Wednesday, October 04, 2006

If X is causing a problem, don't add more X.

Especially when X is government.

Since I'm part of Cornell University's Solar Decathlon team, which aims to build a solar house, I had to attend a construction training seminar this afternoon done by some OSHA-trained guy. It was pretty much along the lines of "Here's when to use safety goggles. Here's a guy with a nail in his eye." None of the regulations were particularly stupid - most of them were common-sense, like "use safety goggles when operating a nail gun."

But why is OSHA around anyways? Surely in a capitalist system, employers would want to protect their workers, since they wouldn't want to replace them and they wouldn't want to be liable. Unsurprisingly, government shows up here too. Employers could be safe from liability if their greased representatives made sure they were, and so employers greased their representatives. The solution was, unfortunately, to add more government, when it should have been to prevent laws from being passed which would prevent the normal handling of liabilities.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Kris Overstreet said...

Google on "Triangle shirtwaist fire" for only one example of just how little employers have historically cared about employee safety.

There are many, many, MANY others.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Free American said...

employers (people who look to make money) will care about whatever allows them to keep making money, including meeting the concerns of skilled workers and caring consumers.

When employees realize that they can negotiate their own wages and working conditions without government aid, they'll start doing it.

6:29 PM  

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