I stumbled upon an obscure link in Digg that lead me to this post that really captured my attention. There was a comment by John Gardner whose twitter page is at http://twitter.com/j_gardner
His comments were in regards to the video below, but the first paragraph was about OSHA and it had a real anti-government tone that I believe to be indicitave of the Tea Party people. To be clear, I don't know if Mr.Gardner travels in the Tea Party circles, but I was taken aback by his perception of OSHA. I can only assume that Mr. Gardner either owns a large industrial manufacturing business or if he dosen't, he's just never worked in one. Below is the paragraph that caught my attention.
"I despise Chris Matthews – he claims that OSHA is there to keep workplaces safe. What Mack should have said is that OSHA isn’t about safety, it’s about control. If a workplace wasn’t safe, NO ONE WOULD WORK THERE. You don’t need a governing body to force businesses to be safe, they’ll do that on their own because they want to attract workers."
I replied to his comment however, it didn't post right away. I can only assume they moderate thier comments which is always annoying. I don't work for OSHA, but I have more then a decade of experience in County Code Inforcement particularly in regards to industrial manufacturing. Below is my reply to Mr. Gardners comment.
"OSHA isn’t about safety, it’s about control. If a workplace wasn’t safe, NO ONE WOULD WORK THERE. You don’t need a governing body to force businesses to be safe, they’ll do that on their own because they want to attract workers."
Oh really? So we should just develop an honor system and hope that company owners and executives will provide a safe work environment for thier employess without any oversight whatsoever? - Really?
Secondly, that fact of the matter is that many people would absolutely work in an unsafe or non-compliant workplace as long as the paychecks keep rolling in, particularly when the job market is lean. It's times just like these where business owners will make up lost revenue by putting off scheduled maintance of machinery, fire supression systems, safety training, turning a blind eye to ISO standards.
You said we don't need a governing body to "force" business to be safe. That is not the purpose of OSHA and more importantly, they shouldn't have to force compliance, but rather enforce compliance. OSHA sets the standard and it's up to the business owner to operate within the standard. The only time a business is forced to comply is when they've been caught operating in violation of health and safety standards.
I'm on my 10th year in County Code Enforcment and you'd be amazed at the level of danger "some" business owners will allow thier employess to operate in. I'm not talking about running out of earplugs or not providing eye protection, or even uncertified forklift operators for that matter. I'm talking about five ton stamping presses with safety guards and fail-safe switches not working or removed entirely.
I don't claim to know what the Tea Party movement is all about, but on the surface, it seems extremely anti-government. I'm all for not being told by the government how many guns I can own, or that my kids have to be taught about sex, morality and other issues at school that really belong at home between children, adolescents and thier parents. But there can never come a day when Government is removed from every aspect of society.
Just what you said in your post is a fine example of what I'm talking about. From my perspective, the Tea Party has a romantic urning for a return to simpiler times back when the constitution was drafted. It's always about or founding fathers and the principils they lived by. While that's a tender notion, it's just not practical. Or founding fathers knew nothing about an industrialized nation or a global economy for that matter. There's a reason why the hands on a clock only travel in one direction. Time moves forward and there is simply no going back.
We are an ever changing society and I suspect that if you could bring back our founding fathers from 1776 to 2010, they would be curled up in the fetal position on the ground from the noise, cars, jet aircraft, not to mention that America now consist of 300,000,000 people of every color, creed, and religion.
Not to be rude or insensitive, but it seems to me that the tea partiers are not afraid of the future, but rather of an overwhelming sense that they are being left behind. Our county has stood strong for over 250 years through bloody revolution, civil war, drought, and at the edge of full scale nuclear war. We have now added bloody terrorism to our national resume. If George Bush couldn't kill it, there's now way some skinny black dude from Chicago is going to kill it either. If our founding fathers have given us anything that has endured the test of time, it's our systems of checks and balances.
In peace time or at war, we are and will always be the greatest country on the planet. We are the land of the free and the home of the brave, not the home of I'm afraid. That seems to be the endless narrative coming from the tea party movement. At least from my perspective it is.
They say "Oh we can't try terrorist in New York, it will make us a target, Obama is making the country unsafe, we have to protect ever square inch of our bordes. For a group of people who invoke religion and tout their christianity every chance they get, I have never seen a group of people so frightened of death.
There are more than 300,000,000 people in the country. Why do you think these terrorist pussies get in air planes and fly them into buildings, or blow up American embassys on the other side of the globe. Do you think they would have the balls to put on a uniform, pick up a rifel and march in formation down mainstreet USA like our soldiers do down the God Damn streets of Bhagdad? - No they don't!
You won't see a wave terrorist invading our country and landing on the shores of our opposit coastlines. They know better! - They'd never make it off the fucking sand along in California coast or even to the boardwalk at Coney Island on the east coast. And it won't be or military alone that they have to worry about. In this country, we have the right to bear arms and guess what Bubba? - I'm armed to the fucking teeth and I'm not the only one and they know it. With our military spread out all over the world and in two wars in the middle east, they still don't come to us in the numbers that we go to them...No Country has and I suspect that no country ever will.
Sadly, we seem to be caught up in our racial, religious, and economic differances that it would take something like a full blown military invasion to cure us of what has been ailing us for decades in this country. I'm telling you if that day ever came where it was us against them right here in our own front yard with our freedom and liberty really hanging in the balance, all of that bullshit would disappear in a second.
It won't matter if you're Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Gay, Straight, Blind, Crippled, or Fucking Crazy! - All that will matter is "are you an American" and if so come on then! - Lock & Load. That's why it drives me nuts when I hear people saying that Obama wants to abolish the 2nd ammendment and confiscate everyones guns. Sooner or later, we're going to have to stop all of this anti-government nonsense. We need to forge ahead as a county, as a society no matter how frightening or uncertian it may seem to some. There is no going back! - Not now, not ever!
That's my two cents.