursuing profits as the bottom line, we have lost our sense of the common good. International groups are calling the threat of water shut off in Detroit a human rights issue. If more people in cities across the U.S. are threatened with water shut off, what will it be called then?