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Special Report | How Privatization Could Spell the End of Democracy

Between Trump and tech, never before have so many powerful people been so intent on transforming government into a business.


Ben Tarnoff, The Guardian / AlterNet Media Shouldn't Sell Out

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Dave and Crew Amazon, Yelp, Uber, Hillary / Photo Credit: Jewish Journal

June 27, 2017 | It’s a hot day in New York City. You’re thirsty, but your water bottle is empty. So you walk into a store and place your bottle in a machine. You activate the machine with an app on your phone, and it fills your bottle with tap water. Now you are no longer thirsty.


This is the future envisioned by the founders of a startup called Reefill. If the premise sounds oddly familiar, that’s because it is: Reefill has reinvented the water fountain as a Bluetooth-enabled subscription service. Customers pay $1.99 a month for the privilege of using its machines, located at participating businesses around Manhattan.


Ben Tarnoff writes about technology and politics.


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