Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Protecting Workers


History has clearly demonstrated that regulations enforced by government officials has an important role in protecting workers.
In 1911, at the New York City Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City a fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers, who died from the fire, smoke inhalation, or jumping to their deaths.  Most of the victims were recent Jewish and Italian immigrant women age 16 to 23.
The profit motivated owners claimed, that they had locked the doors to the stairwells and exits to prevent workers from taking unauthorized breaks and reduce theftThe fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union.
In 2013, a catastrophic building collapse occurred, in the Dhaka suburb of Savar, Bangladesh.  Cracks appeared in the structure the day before, but the garment factory workers weren’t told not to report for work despite concerns that the building's structure was not sound.  The building collapsed.  The final death toll was 1,127.
The Obama administration has not killed jobs through overregulation.  In the ‘60s and the ‘70s, our government began adding regulations, and rules to protect workers’ rights, and the environment.  Those regulations improved public health and safety.  They didn’t repress the economic growth that took place in the ‘60s and the ‘70s.
Obama has issued fewer regulations than his predecessor George W. Bush.  He has issued fewer executive orders than any two-term president since Ulysses S. Grant.  Many of the regulations that the Obama administration has issued are to protect our air and water.  Other rules are designed to keep families from getting cheated when buying a house or investing their savings.  Those rules have benefited our economy a lot more than they’ve cost to implement.  They’ve helped poor and middle class families.

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