Have you ever been curious about the actual cost to a corporation for a fine leveled by OSHA under the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Act for "serious" violations, one which poses a substantial probability of death or physical harm to an employee? Would it surprise you to learn it was $100,000? Nope, too high. How about $10,000? Try again! How about just a miserly $709 average per violation?
In 1997 alone, there were 6,200 on the job deaths and over 62,000 illnesses directly related to working conditions (toxic pollutants, chemical reactions, heat, stress and many other causes). Nationwide, there were more than six million injuries and illnesses of which 1.8 million resulted in lost time from the job. World-wide, in the mind numbingly corrupt and greedy "Global Economy" over 1.1 million people die or fall victim to fatal diseases caused by occupational diseases.
Even with the nearly complete lack of enforcement since the Act's passage, the nation has seen dramatic decreases in overall fatality rates with construction deaths down 80%, mining deaths down 75%, agricultural deaths down by two thirds and manufacturing 60%. In fact, work related deaths have dropped from 11,500 in 1985 to 6218 in 1997.
Corporate whores in Congress, however, are following their master's orders and the result is massive cut backs in funding for OSHA and onerous obstacles for the agency to develop new regulations by forcing obscenely costly "cost/benefit" studies to be conducted before any regulations can even be proposed and which are guaranteed to then be tied up in court for decades, all at taxpayer's expense.
The worst offender, by far, is UPS, which constantly demands new studies be done by the National Coalition on Ergonomics concerning repetitive motion injuries before they will cease violating even the weak laws that already exist. This demand is being made despite the fact that an industry required study by the National Academy of Sciences corroborated the fact that changes on the job can reduce these injuries dramatically.
It has long been a proven truth that vigorous enforcement of health and safety laws greatly reduces the number of injuries and death in every industry monitored. An even stronger effort at empowering employees to challenge dangerous conditions and even giving them a legal right to refuse to continue working in those conditions would go far in decreasing these deaths and injuries across the nation.
Since Congress will only screw the people of America and never even pretend to discipline their masters in Corporate America, however, you can rest assured that the average fine of $709 will not be increasing in the near future and will probably outright disappear in the worker's Hell of the Global Economy. (2, 3)
Now here is a statement full of stupidity and a complete lack of historical knowledge (in other words, undoubtedly the words of a conservative). Claiming that whatever good news that exists in America is completely the result of "pragmatism supplant[ing] ideology", John Mueller, a political scientist at the University of Rochester, alleges that, "We're living in an age with very few romantics and revloutionaries. People with vast, sweeping visions caused most of this century's problems. Most of the time you don't want leaders with visions, you want society run by cautious pragmatists. At the moment, the pragmatists are in control of most nations, and it's making things better." (4)
Let's see now, according to this yahoo, the "vast, sweeping visions" of both John Muir's dream of and Theodore Roosevelt's creation of the nation's parks system for the enjoyment and education of the American people; of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's lifting this nation out the deep and harmful depression by creating federal job programs and investing in the American workers and families instead of that era's version of Corporate America whose greedy and damaging practices and their properties in Congress' loving prostration which had thus far destroyed any hopes for the American workers but kept the wealthy happy and fat; of John Kennedy's "vast, sweeping vision" of putting Americans first into space and then onto the surface of another celestial body; of Lyndon Baines Johnson's "vast, sweeping vision" of equality in civil rights for every American regardless of their color as well as War on Poverty, a program that may have truly worked had it not been for the contemptible attacks over the next twenty years by conservatives and other trash; of the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency whose aim was the complete eradication of the terrible smog and pollution and chemical and pesticide which killed creatures and humans and was quickly destroying the planet's ability to cleanse itself; of Jimmy Carter's program to remove America's dependence on polluting, non-renewable, finite, corporately monopolized oil and to replace it with cheap, non-polluting, renewable energies such as solar energy, which can be cleanly produced for nearly free on the roofs of every home and business and even on the roofs of cars powered by solar energy or methane or hydrogen or even compressed air; and even of the Republican's substitute for a decent, loving, caring God - Ronald Reagan and his "vast, sweeping vision" of the destruction of everything that was once tender and caring and ethical about America and replace it with the outright hatred of the poor and elderly and children and disabled and sick and substituting greed and corruption and the open selling of American's freedoms in exchange for simple treasure and puissance; and the hateful and insulting "Republican Revolution" of 1994 and all of the monsters that it brought out from under the slimiest rocks like Gingrich and Lott and Burton and the return of that irrelevant Quayle, racist Buchannon, ultra-racist David Duke and Forbes. (Okay, I'll agree that Reagan and Clinton and the "Republican Revolution" all fits Mueller's definition of causing most of this century's problems.) What this nasty and uneducated moron means is that his heaven is when government allows Corporate America to injure and kill as many people as their bottom line demands, to force America to send our children off to die and murder others to protect those filthy profits, to let the Federal Reserve Board to ruin as many American worker's dreams of happiness by creating whatever unemployment rate necessary to keep Corporate America's profits high and wages low and to drag America down into the next depression which will follow the exact scenario from 1929 when Corporate American owned every politician and Wall Street stocks were, as they are today, over valued by a factor of ten or more. If Wall Street's wet dream of stealing American worker's Social Security, which will make even more money chase after basically worthless stocks, their run will continue only until America wakes up, refuses to gamble the lives of the elderly on insane double down type bets, which will cause the stocks to fall abysmally to their real worth. This is the true dream of dupes such as Mueller and his cronies. Until you and I and every other real human being can be legally bought and sold on the open market and our skills and labor forced from us for slave wages, his types will continue to lie and deceive in hopes of creating their filthy and obscene Elysium. Our job, gentle readers, is to constantly be aware of what is said and claimed by such trolls and to expose the truths of what they mean to all Americans who are still capable of independent thought and retain the ability to heed reality (both of them).
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