HomeGrab BagLibertarian Utopia: 400,000 Ohioans Warned Not to Drink Water After Poisonous Toxins Found

Libertarian Utopia: 400,000 Ohioans Warned Not to Drink Water After Poisonous Toxins Found

Toledo, Ohio, is in a state of emergency following the discovery of a dangerous cyanotoxin named micrcocystin in the water at the Collin Park water treatment plant, according to The Toledo Blade.

At a news conference, officials with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department said that the level of the cyanotoxin, which is produced by a blue-green algae, is currently at 2.5 ppm. That’s twice the allowable level; symptoms triggered by the toxin range from a rash to liver failure. A handful of studies done in China have also tentatively tied the toxin’s presence in drinking water to certain types of cancer.

Health officials suspect that the reason behind the high levels of microcystin are algae blooms in the lakes that provide water to the facility, but they need to run more tests to verify that the algal blooms in those lakes are responsible. The city issued an advisory last night on Facebook urging the 400,000 affected residents not to drink the water:

Toledo Water AATTP

Restaurants and food service facilities that cannot guarantee that no tap water will be consumed on their premises were asked to shut down temporarily. Schools in the area cancelled athletic practices and other related activities. Most grocery and convenience stores in the area report a lack of bottled water.

This alert happened because there was a government running things, and not a private company motivated by profits to keep silent so it could continue to sell the water. You tell me: how many people would’ve died from liver failure if there hadn’t been a government there to warn people of the danger and order places that put people at risk to shut down? Libertarian policies are doing a fine job preserving our rapidly dwindling water supply as it is. No system is perfect, but some systems are worse than others. Libertarianism is one of the worst, right there with communism, fascism, feudalism, and mercantilism, and its poor treatment of our environment is just further proof.

h/t RS


Following the announcement earlier today, Mediaite reports that assistance came in the form of a twitter hashtag. The #EmptyGlassCity hashtag, started by Toledo News Now, is allowing people to tweet and retweet stores that have safe bottled water for citizens of the stricken city:



You can follow the news here.


About Josh Kilburn

Josh Kilburn
Josh is a writer, author, blogger, and freelancer with a Bachelor's degree who lives in the buckle of the Rust Belt.
  • talonspoint

    Not a chance that Fischer will see his/her banality. He/she is trying to conserve water by taking their koolaid crystals straight

  • Joseph Tye

    So the Government supplied water is not safe, so people have turned to privately owned companies for bottled water?
    OMG the free marker has once again out performed the government!

  • Mark Condit

    So a government monopoly provides poisoned water to the citizens of Toledo and it’s the result of libertarianism?

    Are we sure it’s not the Koch brothers, Karl Rove, or Fox News (LIES)? I mean, we should consider all the possibilities, right? Wait, it could totally be Chik-Fil-A or Hobby Lobby’s fault!

  • http://yahoo.com/ Joel Hackbart

    Let’s see. A multi- billion dollar a year business, bottled water, that advertises based on fear, that can’t even show the product is safer than the base standards set by the EPA for tap water,[save for a rare event like Toledo] [And of course, anyone who disagrees with you is idiot, real classy] is a major victory for Libertarianism.

  • Pingback: Toledo's Water Is Poisoned Because of Libertarians or Something, U.S. Scolds Israel, New Evidence Suggests Texas Executed an Innocent Man: A.M. Links | Michigan Standard()

  • http://yahoo.com/ Joel Hackbart

    Excuse me?

    1]When did I say “every lives on public water”??????

    2] Would it not be just a tad bit impractical to drill a private well in high rise apartment in down town apartment? Just what is your point then?
    3] And I’m the idiot??? LOL LOL LOL

  • Hittman

    So a government water facility has problems, and that means libertarians are evil? Wow, the stupid is strong in this boy.

    Many years ago, I was working in a restaurant and the Sysco rep came in and told us he was taking all our spinach, as there was a chance some had been contaminated with e. coli. He gave us a credit for it, of course.

    36 hours *later* the FDA issued a warning. But by then the evil free market was already supplying us with a salad mix with stickers saying “No Spinach.”

  • sproutable

    I’m honestly confused on where this author is placing the blame on this. There’s no references to where this contaminant actually came from. Then obviously blasts the ever living hell out of a “group” of persons they don’t agree with.

    Thank Cthulhu I’m an anarchist and can just do as I feel since I won’t harm anyone. How about you try that Josh Kilburn? Why force regulations upon anyone based upon your personal beliefs when in general people tend to do the right thing.

  • Chad

    The best part of this whole article is that it’s a local government water authority, governed by state regulations, governed by the EPA. And this lib blogger’s only solution is more of the same.

  • Richard Simpson

    So, have the public company’s profits been interrupted the same as a private company’s would? Or do they continue to be paid, despite their failure?

  • JPeron

    Does the writer have mental dyslexia, that’s where their thoughts get completely turned around so as to not make sense. How are libertarians responsible, in any way, for the failure of government water suppliers? How does that correspond with any “libertarian utopia?”

    The assumption made is that the ONLY reason people were alerted was because the benevolent city government ran the water supply — and were thus the people doing the poisoning, and that a private company would cover it up. That is an assumption and as the saying goes, making assumptions usually makes an ass out of you. A private company could be sued by every resident, they get no legal immunities unless politicians given them such privileges.

    When private companies recall products, which they do all the time, they aren’t covering up, they are limiting liability for a default. Why do I think the writer of this piece would indicate that is “market failure?” Yet, when government recalls their poisoned water that is government success. One standard for government and one for the private sector, that’s as hypocritical as the Republicans.

  • Opperdienaar

    What a nonsense. All government monopolies. Free market water you can currently only buy in the supermarket and it is top quality.

  • chmercier

    It wasn’t the magnanimous beautiful people’s government responsible – it was vague oppositional strawmen!

  • MaxBorders

    Government provides toxic water. Private citizen figures it out. Government looks to private company to provide clean, safe bottled water. Failure of government to provide clean water is a “libertarian utopia.” I think I get that.

  • Dan

    what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  • zjohn

    What does a heavily regulated, mismanaged public water supply in a state toxic crisis have to do with libertarians? Bizarre article.

  • Roger Matthews

    yea because there is no such thing as quality control in the private sector; hence, why millions get sick every year from drinking bottled water. Serious question Josh, does your head ever hurt from being so dumb?

  • http://about.me/harrypainter Harry Painter

    I am thoroughly amused that the “update” to the story demonstrates the superiority of the private sector in helping people in times of crisis, whereas the government’s “alert” on its own merely acknowledged the crisis. Mr. Kilburn looks at one selfish company and says “They would never tell you about contamination!” But he forgets that there is more than one company in a market, and each new company has a direct interest in telling you about the other guy’s contamination.

    • Chuck Remes

      Good point here. And with lower government regulation, that automatically lowers the barrier to entry so there is lots of competition too. Many competitors equals self-regulation.

      • http://about.me/harrypainter Harry Painter

        I just re-read my comment and think it is incomplete. The obvious response to my point is that the competitors might not know about the other guy’s contamination. Still, the fiercer the competition, the more incentive each has to get more things right. People can choose the safer companies.

        Each company has an indirect interest in telling you about its own contamination problem, something the government really doesn’t have, as Bruce Majors has pointed out above.

        The Toledo water monopoly had no competition, so an excessive number of people were harmed by this outbreak. Worse, they have to stick with the monopoly whether they like it or not. You could call that a “barrier to exit.”

        • Chuck Remes

          If their competitors aren’t sampling the product, then they aren’t very good competitors. I imagine Coca Cola has people permanently assigned to watching Pepsi-Co and vice versa.

          • http://about.me/harrypainter Harry Painter

            True, that’s a very good point.

  • http://alienmindtrick.blogspot.com/ FreeRangeRadical

    Let’s not forget that former Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe thinks that water should be a commodity, not a free, public resource.

    • http://www.dclibertarians2014.blogspot.com/ BruceMajors4DC

      I’m sure most bottlers and distributors would like water to be “public” i.e. a “free” factor of production for them.

    • http://about.me/harrypainter Harry Painter

      Ain’t no free lunch. Socializing something makes it public, but it doesn’t make it free.

    • zjohn

      Meaningless conjecture on your part. You assume commodity must have bad implications because you were told so.

  • http://www.dclibertarians2014.blogspot.com/ BruceMajors4DC

    Despite governments spending trillions to regulate health and safety, kids are shot at schools, bridges and tunnels collapse, imported pet food and toys are poison, plants and workplaces explode.

    And government monopoly municipal water authorities supply bacteria, lead and toxin laced water. At the leftover blog Americans Against the Tea Party they are blaming this on Libertarians. AATP is itself a toxin, one of several websites, like Addicting Info, that have a stable of unknown, bio-less writers and dark funding (SEIU? Podesta’s?), that spam people with dozens of fallacy smeared articles every day.

    And their masters give us poison government monopoly water. Back in 2004 in Washington, DC they even threatened to fire their employees if they went public about it. Eric Holder, then an attorney at the ruling class law firm Covington and Burlington, was the PR spinner for the government water authority, trying to prevent a giant class action lawsuit by women and children who had been drinking lead for months.

    Toledo’s water is now toxic because of algae growth alleged to have been stimulated by run off from fertilizers. In other words, the lakes and other public properties mismanaged by the government have become a receptacle and vector for pollution, like state managed property everywhere (now actually EPA managed property, since the federal government claims it owns all waterways). Streets and sidewalks and schools and other “public property” have long been the vectors and breeding grounds for litter, rats, pests, vermin, muggers, rapists, vandals, pickpockets, etc. If public properties were privately owned, you could sue people for trespass when they pollute your property.

  • Laurie Neufeld

    Never fear. Susie and her evaporation fairy will come and purify your water, Ohio. It’s perfectly safe to drink… just park your face over a bucket of contaminated water with your mouth open and wait for it to evaporate into your tummy!

    • http://www.dclibertarians2014.blogspot.com/ BruceMajors4DC

      It is a government system that had no forethought or planning about alternative supplies or how to clean up algae. Just like the government systems that fail to educate children or to protect cities and buildings against dropping planes etc etc. A private business with competitors would fail if it provided such shoddy service. Except that your masters would bail them out because they’d own stock in them.

      • http://yahoo.com/ Joel Hackbart

        Oh yes! The free market at work again! An unregulated private business would indeed fail if it provided shoddy service.{After many deaths and sicknesses occurred] and another unregulated private business would step in and fail and anther and another and another ect.. Gee how easily we forget- Virtually ever lake and river in this country was headed toward extinction before government stepped in and stopped it. But that’s besides the point because you’re a libertarian so common sense and FACTS BE DAMMED!

        • http://www.dclibertarians2014.blogspot.com/ BruceMajors4DC

          The facts are that all water in America is socialized, often treated as unowned commons, and almost none is private property. That’s why no one takes care of it. Your masters depend on cannon fodder like you to be as ignorant as you are to erect their fascism.

        • Chuck Remes

          Joel, at least the citizens could SUE the private company and try to recover damages. If you sue the government, even when you win the taxpayers lose.

          You act like a private firm could come in and screw everything up and the worst that would happen is they would go out of business. The firm would pay damages. The officers would be sued in civil court and either pay damages or do time.

          What is the recourse for government run water again? Please tell me.

        • zjohn

          OMG, Joel. You’re a lunatic.

          • http://yahoo.com/ Joel Hackbart

            I don’t think you play with a full deck either.

  • Robert Kennedy

    No part of the commons should ever be privatized and everything that has already been done should be taken back under eminent domain. No public function should ever be exposed to profit taking.

    • http://www.dclibertarians2014.blogspot.com/ BruceMajors4DC

      Most polluted municipal water systems are commons. No one makes a profit selling you clean water.

      • Natasha Petrova

        Or at least state/government managed. The commons can exist separate from that.

      • http://yahoo.com/ Joel Hackbart

        ” No one makes a profit selling you clean water.” The operative word is “clean”. Bottled water is a multi-billion dollar a year industry, but is not as strictly regulated as it should be, and many “BOTTLED” water brands drinkability has come under question.

        • http://www.dclibertarians2014.blogspot.com/ BruceMajors4DC

          Regulation has shown itself to be a failure, and all the historians who have actually studied it honestly, like Gabriel Kolko, have shown that it and the so called “progressive” movement are a tool of establishment corporations to protect themselves from the market.

  • http://www.dclibertarians2014.blogspot.com/ BruceMajors4DC

    This water is produced by a government water authority. In DC back in 2004 we learned that the government water authority had actually threatened to fire its employee if she told the public DC water had high lead levels. I don’t know why these libertarians keep pushing big government monopolies on the public!

    • Josh Kilburn

      And it was federal investigators who found that she’d been improperly terminated for her job.

      And it was the federal government response that led to a widespread crackdown with more regulations drafted by the EPA to prevent it from happening again. As opposed to Libertopia, where the solution would be something, something, wishful thinking, Free Market Magic.

      Like I said: no system is going to be absolutely perfect. But some are a lot worse than others. Depending on “free market” magic to maintain a system of checks and balances that look out for people is madness and definitely ranks among the worst.

    • J. Fischer

      Libertarians think we’d all be better off without any regulations whatsoever. Let the various companies decide what goes in our food, water, and medicines. Depend on employers to provide safe working conditions for their employees.

      • http://www.dclibertarians2014.blogspot.com/ BruceMajors4DC

        This is government failure. We live in a society where all consumer sovereignty and all voluntary and market solutions have been short circuited. You spend trillions now to regulate health and safety and you fail.

        • http://yahoo.com/ Joel Hackbart

          Who do you mean by “you?” Americans enjoy a relatively safe water supply that we take for granted day in day out, year in year out, thanks to common sense government regulations and a hyper-rare toxin enters the Toledo water supply which the government catches and alerts the public [their job] and you then use that as an excuse to berate government. Perhaps you should try Breitbart. You would fit right it in.

          • http://www.dclibertarians2014.blogspot.com/ BruceMajors4DC

            That’s probably false. “Take for granted” means duped and ignorant and complacent. Just a decade ago Washington DC was found to have extremely high lead levels (it also has had bacterial problems since). The government water authority was exposed as having threatened to fire its own scientist if she went public. Eventually the city dug up all its old lead pipes and replaced them, and for months it supplied bottled water and Britta filters to pregnant women and families with kids. No reason to believe that isn’t going on elsewhere too.

          • http://yahoo.com/ Joel Hackbart

            Can’t argue that. We are well aware of a crumbling infrastructure.

          • Mike Smith

            That’s right. But according to you and your statist friends, we should be able to rely on our government to provide all our infrastructure and fix all our problems. So, how’s that been working out lately?

          • http://yahoo.com/ Joel Hackbart

            , “How’s that been working out lately?” Very simple. Not good because we haven’t been investing in infrastructure.

          • Chuck Remes

            Wait a second. A hyper-rare toxin enters the Toledo water supply and YOU then use that as an excuse to berate Libertarians. Wait to beat up that straw man! He never had a chance.

          • zjohn

            ding ding ding!!!!

      • Chuck Remes

        You forget about the other side of that lack of regulation. If the private company let’s a toxin into the water supply, those effected can then sue the bejesus out of them and likely win. You see, we libertarians do believe that a small minimalistic government can hang around to enforce contracts and such.

        Can any private citizen SUE the Toledo government for this poisoning? Unlikely. Even if they can (and they prevail in court) then any judgement would be paid by the taxpayers. Where’s the incentive to do better?

        • http://yahoo.com/ Joel Hackbart

          Sue? In the courts? Next you will say our courts should be privatized as well! You can’t sue if it is not illegal! That’s right! Those private companies are also regulated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Chuck Remes

            Joel, I don’t know who you are arguing with here. You are now assuming my next argument but you haven’t even addressed my last one.

            Libertarians are not advocating for *no government,* we are advocating for small and limited government. A court function could reasonably be provided by that small government.

            So, now that you know my actual position instead of the position conjured in your imagination, do you see how suing to recover damages in court would be viable? Do you see how that potential loss in addition to personal liability on the part of the company’s officers could incentivize them to provide good, clean water?

          • zjohn

            you’re irrational. Sorry. You argue in bad faith and can’t even see it

      • Opperdienaar

        We think we would be better off without a gun to our heads. The non agression principle is central. When the government sells a monopoly to the highest bidder, it is not a free market. Competition is still prohibited violence backed regulations. This keeps the best supplier out of the market and a bad supplier nice and safe, protected by government regulations.
        The idea that the institute that exploits shitizens for a living and tortures people and sends them off to wars and taxes them, actuall cares for the same people is so incredibly absurd that you do not understand there is anyone with halve a brain cell, believing it.

    • AlexCristo

      You do realize cronyism is a function of business merging with government support, right? Monopolies don’t arise from ‘libertarian’ principles and nor do they push for one as they call for the removal of regulations that LEAD to monopolies. Cite me ONE source where a libertarian ‘keep pushing big government monopolies.’ If anything, it’s liberal/progressive policies that lead to them.

      • http://about.me/harrypainter Harry Painter

        Alex, he was joking. Bruce Majors is a libertarian politician running for mayor of the District of Criminals. :)

        • AlexCristo

          Phew. /Flops on couch.

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