Obama & Romney both silent on national worker safety crisis!
Everyone has an opinion about the recent presidential debates. Some say, Romney was more aggressive yet lacked specificity, while Obama was lackluster in the first debate but seemed to make up ground in the next two.
There is certainly an array of other opinions out there. However, there are a few observations from all three of the debates that are simply un-debatable and in my humble opinion, troubling.
First, when the topic of regulation was debated most of the rhetoric surrounded banking and economic regulations. Ultimately there was some talk of education and other important factors affecting our society.
Yet there was not one mention of issues concerning worker safety. Then again, why would there be? It’s not a hot button issue.
However, when it came time to answer another important question, the non-mention becomes a touch more distressing.
The men were asked, “What is the main function of government?” President Obama quickly (or as quickly as we are accustomed to him muttering out an answer) stated that the main function of government is to keep American's safe. Gov. Romney for the most part concurred and made sure it was clear that he would not budge an inch on Military spending cuts.
That is all well and good, but lets back up a second to take a look at the numbers involved here and try and connect some dots.
1: Primary role of Government… Keep American’s safe.
2: U.S. budget for Dept of Defense per year: 800 Billion Dollars and up.
3: Number of U.S. Soldiers killed over past 10 years: Approx. 6,500.
4: U.S. budget for worker safety agencies (OSHA & MSHA) per year: Less than 900 Million Dollars.
5: Number of U.S. workers killed over past 10 years, over 50,000.
Is it just me, or does something not add up? I know that it is hard to know the hypothetical number of American lives that have been saved because of the strength and presence of our military overseas. But then again it’s hard to argue that we would be in that much more danger with a slightly smaller military presence either.
On the other hand, we can look at the statistics of how many Americans are alive today, before and after specific safety regulations were put in place. That is not to say the answer is solely in regulations, or that the whole regulatory system is not in the need of a major overhaul... because it most definitely is.
However, these numbers should at least beg the question, why isn’t this a topic of conversation in our country and one our presidential candidates would broach in their bid to become the leader of our government, which by both of their accounts, has the primarily fuction to keep Americans safe!