WVa Mine Disaster

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Mariner, Jan 5, 2006.

  1. Mariner
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    Mariner Active Member

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    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.
     
  2. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    [admin hat = off]
    Fuck you for making the tragedy political. You and your kind are more worried about finger-pointing than finding 'solutions'.

    Enjoy your day.
     
  3. manu1959
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    manu1959 Left Coast Isolationist

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    what an asshat
     
  4. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Senior Member

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    See Mariner, here's the thing.. Tragedy happens all over, all the time. There is no government on this planet that can regulate, forsee, or fine their way out of that. It's just not going to happen..In a perfect world maybe, even then very doubtful.
     
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  5. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Seriously... if you're gonna point fingers, at least wait until the funerals.
     
  6. Mariner
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    Mariner Active Member

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    violations, and is slapped on the wrist instead of properly punished--by politicians openly committed to mining, logging, and energy interests--then I think critics have every right to make the "tragedy" into politics. If it's negligence, it's not a tragedy, it's the expected result of a weakened inspection and regulation system.

    I was perfectly clear in my initial post that there's no proof yet the disaster was caused by malfeasance on the part of the mine owners--but there's every reason to think it might have been. We'll find out soon enough, and I'll bet if it was you'll see some West Virginians making politics out of the tragedy.

    And even if it wasn't, those miniature $60 fines for taking risks with employees' lives are worth discussing, as an example of the importance of government regulation of private enterprise. Conservatives love to celebrate the upside of business, but shy away from examining the downside.

    Mariner.
     
  7. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Senior Member

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    Regulations are necessary to a point and if directed/used in the most efficient ways, most conservatives agree with that, the problem is over and needless regulation instituted simply to make the lawmaker take an empty pat of him/herself on the back, or put in place to stifle capitalism, which is what happens most of the time. What happened here was a horrible tragedy, and I think once an investigation is done the parties that are responsible will be held that way.
     
  8. manu1959
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    manu1959 Left Coast Isolationist

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    post a link to the list of saftey violations and the severity of each......or shut up
     
  9. RAGE
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    RAGE Rookie

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    Actually I think someone else made it political





    Less than 24-hours after 12 of the 13 workers trapped by a West Virginia mine explosion were found dead, critics were already politicizing the disaster, with at least one mine safety expert blaming President Bush.

    "This mine should have been closed," former director of the National Mine Safety and Health Academy, Jack Spadaro, told Fox News Channel's "Hannity & Colmes" Wednesday night.

    "There were too many serious [safety] violations and the record is very clear," he added.

    Asked why the allegedly unsafe mine continued to operate, Spadaro contended:

    "I think it's because of the current Bush administration's policies toward mine operators and their reluctance to take the strong enforcement action that's sometimes necessary."
     
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  10. The ClayTaurus
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    The ClayTaurus Senior Member

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    You got a link to a transcript, sir?
     

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