SHORT SIGHTED CORPORATIONS STINT ON SAFETY! Why would mining corporations all over the world stint on safety measures? In  2010, Mine disasters all over the planet took hundreds of lives. The mine owners ignore safety equipment because the CEOS are gamblers like the casino bankers on Wall Street. Good equipment costs billions, security checks too. The loss of a dozen men and payoffs to the families is not really a big expense to them, compared to the cost of safety accoutrements.

The oil spill in the Gulf was not merely an accident. It could have been easily prevented had Tony Hayward (Chief Executive of BP Oil) and his sociopathic cohorts chosen to install certain safety mechanisms. They were 'penny wise and pound foolish' as the saying goes. But with the bottom line in mind, BP chose not to install these special gauges and checkpoints, even though the cost of doing so amounted to no more than a fraction of a single dayís profits! BP decided that the risk of an 'accident' was worth it. And our congressional representatives cheered Tony on.

We need class action lawsuits, pro bono lawyers, to hit congress men and BP or Mine owners and get that cash to the widows. To the shrimpers, fishermen. To those with real estate near a disaster.  Though BP is responsible for cleaning up the mess, current law only holds BP liable for $75 million (Again, less than BP hauls in in a single day) in economic damages to other businesses, which is already estimated to be in the billions. Beyond that $75 million for which BP is liable, these businesses have no legal recourse to recoup their losses. As a result of this, you can rest assured that this will happen again. The $75 million liability our government imposes on BP is but a drop in BPís oceanic profits. As one critic recently put it,'oil spills are just a cost of doing business'

Why? Because those we elected to look out for our interests donít give a
crap about our interests. Except for some very few, our lawmakers are in
the pocket of the oil industry no less than they are in the pocket of
Wall Street. The bribery that runs so rampant in third world countries
that it has become a caricatured stereotypical mainstay of Hollywood,
has here, in all too real off-screen America, been institutionalized at
the highest levels of government. The politicians take kickbacks from
the corporate sector to fund their campaigns in exchange for passing
laws that favor their corporate masters.

The recently passed Health Care Reform Bill is a prime example. The
health insurance industry made out like bandits. The government run
single-payer option (Medicare for all), which polls indicated the public
favored, but which posed a grave threat to the health insurance
industry, was never even part of the debate. And the next best thing --
the much talked about'public option' -- which would have given the
health insurance industry a healthy competitive run for its money,
barely even made it out the starting gate. Instead, the insurance
industry was guaranteed 30 million new customers under penalty of law.

We are soon to see a re-run of this disgraceful performance with the
Financial Reform Bill, ostensibly designed to reign in Wall Street. The
financial sector has released its army of lobbyists on Capitol Hill,
and, after all the backroom wheeling and dealing is done, you can be
sure the final bill will be but a shadow of its former self. If you had
any hope that those'too big to fail' banks -- Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan
Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo -- might be cut down to
size to discourage the kind of high-risk behavior that eviscerated our
economy, you can forget it. Even as the bill now stands, these
mega-banks are protected, and should any future high-risk behavior on
their part again send our economy tumbling, this new'reform' bill
guarantees their continued survival by way of more taxpayer bailouts. In
other words, the new reform bill institutionalizes and encourages the
very behavior that got us into this mess in the first place. And keep in
mind that Wall Street has yet to even show all its cards. Its army of
lobbyists have yet to make their last minute, behind closed doors offers
-- the kind of offers that most congressional leaders with an eye toward
re-election just canít refuse.

And when we turn to those appointed to run our governmentís'watchdog'
regulatory agencies the situation is no better. Having no campaigns to
fund, the regulators may not take money as the politicians do, but, once
their regulatory stint is done, many do manage to land jobs as highly
paid lobbyists and consultants in the very industries they were
entrusted to oversee as government regulators. Apparently, turning a
blind eye to industry violations of government regulations is a very
effective way of sprucing up oneís r ésumé. And, of course, this is a
two-way street. You are as likely to find government regulators with
strong industry backgrounds and connections as you are to find industry
lobbyists and consultants who made their bones on the regulatory
circuit. If ever there was a case of the fox guarding the henhouse, this
is it. As a result of all this, no law required BP to install the safety
mechanisms that could have prevented the disaster in the Gulf. Our
elected officials are well aware of the need for such a law, but they
also know that if they donít want to be at a disadvantage come election
time they had better pay homage to Big Oilís deep pockets. Of course,
the regulatory agency responsible for providing oversight to the oil
industry could have pressed Congress for the kind of stringent
regulations that should have been in place here, but doing so would have
been a very poor career decision. So there you have it. Three decades of
free-market ideological crap (beginning with Reagan), and a'revolving
door' between government and industry, has rendered our government
impotent, except as a subservient junior partner of Industry and
Finance, both of which have, essentially and effectively, become their
own'regulators.'

These are the regulatory agencies that the Tea Party crowd would like to
see dismantled altogether. But what would be the point? The regulators
are already shamefully doing the bidding of their corporate masters
anyway. So the Tea Partiers can stop embarrassing themselves with all
their ridiculous hysterics, and just go home. We need stronger
regulatory oversight of finance and industry, not weaker. Any
'too-big-to-fail' financial institution whose greedy high-risk practices
can send our entire global economy into a tailspin (Wall Street), or any
industry whose greed-driven risky practices can destroy an entire
coastlineís ecosystem (Big Oil), must be prevented from doing so with
strong, unyielding regulations, enforced by regulators whose integrity
is beyond reproach. Anyway, the Gulf oil spill was no accident. Itís the
result of very deliberate decisions made by self-serving, covetous,
cold-hearted, predatory, unrestrained, greedy corporate executives;
groveling, impotent, bought-and-sold politicians; and servile,
ass-kissing regulators.

by ROBERT FRANCIS QUINN FOR BUZZFLASH

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