Robert Cruickshank (historian, activist, and teacher) writes that "Privatization of water resources - in any form - is a line that should never be crossed."
In his anti-privatization, anti-business screed,* he draws a broad, unconditional conclusion based on two examples (privatization in Stockton and of the Kern County Water Bank). This is the worst form of argument ("Look! A privatization failure! All privatization is bad!"), a form that any 5th grader can demolish.
[steps into his 5th grader shoes, kinda tight, but comfy...]
Privatization saved the lives of poor children in Buenos Aires, and here's a book on why it may be better everywhere. Ok, so now we know that Cruickshank is wrong. I look forward to his retraction/clarification.
[back into my old shoes...]
Oh, and Cruickshank attacks CalAm for their water management in Monterey (where he lives). I did a consulting job for them (I agreed to keep my report confidential); let me tell you that CalAm's operations put the operations of most public agencies (EBMUC, MET, LADWP) to SHAME.
Bottom Line: Privatization doesn't work sometimes, and public agencies fail sometimes. They fail because of bad management (a human trait) and/or poor oversight (a community responsibility). Let's tone down the hysteria and try to improve things.
* Clipped and distributed by "DWR's California Water News (A daily compilation for DWR personnel of significant news articles and comment)." For some reason, they REFUSE to distribute ANY of my blog posts, but are happy to distribute this posts and others from C-WIN and alternet. I've asked Ted Thomas (Chief, Media and Public Information Branch) why they are excluding appropriate comments like my forbes piece, and he says "We are not an official news source. We simply compile news clips as a free service to DWR employees and to others who ask to receive them." I think that those weasel words hide a hidden agenda, to control the flow of information to DWR employees and maintain a pro-public agency bias. Given that DWR doesn't actually serve the people of California, I am starting to equate Thomas et al. with employees in the Ministry of Truth.