Monday, January 13, 2014

Regulations



I wanted to get an entry together about the ACLU, who they help, why they help them, but I am not up for it today.  I do not think I will ever be up for it, because they help people based on race (more specifically skin color), and people who have their free speech trampled. 

Anyway, on to the subject at hand, I keep hearing free market principles, regulations kill businesses and jobs.  Then we have incidents like those that happened here, in the state where I reside.  Countless dead miners, because of a lack of regulations, Earth and water contaminated because of a lack of people to enforce said regulations.  When we talk about regulations, we are talking about the safety of people.  It regulates how many hours a large truck driver can be on the road, how many pollutants can be placed in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the ground we get our good from.


Before regulations, children could work in horrid unsafe conditions.  We can still view this treatment today; look at countries like China, Mexico, Taiwan, etc.  Children paid pennies, forced to continue working even if they need to go to the bathroom, out of fear that some other child will replace them.  Look at the thousands of miners lost before safety regulations came into effect.  Look at the miners lost when these regulations remain unenforced.  Upper Big Branch, one of the worst mining disasters in recent memory, was created because the regulations were ignored for the sake of profit.  Regulations are ignored for the sake of profit when it comes to the environment as well.  How many of you knew that there was a molasses spill in Hawaii last year?  I did not know about it until it was brought to my attention.  We heard about the toxic chemical spill in West Virginia; bit how many of you knew that there has been human waste flowing into the creeks in this state for decades.  Sure most of the state has attempted to ensure this no longer happens, but it still does in many areas of the state.  I have seen creeks run black with coal, people lighting fires on the water due to methane leaks from fracking gas wells.  How much money does it cost to preserve our environment?   For me there is no price to be placed on it.  Without it, we will die, and a human life is far beyond a price, it is priceless.

So, when someone says that regulations kill jobs, I will concede that point, it might well do that.  But can we really put a cost on our safety and well being?  We need to find a better way, but letting companies do as they see fit, is not the answer.  They will serve their best interests and damn everything else.