So what does the new administration of Detroit do to get these people to pay for the service that they've been refusing to pay on? Well starting in June, they began going to the deadbeats, issuing shut-off notices, and simply turning the water off, letting them know that it would be turned back on as soon as they paid the back-due balance or set up a payment plan.
Now of course the usual suspects--a coalition of welfare-rights organizations, local community organizers and senile politicians like John Conyers--becan screaming about how "inhumane" it was to deny people water and that it's not the deadbeats' fault that they can't pay their water bills in these horrible times. Alas, facts are pernicious things and the water department appears to have a few that show that fallacy for what it is.
The department issued a news release Tuesday saying “significant misinformation” has circulated about the shutoffs. Of customers who received shutoff notices, 60% paid their accounts in full within 24 hours and had their service restored immediately. Forty percent of the remaining customers had their service restored within 48 hours, according to the department.So it's not that they can't pay the bills, apparently, it's just that they don't want to until they are left with no choice, at which time most of them find the money without too much trouble. Many of the others reportedly just handed money to illicit "turn on" crews that follow the city shut-off trucks with the same tools used to shut the water off and offer to illegally turn the water back on for a set fee.
Still, the Liberal Left screeches and protests, and when the Democrat Nutroots Convention came to Detroit a couple of weeks back, none other than B-list Hollywood actor Mark Ruffalo jumped in front of the cameras at one of the protests, calling unlimited free water delivered to your tap "a human right". Of course when he finished bloviating and the camera crews went away, Rufflao, reportedly worth twenty million dollars, left without helping pay even one poor person's water bill. Ruffalo, like Michael Moore and other rich liberal millionaires, seem to think that only other people's money should go to solve all of the problems that they love to point out. While they condemn you and me for "not caring" enough to want to pay more in taxes, they're holding tight to their own cash.
Well the city caved, like usual, and suspended the shut-offs. Then they hosted a "water fair" this morning at the DPW office, and people lined up around the block to get help. But most of them were disappointed and angry when they discovered that the purpose of the event was to set up payment plans and help them actually pay down their bills or refer them to organizations that might be able to assist them. You see, many of them came here thinking that the city was just going to hand them money and pay their bills for them.
Detroit residents show up at water event hoping to avoid shutoffs
And still they complain:
One man waiting in line lamented the state of affairs.
“You need water to bathe, you need water to drink, you need water to cook with,” he said. “Hell, we’ve got all the water resources here, the Great Lakes, the Detroit River. There’s no reason it should be this way.”
And no one is telling this man that he can't just take a pail down to the river and get all the water that he wants. He and every other Detroiter are always free to do just that. But they don't want access to water; they want the water treated and pumped right into their houses, and they want it for free even if it means that other users on the system have to pay more for their water as a result.
And here are some of the hundreds of water-bill deadbeats standing (or sitting) in line outside the water department, looking for a hand-out, only to become angry when all they were offered was a hand up.
And the real crux of the problem for most Detroit dead-beats: priorities.