In his latest book, researcher Manny Teodoro and his co-authors found that people who drink bottled water are less likely to vote, participate in demonstrations, contact their elected officials, or just engage in civic life writ large. Tap water drinkers, on the other hand, are more likely to do all those things.
Why? It comes down to a matter of trust (or lack thereof) in institutions. If your local government has failed to provide basic services, like tap water that is safe to drink, why should you trust them to do anything?
For today’s show, host Esty Dinur talks with Manny Teodoro about his new co-authored book, The Profits of Distrust, which traces the intersections of drinking water and “the crisis of confidence in the American government.”
Manny Teodoro is associate professor of public affairs in the Robert M. LaFollette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is co-author (with Samantha Zuhlke and David Switzer) of The Profits of Distrust: Citizen-Consumers, Drinking Water, and the Crisis of Confidence in American Government (Cambridge University Press, 2022).