Conservatives usually argue against government oversight and regulations--"get the government off our backs." The recent mine disaster in WVa, however, is a reminder of the importance of oversight. Private companies don't always place the health of their employees above the bottom line--they exist, after all, to serve their shareholders' bottom lines. The whole point of a "corporation" is to create a legal entity that shields individuals from liability for the corporation's behavior. So you can sue GM, but you can't sue its president. The mine in question had been cited 208 times in 2005 for safety violations, but under the Republican Congress's lax oversight and enfocement, many of the citations were fined the minimum $60 rather than the maximum $60,000. Of course, no one can answer whether higher fines would have motivated the mine's owners to fix the problems, or whether adhering to standards for gases/dust/ventilation, etc. would actually have prevented the disaster, but there's a long a history of occupational safety cases that suggests it's quite likely better enforcement would have saved these men's lives. Safety regulations evolve based on real-world events. People say I blame Bush for everything, but I won't blame him for this one--he sought to increase the maximum fines on coal mines, but industry-friendly congressional Republicans refused. Mariner.