The Lead and Copper Rule

This story is designed as satire. Based on actual events occurring in this country, this story did not occur as written. For background, please read this first: The Lead and Copper Rule

A lobbyist walks into a town office, smiling to herself. She’s excited about the new laws requiring the town to monitor the water coming from people’s taps. The townsfolk will be so excited to have public works take responsibility for the quality of their home’s plumbing and come into their home regularly to keep them compliant! Today was the day she would make sure all household pipes in this one stoplight town were made from just the right materials…or rather, ensure that public works did it for her.

She knew that the people in this town wanted to replace their pipes desperately but had chosen not to until the government required it. And public works would be so excited to shoulder the responsibility! Better yet, she knew just which company the town should hire to do it. Well…in all fairness, there was only one company that did this service. Luckily, the new company went into business right as the new laws came about.

She enters the town office, expecting to find fellow government officials sympathetic to her cause. Greeting the lobbyist, the town clerk takes in her uniform, eyes narrowing. In utter shock, the lobbyist listens as he begins to berate her, his knowledge of the mandate astounding.

The clerk cites the new laws, telling her that public works has no right to replace the pipes in people’s homes, so how could they be responsible for the quality of water that comes out of them? He notes that government elites have a habit of creating such top-down legislation and refusing to fund it.

Confused, the lobbyist assures the clerk that the law was created because the people wanted it. She knows in her heart that they want higher quality water but want to pay the town to monitor their water as a solution. After all, replacing their own pipes would be more expensive than paying the town to pay somebody to do so.

Clearly, the clerk is uneducated, so the lobbyist explains that the mandate came from the people. They want it.

Just then, a town official arrives for a meeting with the lobbyist. Overhearing the discussion with the clerk, he notes that townsfolk are beginning to gather. The official asks, “Since you are our lobbyist, why don’t you let us conduct a survey. You say the people want this, so let us ask them.”

Alarmed, the lobbyist assures him, “Oh, no. We can’t do that. The people want it. We wouldn’t force them to do anything they don’t want to do.”

Before the official can respond, the clerk steps in. “We were told that the government wouldn’t force us to take experimental drugs. When the vaccines came out, we were told they would never be mandated, but now we’re told that we must get one so that things can go back to normal.”

“Well, that’s not entirely true…”

Having arrived, a new town employee asks, “How is it untrue? Which exact part?”

Luckily, the town official takes the opportunity to ferry the lobbyist into his office for their meeting. He carefully explains how the lobbyist can go about representing the town’s interests, and asks about funding. Reassured and enthusiastic, the lobbyist explains that larger towns would have the testing and any pipe replacements paid for by tax money, and small towns like this one would enter a lottery to win tax money. Most small towns would pay for it themselves, of course, including this town of only 200 people.

The lobbyist is shocked when the town official explains in no unclear terms, “You work for us. Why are you not fighting to get us funding?”

The lobbyist explains again, “This is what the people want.”

The meeting concluded, the lobbyist leaves and is met by a citizen on her way out. “You must be exhausted,” the citizen sympathizes.

Relieved to see a friendly face, she readily agrees. “Yes, it was a rough meeting.”

“I can imagine. I would never have the energy to screw 200 people in one day.” The citizen leaves.

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