Is Conservatism a Choice?

Now that I am a college freshman at the University of Michigan, I often reflect back to the stressful times of completing my college applications. Although, the process was difficult, I can say I am very happy with the outcome. It was amazing and even a bit astounding of how great Michigan. Here was this amazing university in my own backyard, and I would have to honestly say, I didn’t really know it existed until I was in the 9th grade. I attended an art school in Detroit, that has faced, and still faces problems. In the Detroit Public School system, money is a big issue. Because resources are limited, administration only focuses on schools who perform the best. This structure creates a cycle in which there is no better outcome.  In Detroit, school must pass yearly progress report called AYP. If a school fails to meet AYP for more that 3-5 years, they can be shut down. Few to none of the schools in the Detroit Public School system are up to par and can compete with others in neighboring counties, let alone the country. And with the current system in place, there seems to be little to no change.

In Edmund Burke’s “Reflections on  the Revolution in France”, Burke expresses his conservative ways in which he does not support the French Revolution. He fully advocates classical conservatism and favors hierarchy. Burke believe we should look to the past and follow tradition.

Edmund Burke Photo taken from Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Edmund Burke
Photo taken from Intercollegiate Studies Institute

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Water as a Human Right?

A photograph taken from the edge of the Detroit River.

A photograph taken from the edge of the Detroit River.

As many Americans know, the city of Detroit has had its fair share of struggles. One of the most recent issues plaguing the city of Detroit has to do with water. A recent increase in water shutoffs by the city has sparked controversy amongst many Detroiters. On June 26, 2014 protesters circled in front of the Detroit Water Board building, declaring that the city had violated their human rights by shutting off their access to water.

Deputy Director for Detroit’s Water and Sewage, Darryl Latimer explained that those who are considered “delinquent customers” are getting their water shut off because the city can no longer afford to offer free water to customers who are not paying their bills. Those customers that fall under a delinquent status means that their bill is at least sixty days past due and they owe over $150. Furthermore, Latimer explained that a visit to the Detroit Water Board office could help customers who are having difficulty paying their bills. He says that the city is willing to work with customers who are facing issues of affordability. A week before the June protest, the Detroit City Council voted and approved an 8.7% rate increase on water because of their accumulating debt.

With help from protesters and the media, the issue of water shutoffs in Detroit has become bigger than life, receiving way more attention than it should have. Yes, I believe that water is a necessity, considering we as humans need it to live. However, water is most certainly not a human right. Like Detroit, towns and cities across the country participate in a similar process when it comes to collecting, purifying and delivering water to millions of homes and businesses daily. This process is called a service. A service is not a right and therefore this process that is completed for us, must be paid for. Why should Detroiters receive free water while millions of other Americans continue to pay their bills? Continue reading