, ,

Is water a 'commodity' or a 'human right'?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Have a look at this interesting clip:

Same old question.

Let me put it another way.
1. Is education a commodity? You'd probably say no. But hey, why do we need to pay for piano and language courses? They should be freely provided by the state, no?

2. Is health service a commodity? If no, then why do you have to pay your health insurance?

3. Is water a commodity? If no, then why do we need to pay for coca cola, starbucks and all those beverages in Tesco's shelves?

If no water can be commodified, every bartender in this earth will lose their jobs. No one can open a Cafe' because all the drinks should be for free.

Now you probably said: no, because they are "processed". Those who process them added the value of water, and is entitled for their labor. But drinking water should be free.

Now wait a minute here. Aren't drinking water "processed" too? If you ask me to get you a bucket of water from uphill, aren't you supposed to pay me for my work? Those plumbing and water treatment plants need funds too, no? The tap's going have to come from somewhere.

But I agree that in some instances water should be provided for free by the state. In times of emergencies, natural disaster or for people in prison, the state should provide them with adequate and safe water. Also for those who can't afford to pay it. Subsidy measures should be available, or payment in arrears facility, or solidarity tariffs.

But we cannot say that water entirely cannot be commodified. Humans are not commodities, that I fully agree, both morally and legally. Sex should not be a commodity too, at least, morally. But some people think it differently. As such there are differences of opinion on whether the commodification of sex should be prohibited by the state.

That human is not a commodity is universal. But whether water is a commodity or not is highly contextual. It depends on what sort of water and in which situation.