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12-14-2011, 02:36 PM   #1
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BBC: The scandal of the Alabama poor cut off from water

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...there is widespread anger in Jefferson County that swingeing sewerage rate hikes could have been avoided but for the greed, corruption and incompetence of local politicians, government officials and Wall Street financiers.
...
Mrs Lucas's monthly sewerage rate bills - the amount levied by the county to flush away waste and provide water for baths and showers - has quadrupled in the past 15 years. She says it is currently running at $150 (97) a month, which leaves little left out of her $600 social security check for food and electricity.
...
He says he finds it cheaper to buy drums of water from a petrol station and pay a sanitation company about $14 a month to remove waste from his "porta-potty" than pay the combined sewer and water rate bill, which some months can reach $300.
...
The facility, which has been under construction since 1996, was meant to cost about $300m.
But the bill soared to $3.1bn after construction problems and a series of bond and derivatives deals that went sour in the financial meltdown of 2008.

Investment bank JP Morgan Securities and two of its former directors have been fined for offering bribes to Jefferson County workers and politicians to win business financing the sewer upgrade.

Six of Jefferson County's former commissioners have been found guilty of corruption for accepting the bribes, along with 15 other officials.
...
BBC News - The scandal of the Alabama poor cut off from water

12-14-2011, 03:35 PM   #2
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Ah, you have to love monopoly capitalism, as practiced by corrupt politicians. You can bet not one of those people convicted on corruption charges has been asked to compensate the poor people affected, because poor people can't afford litigation, a right reserved for the rich.
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