Italians vote no to water privatization

June 22, 2011 | By | 4 Replies More

As reported by Alternet, the Italian people do not want multi-national corporations controlling their water supply.   The vote can be seen as a declaration that water is a basic human right, which should also be seen as a stern pushback to the Ayn Randian Free-Market Fundamentalism that prevails in many places these days.


Category: Economy

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (4)

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  1. Tim Hogan says:

    The Roman Catholic church was very against privatization.

  2. Niklais Pfirsig says:

    Perhaps word got out to the Italians about the privatization of water services in Cochabamba Bolivia.

  3. Erika Price says:

    Even staunch libertarian skeptics Penn and Teller consider private (bottled) water 'bullshit'. And as New York City campaigned a few years ago (in an effort to increase public water usage), tap aqua is much safer than private bottled stuff. The regulation disparity is staggering: According to Penn and Teller's water episode, public water regulators at the EPA outnumber FDA private water regulators at a ratio of a hundred to one.

    I suppose the arguement could be made that bottled water is not analogous to private tap service. But considering how underwhelming other private utilities are (I'm looking at you, Telecoms), I doubt that claim holds water.

  4. Niklais Pfirsig says:

    In the past, when utilities were privatized, it only worked when the privatization was through a charted not-for-profit company or a co-operative business. Good examples are to be found in the cooperatives created in the Rural Electrification Act, or in chartered non-for-profits like Nashville's NES.

    The best known bad examples of Corporate Privatization was the contract between ENRON and Pacific Gas and Electric, where after attempting to extort money from the state of California, under Govenor Gray Davis, made good on their threats by intentionally mismanaging the power grid during a major heat wave, causing brownouts and rolling blackouts which resulted in several heat related deaths, while sucessfully campaigning to oust Davis and replace him with Arnold Schwarzenegger who was much more friendly to the privatization interests( privateering interests would be more accurate ).

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