Privatization of Water

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In the 1990s, all water systems in the country of Bolivia, including its poorest regions, were put up for sale to private investors under the supervision of the World Bank. A U.S company by the name of Bechtel was awarded one of these long-term contracts in the region of Cochabamba. The aftermath of these deals including extremely violent riots showed the world how complex the privatization of water is and the differences between economic theory and what actually happens when applied to real world situations. For many years, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have wanted to privatize water supplies with conditions to loans to developing countries. The argument here is that it would push these countries away from government control and toward a free market system. These free market systems were supposed to improve economic growth and benefit all citizens. Lobbyists who favor the privatization of water will argue that it is successful if done correctly and under the right conditions. The government must be able to uphold regulations and make the private company do a quality job. With reasonable contracts and a cooperating government, these private companies could provide reliable water service to everyone. Private water should be provided in a way that the government would have the ability to fine the private company if they fail to achieve preset goals. I think that this is a reasonable argument on paper however, when applied to the real world it doesn’t have a chance to succeed. They would also argue that it saves cities millions of dollars. Greed drives almost everything in this world. The privatization of anything is a monetary move driven by the desire for more wealth. Personally, I wouldn’t trust the government to uphold such regulations. Who’s to say that government officials don’t have their hands in on said private company? Suddenly their best interest is in the wealth of the company and not in the citizens they’re supposed to be protecting....
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