Friday, January 27, 2006

Water for rural Bolivia at what price? :: Division of Labour

Five years ago in Cochabamba, Bolivia, the New York Times reports, local leftists ran an American monopoly franchise (Bechtel) out of town for trying to raise water rates. A victory for the people!

One small catch: today, because the local public utility has kept the old low rates, they can’t cover the cost of keeping the pipes filled, let alone extending them. Half the population still has no piped water service (they rely on wells and freelance water trucks), while even for the lucky households the taps run only a few hours of the day. Maybe not such a victory for all of the people.
See, also, The EclectEcon's take.

This story got me to reminiscing about Don Cox's song written for Bob Barley and The Complainers. The context is to imagine what The Complainers would sing about after the true revolution, when all major problems of the world have been solved. The song* went something like this:
Ring around the collar
Those dirty rings
You try washing them out
You try scrubbing them out...
*Can be sung to the tune of any song ever written by Bob Marley.


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