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Live And Let Live


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Report this May. 02 2012, 6:52 am

Quote: lostshaker @ Apr. 27 2012, 10:35 am


>Of course they do, that's why we have laws against discrimination in hiring, FMLA, Minimum wages, OSHA standards, environmental policies, etc. I would EXPECT a decent and moral government to do these kinds of things...otherwise you get factory-prisons with hellish conditions that are surrounded by concertina wire and guarded by thugs with AK-47 assult rifles. - Lucifer

>OSHA. Is that occupational health and safety(OHS in Canada)?
If so than I'll say that sometimes they do go a little far but don't you think an employer should provide a safe work environment?(perhaps a new thread would be in order. I'll play). - resistance is futile

>Lucifer, BamBam posted a good reply, but there's more I'd like to add. resistance, this answer's your question too.

>Businesses invest in technological innovations, which bring about unintended consequences, in this case unexpected hazards in the workplace environment. Employers generally want their employees to be safe, as the employees represent an investment too and training replacement employees is expensive. But technological innovations and upgrades, as already stated, require investment, which is drawn from savings. Businesses do not always have the savings required to immediately implement safety upgrades that may further be untried due to the innovation that accompanies the new technology. Businesses therefore need time to for their new investment to pay for itself and then to generate the savings from which safety procedures are funded.

>But the government steps in and disrupts the process with legislative laws that are only temporary expediants. The government says, "Hey, Business, you've got a problem! This new piece of technology... while it speeds up employee productivity, it makes working conditions worse for the employees in other ways." Business says, "I know. I have a solution, but I poured all of my savings into this new piece of equipment so I could compete in the market. So now, I have no savings to safeguard the employees. I need time to generate those savings." Government says, "Sorry. It's election year. We need your employees votes, so you've got to invest - you can go into debt willingly or by government mandate." Business says, "Well, I don't want to go into debt... Maybe I can offset my borrowing if I cut back on employees."

>So while government may hasten safety measures - that would've inevitably been implemented - those measures come at an immediate cost, which is usually at the employees' expense. The government is quick to say that it motivated businesses to protect their employees, but it doesn't advertise that it's actions also led to the firing of employees to minimize the debt created by government mandated investments.


Lostshaker, your analysis is heavy on theory that again ignores historical reality. Unsafe productive processes were often evident and could have often been easily avoided. Rightly or wrongly, many business and industrial capitalists often failed to take such measures out of pure greed, they simply did not want to spend the money needed to take the effort to make their work places clean and safe. Moreover, the market place would some times reward such behavior because by ingoring safety concerns, they could bring their prodcuts to market at a cheaper price or at the same price as competitors with a biggue built in profit margin.

In early industrial America, it did not take that much effort to train new workers to take the place of injured or killed workers. As I have pointed out on several occasions now, the lack of economic alternatives forced workers to take jobs that were other wise repugnant or dangerous to them. Competiton for such workers was simply not great enough to provide sufficient incentive to improve work conditions.

This dynamic is still in place today for those whose developed skill sets are confined to a particular industry. Remove what protections that are in place and you would likely see a regression to previous circumstances. Again, just look to the situation in more impoverished countries, some of whom are now recipients of offshore investments. Workers are caught in a constant struggle to elevate themselves out of dangerous and destructive work site conditions.

Sure, another strategy is to organize alternative institutions. The problem there is that market forces work against such enterprises. For reasons already discussed, they are often at a competitve disadvantage. Moreover, a point you and I can agree upon, political entrepenuers can actually benefit form their control of political processes to discourage or stop such alternatives from developing.

A favorite histroic example of mine is described in Factories in the Field, by Carey McWilliams. There, a succesful worker commune near Visalia, California  (if memory serves me correct) had their land seized by the government on the thinly veiled pretense that the land was needed for inclusion into a park.

These are the kinds of uphill battles that workers faced. Like it or not, the government becomes a battlegound for such competing forces. Given that history, it is no suprise that gays, women and any other number of minority groups would seek to emulate the success of past struggles to further their own legitimate claims to equality. Government is often pressured to adjudicate in such matters. Yes, there needs to be a sensible balance struck. That is where the rub comes.

As Americans, we sometimes suffer from too much pluribus and not enough unum. - Arthur Schelsinger, Jr.


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Report this May. 02 2012, 7:01 am

A page or so back, BamBam posted a chart showing that injuries were dropping at about the same rate before OSHA.  It would be nice to see if a relationship could be drawn between these early dropping rates and the strength of unions in the industries.  I've always felt that between the 2 choices: government interference or properly run unions, I would take unions anyday.


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Report this May. 03 2012, 7:23 am

Quote: OtakuJo @ May. 01 2012, 10:47 pm


>Quote: Bevi @ May. 01 2012, 4:52 pm


> > And noone should be discriminated against. >

>  This is an untrue statement unless you want completely blind people to drive cars, or be pilots?

>That's not "discrimination" in the modern sense of the word; it's keeping people from jobs for which they clearly don't have the ability. If a person has the qualifications and ability to do a particular job, and happens to be blind (deaf, black, white, gay, or anything else) and they happen to be the best person for that job -- then it is "discrimination" not to allow them to take that job on the basis of what the mainstream believes would set them apart.

 It is still a form of discrimination that people are okay with


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Report this May. 03 2012, 7:50 am

Quote: caltrek2 @ May. 02 2012, 6:14 am

Quote: FleetAdmiral_BamBam @ Apr. 27 2012, 7:38 am

Quote: ___Lucifer___ @ Apr. 27 2012, 1:28 am




>Government distorts the free market through legislative law...

>Of course they do, that's why we have laws against discrimination in hiring, FMLA, Minimum wages, OSHA standards, environmental policies, etc. I would EXPECT a decent and moral government to do these kinds of things...otherwise you get factory-prisons with hellish conditions that are surrounded by concertina wire and guarded by thugs with AK-47 assult rifles. 

Actually, those laws force discrimination.  Why do you think some people are, by law, given preferential treatment and hired over others better qualified?

And don't get me started about OSHA.... just a waste of money that for the most part hasn't helped - only made things harder.

This isn't the USSR or China - people have a choice where to work - companies must compete for the best workers.

If certain affirmative action laws result in some being hired and promoted due to something other than merit, then that is usually the result made in interpreting and enforcing such laws. Affirmative action means that efforts are made to contact and recruit candidates within minority communities. It does not mean that such candidates should be hired regardless of merit or relative qualification. Before Affirmative Action laws, good ole boy networks worked to exclude other wise qualified applicants from being considered or being hired. Patterns of privilege based on prior prejucide were thus perpetuated. Affirmative action simply is a means of correcting that situtaion.  Unfortunately in order to comply with many of the new "nondiscrimination" laws companies had to discriminate against better qualified majority candidates to avoid appearing discriminatory against minorities.

Please, by all means, get started on OSHA. To imply workers would be better off without OSHA is an incredibly ludicrous position to take. If you want to make a total fool out of your self, then please try and explain other wise.  I didn't know that only 40% of work place deaths could even have a chance of being effected by OSHA.  I also didn't know that more than half of all formal workers complaints to OSHA didn't result in a serious violation with a third of complaints not resulting in any violations found what so ever.

In a tight labor market, people are often forced to take jobs with all sorts of  onerous codntions merely to survive. In such a market, competition for productive workers simply is not a great enough force to effectively work for safe working conditions. This was certainly true in the historic circumstances that led to OSHA laws being adopted. To believe other wise is to ignore history.  Studies have found that work places that promote a safe work enviorment are far more effective then any regulatory agency.  Managers at most companies realize that sick or injuried workers can't do as much work thus impliment safety programs on their own.

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