Our natural right to basic necessities is being threatened by corporations

Res SteckerRecently, I have found myself attracted to watching the various documentaries that are available on Netflix. This is the kind of thing I do in my spare time, but it pays off.

Mostly, I watch these pictures to get the facts, such as seeing what really caused the financial meltdown and put faces on those who were responsible, but I will watch anything that seeks to report the truth no matter what.

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Currently, my favorite documentary is “Flow: For the Love of Water.” Some of you have probably seen it, but a large proportion of the population has likely never heard of it.

Essentially, the film covers several locations throughout the world exposing the downright criminal acts of major corporations such as Nestle and Coca-Cola as they put profits above people.

The film examines the effects that the privatization of water supply in different areas is having on local populations along with the social consequences of privatized water.

“Flow” exposes the truly immoral act that is the privatization of water.

I understand that we live in a capitalist system and I also recognize that there may not be a better way of effectively distributing water to a population than by having a company control it.

However, my main problem with privatized water is when corporations begin to redistribute water around the world for the purpose of making profits.

What I do not understand is how a company can simply be allowed to take water out of a spring or glacier and then bottle it up and sell it off around the globe when they have no right to do so.

In the documentary, local residents often saw their local water resources dry up or become polluted, devastating the local health and economy of places ranging from India to Michigan.

In Michigan, Nestle leased land from the government for a meager $65 thousand for 99 years; unbelievable right? Wait, it gets better.

The residents discovered that the streams that they had formerly relied on to supply water to their homes were reduced to mere trickles of their former selves, which made it downright difficult to cook, farm or drink anything.

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Nestle was simply taking water that should have belonged to the residents of the town that had relied on it for generations and was selling it off around the world for exorbitant prices.

This is not the same as BP drilling for oil and then selling that off, as oil is completely different resource. It is a non-renewable and non-life critical resource, thus separating it from water completely.

Water is needed by every human being in order to survive. If they cannot afford it are they simply supposed to die?

Who says that a business can control who gets water and who doesn’t? No company or person should have the right to control water distribution that has profit in mind.

These mega-corporations pick an area and pay a ridiculously low fee to suck up all the water and then proceed to charge people ridiculously high prices for a resource that should not have been theirs to begin with.

I would argue that if we are going to let companies redistribute our water and sell it to us for prices that are simply outrageous, we should let them control our air supply as well. We seem to be heading down that road so we might as well get it over with now.

Imagine living in neighborhoods that were walled off from each other and each area had to pay for oxygen. I would posit that charging people for water is equally as whacked.

I suppose though that part of the problem lies with people buying bottled water, which in and of itself is a crime against humanity, which you will see if you set aside an hour to watch “Flow.”

Seriously, do not buy bottled water. It will send a message to these corporations that we are not going to pay for a natural resource that we have a right to as human beings.

Still not convinced? Consider this: according to the film, there is less than one person in the federal government that is responsible for overseeing the quality of bottled water.

You are not getting any guarantee that your expensive, humanity-choking bottled water is any better than the tap. Some of the time, it is probably worse.