Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Government Failure In Flint Michigan And Poison Water

The mayor of Flint Michigan has declared an emergency to deal with the contaminated drinking water that it is using.  This article explains how the residents of Flint were forced to drink bad water.  It was caused by a Governor who decided that governments should be operated as a business.  He came into politics after a career as the CEO of a personal computer firm that no longer exists.  Flint, like many cities in the Detroit area, got into financial trouble after the collapse of the auto industry.  The governor had the authority to take over the government of Flint during its financial crisis.  He sent one of his lieutenants to Flint to rearrange its finances.  Flint was buying water from Detroit and he decided that costs could be cut by using water from the Flint River.  The elected government of Flint had no power to alter that decision.  The EPA tested the water and declared that it was unsafe.  The governor rejected the EPA's analysis and continued to provide bad water to Flint's residents.  The EPA failed to use its authority to counter the governors decision.  The regional manager has been forced to resign.  Flint provides us with a terrible example of government failure and an example of market failure by a government operated like a business.  The residents of Flint are suffering from the consequences of operating government like a business and an EPA that backed away from a powerful governor.

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