AHC: several anti-corporate crusades in late '70s U.S. politics?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by GeographyDude, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    What if there just was more citizen feistiness, left, right, and middle ? ! !
     
  2. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    we discussed the Ford Pinto last month:

    Stud farm: how could the Pinto have been improved?
    https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...ow-could-the-pinto-have-been-improved.432868/

    I said, if you compare it to the behavior of a mob boss, it would be hard to find a more cold-blooded example of killing for money.

    Someone else said, No, that's really unfair. When a mob boss has a person killed, it's a particular person for a particular reason. The mob boss doesn't just throw a grenade into the roadway. :)

    ========

    So, Ford Motor Co. really messed up. But to a considerable extent, and this is the hard part, it's common practice. Plus, it's something that our legal system is seemingly incapable of dealing with.
     
  3. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    So, no, the Ford decision to sacrifice safety for money, and to do so in a cold-blooded and secret way, did not sit well with the American public.
     
  4. Raferty Well-Known Member

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    Well, there were I believe a fair amount of this in OTL.

    The massive Youngstown plant closures and similar events across the Midwest were vehemently denounced by local politicians of the time (who of course ignored how their subsidy policies had made many of these entities noncompetitive to begin with and unable to deal with growing international competition). There was also the consumer advocacy movement that Ralph Nader played a large part in, and a general loss of faith in institutions during the 70s (other than television, which is why TV was known as a 'parasitic' institution in that it eroded confidence in other ones).

    Politically, there were some opportunities for this to happen further.

    The Republican Party attacked the handover of the Panama Canal on both security grounds, but also on the grounds that several corporations stood to profit on the move and that the Carter administration took that into account. Perhaps they could go farther on this line of attack and start to denounce some corporations as anti-American.

    The Democrats meanwhile could encourage labor to pick fights, especially over the plant closures, and be more in the pocket of labor then they already were. Labor unrest in the 1970s was seriously bad as things stood, but it could have gotten a lot worse if solidarity between the three pillars (government, labor, management) was not encouraged.

    Perhaps the 70s in terms of movies could have been to corporations what 80s movies were to institutions like the high school football team and symbols like the lettermans jacket (it became basically a swastika by the end of the 80s). More films that go into workplace dynamics, rather than the crime and horror films that defined the 70s (due mostly to the massive upsurge in crime of the decade), would have helped.
     
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  5. Raferty Well-Known Member

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    I still wonder exactly how, even if you are doing a totally by the books cost benefit analysis, you could have come up with the idea that wrongful death suits are somehow going to be cheaper than a relatively minor replacement. It seems as if the concept of brand security was completely ignored, and the cost of wrongful death cases were drastically underestimated. The stupidity of that is just mind boggling, and that is completely leaving out the ethical side of things.

    Then again, I have also heard that the Pinto narrative is actually a myth that has just been repeated a lot, especially by business professors in college for the ethics lesson, because they are lazy and can't be bothered to find a more relevant example than simply saying "do not do cost benefit analyses involving the possibility of physical harm". (A Rutgers Law Review study of the Pinto in 1991 goes into detail on how this became such an oft repeated myth: http://www.perishablepundit.com/docs/The_Myth_of_the_Ford_Pinto_Case.pdf )
     
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  6. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    Each year's Pinto did meet that years regulation.

    Now, Mark Dowie in his Mother Jones article argues that this was in large part because Ford Motor Co. was so successful at slowing down regulations pertaining to vehicle fire from 1968 all the way to 1976.
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1977/09/pinto-madness/

    But be that as it may, the damn car met regulations.
     
  7. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    This is a 56-page article in the Rutgers Law Review! :p

    If you can give me a particular page on two which impresses you, I'll be happy to take a look.
     
  8. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    And this aspect really interests me --- that in an anti-corporate campaign, Democrats and Republicans may not line up according to the usual scorecard.

    From other sources I've read that this was a strange case in which the Ford Motor Co. itself was being charged with criminal behavior, but not any named executives. So, it may not be everything we might hope for, but in an ATL ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  9. Shevek23 Spherical Cow-poke

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    So there we have it. "Anti-corporate sentiment" that is not willing to kick ass and name names is never going to be more than an easily manipulated and misled emotion that can serve any politician of any stripe just about equally well; everyone has pet solutions to problems, it is a matter, in politics, of which have credibility to whom. In order for an "anti-corporate crusade" to have traction, it has to have an ideology it stands for, a world view, a narrative, and it has to have a game plan for systematic action that follows from that viewpoint. If FMC legally complied with regulatory requirements, then there is no legal issue, no matter how calloused or clueless leaked internal communications might make unnamed, or even in an ATL, named executives look. The issue is entirely political--not "FMC is run by criminals!" because in fact their actions were legal, but rather "Big companies like FMC (and a long laundry list of like companies with like rap sheets of poor regard for public welfare, or a short code term referring audiences to well known such lists) manipulate politicians, allegedly technocratic regulators, and frame the laws and shape the court decisions to give us an inhumane and unfair kind of normal condition, and we the people must act to check them and restore a proper balance so that decisions take public welfare into due account at every step." In making such a bold claim leaders of such a movement will burn their bridges with the powers that be, and must hope either to forge a new basis of power to bring them back to the table of relevant influence, or else look to being defeated, defamed and relegated to irrelevance in a great cause they fail to win. It is very easy for Hollywood to make movies that stimulate and then cathartically release rage or fear; that's just business as usual. Lurid headlines sell papers and weekly news magazines and attract eyes to the tube for Nielsen ratings; "If it Bleeds it Leads" is conventional journalistic wisdom. But having a follow-through involves forming a serious political coalition that on same risks, if not lives (and God knows the more lurid imagery of corporate shenanigans doesn't rule out the prospect of assassination) then anyway fortunes/careers and sacred honor are on the chopping block, and blowing the whistle on bad behavior is only part of the battle--if one has no solutions one is prepared to offer to encourage and reinforce good behavior, than all one is accomplishing is making people feel bad. As a Jules Feiffer cartoon of the era (actually IIRC early Eighties, but it overlaps the 1970s pretty well) has a mainstream spokesman saying, "America needs to feel better." I do not think it is the responsibility of every whistleblower to have a program for reconstructing the world; it is reasonable for them to figure we live in a big world with a lot of smart people in it and just pointing out the problem is a public service and someone else can be expected to find the answers and implement them. But if that does not happen--if no one is smart enough to think of it; if someone has potentially popular and workable answers but is torpedoed by interests that stand to lose and no one takes up their dangerous banner and adds this act of sabotage to the rap sheet they hope to hold bad actors politically accountable for; if society is deeply structured to make solutions in the public interest quixotic without massive and drastic reform that people will understandably be hesitant to risk endorsing, let alone doing the work of implementing--then the upshot is that people do not want to hear sad stories with sad endings; if you can't make a Hollywood win out of it, it might as well never have been uttered since people in an uncomfortably weak, exposed, limited position they see no way out of would rather avert their eyes from the void and focus on what they can control, what they can feel powerful at--and this means that if an oligarchy is smart and not so overly arrogant as to neglect to throw these masses a line they can cling to, it will do that and divert a large portion of those who logically ought to array against their masters to support them instead and denounce the troublemakers.

    I've heard tell that in some place in West Africa, there was a tradition of village governance in which a town leader, not sure if he would be called a king, a judge, or what, is supposed to right wrongs. And then the way it works is, someone comes to him with a complaint, and accuses someone else of doing something considered wrong, or anyway poor practice. And then the chief or judge, the accuser in tow, storms in on the accused and demands to know whether this charge is true or not--and instead of fighting to deny the claim, the accused confesses, but then offers an excuse based o the malfeasance of some third party. Apparently forgetting the first charge, the judge now grabs both of them to in turn barge in on the newly accused third person, who in turn has their own finger-pointing reasons to account for their confessed delinquency by reason of a fourth persons failure to meet standards leaving them no choice but to shortchange someone else in turn. And round it goes, the entourage of accuser/defendants circling and swooping through the whole business of the village until at last someone points out the deficiency of the original accuser that in this narrative starts this whole wheel of propagating dysfunction to start grinding at everyone. In the hooraw, much dirty laundry is aired, the characters of all are both impeached and redeemed, a general awareness that fault is pretty widespread and common and that the consequences bear on everyone and come back on everyone is the subtext of this political theater. Sometimes systemic wrongs can be diagnosed and corrected, but generally the process reaffirms the mutual dependence of all on all.

    In a society like ours, the markets replacing community as the nexus of society creates a reflection in the form of individuals being ramified into theoretically autonomous and independent actors, who can be called to account only on very formally legal terms, and if vulnerable to a legal judgement are in a very precarious position because the law is hard and merciless, as it must be to have the rigidity to override the otherwise perfect sovereignty of each individual over their own mind and actions, and adversarial as well. As the market operations have metaphors of warlike actions by legally peaceful means, so does the law. A politics that says that individuals seeking their own personal gain and accountable to no one but this rigid law is bad for the public welfare is one that challenges the basic framework on which liberal society is constructed. Charity and mercy are deemed to be options, choices individuals are free to make or not. Obligations to decent behavior are still embedded in law; a person is expected to do something to help people in grave distress, like victims of an automobile accident, but the general assumption of good will and charity must be defended and is often forced to give way to people's legal right not to give a damn. It might seem like a simple matter to hold the owners of the bulk of wealth and controllers of the workplaces of most people, as well as the sellers of the majority of goods most of us depend on, to humane standards, but in terms of our society's default assumptions, such rules have to increasingly be put into writing, subjected to acid legal critiques, and if a body of people cannot be shown to have committed a legal fault, they are presumed innocent and free of sanction. To point out that the law is badly framed is to step out of the framework.

    Plenty of corporate scandals do involve quite a lot of rule breaking, if you can prove it. But even if wrongdoing can be shown formally, it is often at the discretion of the legal system how seriously to take it. In the 1940s, a case was made in Los Angeles alleging that a consortium of business interests, including tire companies and others who would benefit from a surge in the use of private automobiles, conspired to sabotage and ultimately destroy the functional Red Car intercity transit trolleys; these were shut down and replaced with buses which were less popular and allegedly drove the public that could afford it into self-owned cars. The judge who ruled in this civil suit found that the plaintiff was correct in their allegations--here we have an instance of a conspiracy theory affirmed as fact. The respondent parties had in fact conspired, and in the course of doing so broke a number of rules, and the judge gave the plaintiff the satisfaction of vindicating their claims. Then he imposed damages on the respondents for their illegal acts--a total of one US dollar. In this way the judge acknowledged that by the rules, the rail busters had done wrong, but that in fact he did not believe society actually suffered, affirming the new order of cars and rather nasty buses for those so poor as not to afford a car of their own in postwar America was progress and a general improvement in the public interest, pettifogging law be damned.

    I think insofar as anti-corporate "crusades" could be sustained under the level of issuing a put up or shut up demand for widespread and systematic reform of our basic ways of doing business, on a level of a swarm of separate campaigns against specific alleged misdeeds, some legal others not, we had that in the 1970s. It was a thing and action was taken. To take the bull by the horns would require a level of political rallying and consciousness raising that would be tantamount to social revolution and that did not happen, and could not without a larger context of a collision and combat of rival world views. In some ways many people who might have acted then were actually pretty comfortable and uninterested in rocking a good boat--they might regret later not having joined together when they could have and being separately flushed from their comfortable place to someplace more precarious and powerless, but probably most would not even perceive the theoretical opportunity they missed. And those who did would find reflecting on that rather painful and apparently pointless versus avoidance behaviors, including lots of cheap scapegoating of the weaker classes.
     
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  10. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    I disagree. In fact, someone made the argument that some of the biggest successes of the Civil Rights movement, like Birmingham and Selma, were not the carefully planned, programmic endeavors, but rather were ad lib responses to circumstances.

    Plus, this gives healthier interplay between theory and practice.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  11. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    Maybe if the regulation had been more like audited financial statements?

    The Sticker Price has to include the MPH speed in front, side, and rear collisions at which the gas tank is 95% certain not to leak fuel.
     
  12. Shevek23 Spherical Cow-poke

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    Selma and Birmingham were specific moments that occurred in the context of an ongoing movement that had, at the time of these events, been systematically striving toward a clearly conceived goal that was consciously aimed at and worked toward for over a generation. Organized civil rights activities and campaigns go back to the 1920s and earlier. The appointment of Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court was not just some random thing that suddenly changed everything; he had been striving in courtrooms across the nation for decades. During most of these decades of struggle, the movement had been frustrated to the point that a reasonable person, one who did not feel driven by some deep obligation to a necessary higher value, would give up; in 1950 the Civil Rights movement had little to show for it; Truman had integrated the armed forces by Presidential command but that hardly meant the services changed structure and culture at a stroke--the same people were in the same places in the rank structure, and it would take again at least a generation for the implications of an integrated service to become fully normal--if in fact the current rank structure does reflect equal opportunity based on a color blind meritocracy! It would hardly blow my mind to learn of severe disparities remaining--after all, I am an Air Force brat, my father flew fighter jets, but I don't recall ever observing a fellow officer in any of his squadrons who was African American, between the late '60s and the entire decade of the 1970s. But anyway the integration of the forces was the largest single milestone of advance I can recall--I am no student of the CRM in detail and might not be accounting for other incremental stuff since the general nadir of African American rights in the 1920s that might seem individually petty but cumulatively added up to serious betterment. Anyway as of say 1950 the amount of betterment that still lay ahead for African Americans to take their place as regular US citizens able to compete and participate on a fairly equal basis was appallingly large. It was still fundamentally OK for the formal laws of a state, and even for Federal laws, to discriminate based on race--not in certain Constitutionally defined matters it wasn't, such as voting (Jim Crow barriers to African American voting were a layered array of laws that put up barriers ostensibly not about race with loopholes and bypasses designed to let whites through but not blacks, and outright political terrorism to dissuade them being too clever following whites through the loopholes) but by and large unless some pesky Amendment specified equality, the law was assumed to be free to impose whatever race based restrictions the white majority chose to legislate. Interracial marriage was still illegal in so many states that a mixed race couple could not drive or take a train from New York to San Francisco without becoming criminals along the way many times. Lynchings continued; millions of private contracts containing quite invidious "racial covenants," not to mention customary discretionary decision making in customer service, hiring, and promotion prevailed with no legal principle making it risky to plainly state that race was a factor in differential treatment. Schools of course, especially in places where African American populations were significant fractions of the whole, were racially segregated by default--not just in the South; in the North the form of discrimination often included geographical separation, with AAs effectively unable to settle in white districts and forced to settle in the black ghetto, meaning that their schools, arranged in geographical districts, would be separate from white schools in the north as well as the South.

    And in white minds, to very large numbers of people all of this was normal, natural, and necessary for civilized life to continue; a vast mythos of essential racial difference pervaded everything and in one way or another everyone. If an American was not an uncritical racist, it would be because they had had some reason in their lives to step back from conventional wisdom and criticize it. A major task of the Civil Rights Movement was to encourage and continue such moments of clarity in the white population; if solid majorities remained convinced of the myths of racial inferiority the entire mainstream order of the USA midcentury was warped around, the movement would always be fighting a mounting pressure of reaction--only by changing the minds of the public could they reduce and slow the buildup of that back pressure and gain permanent relief in the form of individuals either not haunted by racist boogeymen or at least ashamed to admit to some remaining. A court ruling granting a clear and unambiguous recognition of a right is worth quite a lot even in a political climate where everyone despises the court for so ruling, as long as the pressure does not rise to a level where that ruling is overturned, but as the effective banning of African Americans from voting in the South despite Reconstruction era Amendments clearly telling the states they mustn't do that, or the fact that 60 years after Brown v Board of Education American public schools still remain far from properly integrated show, the real key to success is winning over the public mind, for clever workarounds often reinforced by judicious acts of terror can nullify any clear but unpopular law or court ruling. Still, having the law or court ruling on your side puts the ball of evading it in the other guy's ballcourt, and the spectacle of the struggle is an opportunity for movement leaders to leverage reconsideration in opposing minds, if not the dedicated champions of oppression they fence with in the face to face struggle then among the onlookers.

    So--at a time some half a generation before the events of Selma and Birmingham you highlight, the lion's share of progress the Civil Rights movement had to attempt to make was still ahead of them--and to be fair, a lot of it sadly and appallingly remains ahead, except that they have managed to include others in their struggle by now--for those who accept the basic principles of the movement, racial injustice is unacceptable whether one is in the victim category or not, and so the struggle's base is much broadened today. But we remain far short of Zion! Still, much good was accomplished in the 1960s. Is that because all the work, all the sacrifices, all the terror endured or sometimes resulting in death, all the legal casework going back to the 1920s and before by nationally unsung and apparently unsuccessful CR workers was for nothing, until on a couple of terrible days the whites of Alabama decided to demonstrate the brutality of their system in shocking ways and the decent white folk of America woke up and said, "gosh, this is unfair, let's fix it!"

    No. Selma and Birmingham, the Montgomery bus strike that Rosa Parks is the icon of, these things were in fact confrontations between a highly organized Civil Rights movements and the powers that be. The form these protests took were carefully planned based on generations of hard work and experience and careful observation of shifting national conditions.

    Indeed, there are things you cannot mastermind, outcomes that come only to those who wait with patience and hope and often without clear evidence the strategy is working. There is a major element of chaos in human life after all. Earthquakes are the result of slow and steady deep, inexorable forces at work, but they do not proceed smoothly; the crust materials stick, and appear from moment to moment, not to be going anywhere, gridlocked--then they shift, the earth shakes, and they have shifted ahead to another position which they appear to be gridlocked into forever. The size of each shift, and the timing, is quite unpredictable in detail--one cannot say when and how large the next quake on a fault will be, only specify a range of possibilities shifting over time. So events like Selma or Birmingham may have had national psychic impact and thus even demanded political action from the White House because of their notoriety, while other planned CR protests elsewhere were repressed in a similar fashion or by more finessed means, or were tolerated and forgotten by the main targets of the actions. Probably the leadership could not have known in advance that either the Selma march or the Birmingham actions would be the particular ones that the nation remembers over half a century later.

    But Selma and Birmingham, and a host of other events crucial to CR progress, did not happen spontaneously nor were they, by themselves and out of context, effective in transforming the national attitudes as well as formal law as far as has been accomplished. Any value and meaning they had was in context of generations of work done before to lay the groundwork and frame the narrative, and decades more ongoing struggle, to guide the forces of change toward changes that would be appropriate and effective, and then to resist a mounting backlash as large numbers of white folks surged back from fashionable racial progressivism to forms of stubborn resistance justified in their minds by the slightest excuses--and in fact these flip-floppers merely joined others so stubborn they never were moved to change their racist educated minds in the first place and had been fighting the civil rights tide the whole time.

    In this context--you seem to think otherwise, that Selma and Birmingham were just magical flashes of sudden insight into the nation, and explain the drastic shifts in the law all by themselves as miraculous moments of national clarity. And so by analogy, are hoping that a few popular outrages against this or that idiosyncratic corporate misdeed, without building a general narrative of systematic and oppressive corporate exploitation at the cost of public welfare, would result in any sort of politically significant deviation of course.

    Clearly, what is not needed in response to the Pinto debacle for instance, is epicycles of Band-Aid legislation to require automobiles (and trucks? Buses? Farm tractors? Riding lawn mowers? Hand pushed mowers? Weedwackers and leaf blowers?) to have labels specifying their 5 percent failure impact speeds. What is needed, in the context of your OP, thread title, and premise, is not to run around cleaning up after corporations after the fact--which is precisely business as usual--but for a movement generalizing a theory, a narrative, about why corporations have been systematically, not randomly, dropping the ball and failing the public, one demanding that they do accept a responsibility for public welfare as part of the basic terms of being allowed to do profitable business. If we have a strong culture of corporate responsibility and accountability, we don't need to cover new cars in a thousand miscellaneous stickers specifying the points at which they fail; we can trust that a reasonable level of reliability and economy of operation and mitigation of environmental damage is built in, as people assume it should be. To accomplish that--

    I suppose possibly I am not expressing the message as clearly as I ought to. It is not entirely clear, perhaps, how deep one has to dig in changing the American system to systematically make the many many scary headline stories of corporate malfeasance go away by holding the corporations to a standard of accountability. The way I perceive things this is a huge task that cannot be expected to be completed without overturning the whole culture, but perhaps all it takes a moderate change in attitudes, a realization that what the law mandates is after all just an embodiment of what the customer wants anyway, and that being a bit proactive in thinking ahead would remove all these violations of public trust. I assume it would get coupled into every major public concern, but perhaps the whole lot of these types of issues are something that can be dealt with as an isolated package without tampering with the deeper sinews of social structure.

    If so, you might be deflecting an assertion of some sort of Marxist inevitable revolution, and be right to do so--but to claim no organized, visionary movement integrating all of these separate outrages into one narrative is necessary is to actually sell OTL short, since there were such crusades that went beyond each separate case to make a general argument in reality. For them to have more traction might not result as I assumed, in being the toehold by which the whole system is cracked wide open, but only the flaying of a cancerous outer layer of skin and its replacement with a more supple and strong skin of quality culture permeating the US corporate order.

    But either way, it cannot get so far, indeed would fall short of OTL, without some form of ideology it stands for, a world view, the very things you say Selma and Birmingham apparently in your mind demonstrate no need of, that I think I have properly shown on the contrary would have had no meaning and no effect, and indeed would not have happened at all, with a long persistent deep and visionary movement driven by an ideology, a world view. OTL quite a lot of people brought just such vision to the struggle against corporate sloppiness, not in just isolated grass roots flare ups against this or that outrage here or there, but everywhere, looking at the lot of them as instances of a deeper disease.
     
  13. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    I am very open to the idea that things were better in the 1940s, for example, Gov. "Big Jim" Folsom of Alabama and his Christmas message of 1949, and then got worse for a while after the Brown vs. Board of Education decision of May 1954. However, I don't know enough about the Civil Rights era to really know for sure.
     
  14. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    1. Three Mile Island

    2. Toxic Waste

    3. Ford Pinto

    I think clearly the second one. The other two are one-off situations perhaps never to repeat. Toxic Waste was a lot more than just Love Canal in the Niagara Falls area. And certainly seems like there would be room for a lot of community organizations to develop and be able to give communities just realizing they're affected advice and practical help such as the best labs to test water, etc.
     
  15. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    And maybe people would joke even more than bottled water is a luxury item not really needed.



    [​IMG]

    PS This product did not exist when I was 16 in 1979 (at least not on any big level I was aware of).
     
  16. Shevek23 Spherical Cow-poke

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    Exactly. The idea that drinkable water should come out of the tap is a luxury billions cannot rely on; it is an indicator what sorts of society we favor whether we get cleaner water distributed more and more freely for people to take and use as needed, versus citing increasing resource pressure to commodify plain water as something that has to be purchased. Even now we haven't quite crossed the line to where plain water is sold by the cupful, but long ago in places like Los Angeles, back in the '70s and I don't know how much earlier, paid services like the Sparklets company would deliver very large bottles of water to households to be put into water cooler stands to dispense the water cup by cup; at that time the empty containers would be picked up by the water delivery guys to be taken back to the plant to be presumably cleaned. The tap water in most parts of the greater Los Angeles area was never very good you see, very mineralized.

    Now this new wave of bottled water is part of another thing, the process of commodification visibly at work. Customers are somehow convinced that this water is different from properly purified tap water and pay for it as they would a bottle of soda or fruit juice. I worry that it could pave the way for defaulting on maintaining decent standards in tap water, as happened in Flint, Michigan, and the collapse of the concept that water should be freely available.

    I myself got into the habit of filtering the tap water instead of buying it in guaranteed purified form, in various ways, which is of course another sort of commodification; instead of transforming something that was regarded as freely available, or available in really large amounts at a modest price, we create a new commodity to add to the chain.

    Either way the disappearance of fresh water is no joke. If we stuck to a standard that tap water should be safely drinkable, then there would be pressure on infrastructure such as processing plants and pipeline systems--to continue to deliver large flows of fresh water some major investment in municipal plants would be needed. If instead the idea that the market is the solution via giving people the option of purchasing drinkable water, the priority pressure is off and municipal plant maintenance, expansion and more elaborate means of sourcing drinkable water all become optional, and quality becomes unpredictable--which drives those who were immune to silly advertising that try to establish a brand distinction between their "product" and regular water to resort to the bottled stuff too. Thus a market is created which is a source of profits, which is to say that people meeting their essential needs must, after being paid however little they are deemed able to live on, as workers or welfare recipients, must part with a large part of it to cover costs that were not out of pocket back in a prior generation. Also, it is now laissez faire what quality and amount of water a family has--some may buy bottled water in large quantities, from premium vendors, because they can afford to, while others might ration the water at home to a dangerously low level, and perhaps try to stretch limited funds by buying cheaper, less reliable grades of water.
     
  17. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    Ozarka water did this in suburban Houston in the late '70s / early '80s.

    It was 5-gallon glass bottles carried by the Ozarka truck with racks to hold all these bottles. Later replaced by plastic bottles.
     
  18. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    Lois Gibbs was one of the leaders of the Love Canal homeowners.

    This is the point where the media, if they talk about citizen activists at all, obsessively focus on one or maybe two leaders. Lois is a talented person, but the Love Canal Homeowners Association was so much more than just one individual.

    In a similar way, when the media talks about the United Farm Workers, for example, they inevitably talk about César Chávez, and occasionally about César and Dolores Huerta. And whereas César was and Dolores still is (still living!) talented persons, the United Farm Workers was and is so much more!
     
  19. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    POD for Love Canal: A rock star has a Buffalo / Niagara Falls connection. He or she is asked to help and is happy to do so.

    In fact, this rock star has a friend who's a major country & western star, and asks him or her to help as well. The two stars rather feel they are working two sides of a cultural divide, even without putting it in terms as crude as conservative and liberal. They put on a great 3 hour show with each playing half the show.

    The Homeowners Association first uses the money on testing. They decide, if the New York Dept. of Health and the EPA are dragging their heels, we'll hire our own labs thank you very much.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  20. GeographyDude Well-Known Member

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    May 22, 1979

    [​IMG]


    July 13, 1979
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    Sept. 4, 1979
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    Nov. 9, 1979
    [​IMG]


    Dec. 14, 1979
    [​IMG]

    Hooker Chemical published five full-page ads over a period of some seven months.
    http://79480005.weebly.com/aftermath.html

    Probably a strategic blunder on the part of Hooker, and definitely could have fed into a bigger anti-corporate campaign.