Guest Commentary: Water crisis? Remember, ‘This land is your land’

THEY NEED WATER — Manatees swim in the Blue Spring run in Orange City. The flows and levels of Florida’s springs are being used to measure the health of our water supply.

 BEACON PHOTO/LEAH POUGH

There are two solutions to the ongoing water crisis. One is to continue to conserve, to share, to cut back, and work ever harder paying more and more. 

Please notice that is the same language used by people in slave labor camps and reservations: “We must share blankets, conserve firewood, save every scrap and potato peel. And maybe if we work ourselves to death, the guards will have no choice but to feed us.” 

We’ve faced problems before. One was roads, and one was telephone. We made them “we the people’s,” and those two networks connected us all together and slowly built a united people of every creed and color: Americans. 

Today we have two internet superhighways, and two of the richest men on Earth own them: Facebook and Amazon. Call them what they are: public utilities. One for social media, the other for commerce. 

Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg has been preaching a universal minimum income. Let’s imagine it’s high, like $10,000. Then do the math. He has $100 billion. That would make your income the equivalent of a tin cup and blanket. Purchased on Amazon, naturally. 

Both he and Jeff Bezos have “charitable” foundations. Nice. What we really need is water. Combined, both men have $300 billion. And counting. 

$300 billion is plenty for water treatment plants for every camp and reservation across our land. 

We once had a song, “This Land Is Your Land.” Nice tune, “This land is your land, this land is my land ... From the redwood forest, to the Gulf Stream waters … .” That was a song Americans once sang. Let’s learn to sing it again. It’s either that or learn to say “Thank you, Mr. Masters Mark and Jeff, nice tin cup. Mind if I have a little more water please? Oh, and maybe a blanket.” 

Make them public utilities. 

— Bang lives in DeLand.