I’ve always been a fan of Michael Moore — the “Me” in “Roger and Me” and creator of many other documentaries over the years — for tackling controversial topics. However, many of his points have to be put in better context. To wit: his latest Top 10 article at EcoWatch regarding the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
Let’s see what Mikey has to say.
Before the list even begins, Moore opens with this line, just in case you didn’t know his political leanings:
The basics are now known: the Republican governor, Rick Snyder, nullified the free elections in Flint, deposed the mayor and city council, then appointed his own man to run the city.
Politics aside, however, he does have some very valid points: Some 9,000 children under the age of six in Flint have ingested water laced with lead and other toxins, because that’s the total number of children under the age of six living in Flint. It would have cost $100/day to treat the Flint River water properly, but the powers-that-be decided it wasn’t necessary, which is the key reason the water is a problem now. Also true is the fact that GM did get a special hookup to the previous water supply via Flint Township… but more on that in a moment.
The aricle unravels when Moore tries to turn it into a massive conspiracy: Governor Snyder’s wife is a spokesperson for Nestle, which sells bottled water. Snyder himself is trying to control the water supply. Snyder is bowing to GM to get a special water hookup so its precious engines won’t rust, while completely ignoring the fact GM was able to get that hookup thanks to the plant’s proximity to a Flint Township water pipe.
Jumping to Moore’s conclusions, I think, would be giving Snyder and the rest of those in power too much credit. To say they’re all part of a plot to turn Flint into a deserted wasteland implies that they are acting against their own interest. It takes property tax revenue out of state coffers due to that property now being worthless. It makes Michigan less marketable to those looking to do business — as Moore himself touched on. And if Snyder and the Republicans are pro-business, why would they make the state and the city of Flint less attractive to corporate investment?
There is one undeniable truth in all of this: Flint’s residents will pay the price again for something well outside of their own control, and its youngest residents will likely feel the effects of those horrible decisions for many, many years to come.