Skip to content

Jackson, Mississippi’s, water system

Jackson, Mississippi, lost access to safe running water after flooding – but it’s the capstone to years of problems with race a possible factor

Thirty-year-old Kendrick Hart remembers the warning his father gave about Jackson, the capital of Mississippi, where they both still live: “They need to do something about that water before it gets bad.”

Now that moment has come.

This is a city run – ie nationalised, or at least publicly run, not for profit – water system. Which hasn’t spent enough on maintenance, let alone investment, for decades.

This being why the English water companies were privatised of course. The government would not spend enough on maintenance, let alone investment, because there’s always a diversity adviser that needs paying somewhere. Nationalisation will just lead England back to Jackson if we wait long enough…..

24 thoughts on “Jackson, Mississippi’s, water system”

  1. I’ve been reading about this over the last couple of days; Jackson is a city with an 83% black population and where the last 8 mayors – since 1997 – have been black, the head of the municipal water department is also black, and yet White people are to blame for the crappy water supply…

  2. Between 1991 and 2019 the UK privatised water utilities paid themselves £57bn in dividends. Roughly half of what those same firms spent on maintenance.

    But it is not as simple as naughty capitalists pinching dividends by skimping on maintenance, because the same nine firms have accrued debts of £48bn.

    Let that sink in, the nine firms have extracted £57bn while leaving a similarly sized debt, which grows with interest!

  3. Paid themselves? So they own themselves? They’re not owned by other people, y’know, people who have handed money over to them and expect something back in return for giving them that money.

  4. Fair enough JGH, the water companies have borrowed heavily to pay dividends to their shareholders while not investing adequately in their business.

    The utilities were originally privatised at circa £7.5bn with £5bn of existing debt transferred to the government, that’ll be us taxpayers on the hook again.

    The water utilities are taking the piss in more ways than they are meant to!

  5. As we have found with every utility ever run by government, they eventually fall into disrepair ‘cos despite what people say, no one ever votes to spend more on the roads, trains, water, energy, NHS, Post Office, whatever.
    You, me and the politicians know it.

    And as our host has pointed out, is the nationalised Demented Porridge Wog Water Service better or worse than the evil capitalist system here in God’s chosen land, England?

  6. Yes, Jonathan, they are. Because they saw the way Jackson was going under black (Democrat) rule and said ‘To hell with that, we’re off!’

    If only they’d stayed, to pay for everything and organise everything and… say, didn’t we once have a name for that?

  7. They’ve borrowed heavily to pay to people they’ve borrowed heavily from. Will they then borrow heavily to pay the heavy borrowing they borrowed to pay the heavy borrowing they did? It’s all turtles. Hey, but wait, borrowing money creates money, so just borrow some money and then immediately use the new money to pay off the borrowing.

  8. Jackson must look on enviously as more favoured blue states and cities receive their multi-billion dollar kickbacks from various @infrastructure” bills to cancel out their profligacy.

    Voting over 73% democrat in the last election isn’t going to cut it.

  9. Dennis, Bullshit Detector

    Jackson, Mississippi, lost access to safe running water after flooding – but it’s the capstone to years of problems with race a possible factor

    Race is a factor if you want it to be (bad idea in my opinion), but that in turn makes the issue “Why can’t black voters elect competent black politicians?”

    Not really sure people want to go there.

    Systemic racism only became a thing when it became obvious that the corruption in places like Flint, Minneapolis and elsewhere could not be blamed on Republicans.

  10. “And as our host has pointed out, is the nationalised Demented Porridge Wog Water Service better or worse than the evil capitalist system here in God’s chosen land, England?”

    With no direct knowledge of the English companies, I’m tempted to say “worse”. It must be. But from what I hear of them, it sounds much the same, to be honest.

    We haven’t had a hosepipe ban in Glasgow since the early ’80s (so much for the warble gloaming), but they were all the rage Down South even then, when everything was run the same way. I think it’s more a function of the greater supply of raw material falling out of the sky up here than anything organisational.

  11. Sam, exactly, Scotland has never suffered from a lack of rainfall which sort of gives it an advantage in that respect over those bits of the UK that sometimes doesn’t get enough.

    And it’s only been ten years since the Gruan told us England was in a permanent drought which was followed by ‘unprecedented flooding’. Climate change – there is nothing it cannot do…..

  12. Scotland’s advantage isn’t only the rain, it’s the hills – they supply lots of good sites for reservoirs in just the areas where the rainfall is most generous. So even the drier east side of the country seems always to have plenty of water.

    It’s probably also the decline of the sorts of heavy industry that use lots of water, and the relative lack of foreign gangsters – sorry, refugees – immigrating.

    But even then it’s hard to believe that the tartan fascists are incapable of effing it up.

  13. Do private utilities cause wildfires?

    Why does the privatized California utility PG&E let equipment cause wildfires? Is it because they put profit before maintenance?

  14. Dennis, Here To Straighten Yer Ignorant Ass Out

    Why does the privatized California utility PG&E let equipment cause wildfires? Is it because they put profit before maintenance?

    No. It’s because the State of California will not allow PG&E to manage the land they use in a manner that would minimize the risk of wildfires. You know, removing dead and overgrown plants and trees, pre-cutting fire breaks, etc.

    What causes wildfires in California? California puts stupidity masked as environmental virtue signalling before prevention.

  15. @Bill G: Per this water companies have spent £150bn on upgrading the system over the last 30-odd years. What’s your source for a figure 5 times lower than that?

  16. In other nationalised news

    The Austrian government has had to bail out Wien Energie with two billion euros loan because it doesn’t have the liquidity to buy in gas and electricity on the open market.

  17. ‘What causes wildfires in California? California puts stupidity masked as environmental virtue signalling before prevention.’

    Yep Dennis. Why we have bad bushfires in Oz.

    If they’d just burn off the trash when necessary, you’d see smoke from the fires. As Capt Cook did when sailing up the east coast back in the 1700’s.

    But they wouldn’t be real disasters.

  18. Can we magically ignore profit over maintanence incentives?

    If electrical wires weren’t arcing on their own due to too many electrons in the wire, i.e. massive oversupply, would wildfires even start?

    《the company chose to diverting money from power line under-grounding projects — among other infrastructure initiatives — to “other high priority system improvements” like boosting corporate profits and paying executives even more.》

    《In 1994, the company’s failure to trim trees near its power lines led to the Trauner Fire in Nevada County, California. In 1997, a jury found the company guilty on 739 counts of criminal negligence for causing this fire. Thanks to a subsequent California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) investigation, the public learned that between 1987 and 1994 PG&E diverted $495 million from its budgets to maintain its systems to boost corporate profits.》

    From a Salon article titled: “After choosing profits over maintenance, California utility giant forces blackouts on customers”

  19. @Chris MIller

    +1 and Quoting a ‘The Conversation’ article. Toot-toot goes the clown-car

    ‘The Conversation’: The death of El Reg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *