Thursday, June 30, 2011

Faith in the Private Sector

I've always been baffled by those who argue that corporate health is a measure of the nation's financial or social health, that we need to get government off the back of business, that less regulation means a more prosperous nation.

It was revealed yesterday that Massey Energy, owner of the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia where twenty-nine miners died, kept two sets of books in order to keep government regulators from knowing about all of the safety violations at the mine. They killed their workers by cutting corners.

If you eat Spam or care about American workers or our food supply, please make sure you read this article about the way that Hormel set up its Spam operation in a way that exposed immigrant workers to plumes of vaporized pig brains and gave them a degenerative neurological disease and then forced them to sign waivers that let Hormel off the hook for most of the cost of the treatment, leaving these workers sick with next to nothing.

We have a presidential candidates who say we have a "gangster government." It turns out that it is indirectly true, but for the opposite reason she intends. It is not big government that is the threat to the American people and the well-being of the nation, but the influence of corporations run by scum like this. These people gather with Republicans at meetings held by groups like ALEC where corporate interests write legislation that shields them from oversight or responsibility for their horrendous actions. When the history is written and we look back on what ended the American century, this is the sort of story that will be told.