The Economics of Water

James Clingman, NNPA News Wire Columnist | 2/1/2016, 5:05 p.m.
I can hear the backroom discussion now: “We can save money if we stop taking our drinking water from Lake ...
James Clingman says that it would be great to see our doctors, psychologists, attorneys, scientists, engineers, and technical personnel lend their talents to help in Flint, Mich., like we do in other countries.

The lawsuits will come and the money from the taxpayers’ coffers will flow, money that could have been used to prevent the problem in the first place. The long-term health ramifications of lead poisoning are irreversible but manageable if the funds to do so are available. The State of Michigan, as it deals with myriad financial issues, will now have to pay billions for its neglect and lack of concern for poor people.

Beginning with Idlewild in 1912, Michigan has had issues with Black/White relationships, social/environmental justice, and economic progress, which provides a context from which to view Michigan’s current predicament, Detroit and its recent economic woes notwithstanding.

In Benton Harbor, with a 90 percent Black population, Edward Pinkney was imprisoned for fighting for social and economic justice, another example of money trumping what is right. The NAACP abandoned brother Pinkney and opted, by its silence and lack of advocacy on his behalf, chose the path of least resistance, and who knows what they received from the Whirlpool Corporation in return for their silence? Once again, as it has throughout the nation, the NAACP manipulated the local election to get rid of Pinkney as President. He went to prison and Whirlpool got an NAACP award.

Three of the five great lakes, Michigan, Huron, and Erie, virtually surround Michigan. For folks in Flint to have to drink water from the Flint River in order to save money is reprehensible. “Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink.” To all of you “Civil Rights” advocates: What could be a greater “civil right” than having clean water to drink?

James Clingman is the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for Black people. His latest book, Black Dollars Matter! Teach your dollars how to make more sense, is available on his website, Blackonomics.com.