Foulkes has also promised to investigate the issue of mandatory combustible dust standards, but we should not expect those any time soon. Why? Because, as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory owners discovered when they were acquitted of manslaughter charges after the fire, the best way to avoid criminal liability for even the most egregious workplace malfeasance is not to have any laws at all. Despite infuriating testimony about previous warnings and blocked egress, the jury was unable to find owners Isaac Harris and Max Blenck had violated or failed to comply with any legal requirements: There weren't any.
It was a perfect void of government responsibility. And it is into this very same early-twentieth-century abyss the Bush administration has been dragging us for the past seven years. No regulations, ergo, no violations. No violations, ergo, no criminal culpability. Employers - unfettered by oversight or even laws - can live free and profit. Employees, on the other hand, can live free and die. Meanwhile, however, charitable donations continue to pour in for the families of the Imperial Sugar Co. victims who have been killed or maimed as the result of this unconscionable bargain.
RLCC Comment: The capitalists will tell you that regulation is evil. It interferes with market efficiencies. Bad management would fail and not profit, so fires such as this latest one should never have happened. Now that it has though, do you think all the factories around the country are cleaning up because they care about their workers?
The point here isn't to coerce people to care. The point is to ask them to have a conscience. Where's the real Christian ethic? They were warned about the explosive dust building up. It's not as if they didn't know.
t r u t h o u t, April 9, 2008, 1:00am, obtained via: