Author Topic: The impossible economy  (Read 14228 times)

Crunch

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #50 on: October 15, 2019, 07:24:25 AM »
With 3.5% unemployment, people have options. If they are living paycheck to paycheck, they can find higher paying jobs, pick up a second job, etc. They are not locked into the one job for the rest of their life. I’m not sure why you think they are. Have you only had one job your entire life?

TheDrake

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #51 on: October 15, 2019, 12:48:50 PM »
I'm not. I have the freedom to move about the country and I have a BSEE and an MBA. I have no family that depends on me, no kids to uproot. I'm not locked into an upside down mortgage, or saddled with a house in Flint that no one would ever buy. I don't have physical or mental disabilities. Not everyone is in that situation.

Many of the people we're discussing are already working at least two jobs. A "can-do" attitude doesn't solve every problem, Crunch. Giving people the advice "find a higher paying job" isn't going to work for people who are unskilled. People can get into bad situations without fault on their part, believe it or not. There is truth to the idea that people fail to make changes to improve their situation. I just don't think it should cost them their lives on an unsafe job site run by robber barons.

An Objectivist employer would never allow that, because it amounts to asking another person to sacrifice themselves for their benefit. Unscrupulous capitalists, however, need some boundaries. The right mechanism is government regulation.

DJQuag

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #52 on: October 15, 2019, 01:04:33 PM »
With 3.5% unemployment, people have options. If they are living paycheck to paycheck, they can find higher paying jobs, pick up a second job, etc. They are not locked into the one job for the rest of their life. I’m not sure why you think they are. Have you only had one job your entire life?

Leaving aside the rest of my disagreements with you, not just your arguments but apparently you as a person, this "point" of yours is pretty disgusting.

Let them eat cake, eh, Crunch?

Crunch

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #53 on: October 16, 2019, 07:20:27 AM »
Let them have a choice of jobs, let employers fight for the privilege of employing them. Let each person be the master of his own fate and not reliant on bureaucratic masters from a 1000 miles away.

I know, you hate that idea. You find it “disgusting”. You don’t want them to eat cake, you want them to eat sh1t, eh, DJQuag?

yossarian22c

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #54 on: October 16, 2019, 08:35:27 AM »
Let them have a choice of jobs, let employers fight for the privilege of employing them. Let each person be the master of his own fate and not reliant on bureaucratic masters from a 1000 miles away.

Can you give a time and place in the history of the world where an unregulated economy has functioned in a way that doesn't exploit workers?

TheDrake

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #55 on: October 16, 2019, 11:24:45 AM »
If you ever met anyone who worked in construction, you would know they are not mulling over multiple offers. They're waiting until a crew has a spot open so they can work full time. Your worldview is a delusional fantasy.

Read some history about the "masters of their own fate" that built the railroads.

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Life for laborers working for the Union Pacific Line was extremely treacherous. Daily work consisted of the use of explosives to break through boulders and mountains. In a first hand account, a Chinese laborer discussed the sheer horror associated with working for the Union Pacific Line: “Twenty charges were placed and ignited, but only eighteen blasts went off. However, the white foreman, thinking that all of the dynamite had gone off, ordered the Chinese workers to enter the cave to resume work. Just at that moment the remaining two charges suddenly exploded. Chinese bodies flew from the cave as if shot from a cannon. Blood and flesh were mixed in a horrible mess. On this occasion about ten or twenty workers were killed.” Incidents such as this were daily occurrences on the railroad construction sites. Immigrants continued to work despite the low pay and devastating working conditions.

Crunch

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #56 on: October 16, 2019, 06:54:59 PM »
Let them have a choice of jobs, let employers fight for the privilege of employing them. Let each person be the master of his own fate and not reliant on bureaucratic masters from a 1000 miles away.

Can you give a time and place in the history of the world where an unregulated economy has functioned in a way that doesn't exploit workers?

Can you point to the post where I advocated a unregulated economy?

Crunch

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #57 on: October 16, 2019, 07:05:47 PM »
If you ever met anyone who worked in construction, you would know they are not mulling over multiple offers. They're waiting until a crew has a spot open so they can work full time. Your worldview is a delusional fantasy.

Read some history about the "masters of their own fate" that built the railroads.

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Life for laborers working for the Union Pacific Line was extremely treacherous. Daily work consisted of the use of explosives to break through boulders and mountains. In a first hand account, a Chinese laborer discussed the sheer horror associated with working for the Union Pacific Line: “Twenty charges were placed and ignited, but only eighteen blasts went off. However, the white foreman, thinking that all of the dynamite had gone off, ordered the Chinese workers to enter the cave to resume work. Just at that moment the remaining two charges suddenly exploded. Chinese bodies flew from the cave as if shot from a cannon. Blood and flesh were mixed in a horrible mess. On this occasion about ten or twenty workers were killed.” Incidents such as this were daily occurrences on the railroad construction sites. Immigrants continued to work despite the low pay and devastating working conditions.

Funny that you specifically call out construction, that’s precisely the kind of company I currently work for. Labor shortages are killing us. Project managers and superintendents are at a premium, we have trouble finding and retaining them. The trades are even worse off. They’re all job hopping like crazy, often getting $10,000 or more a year than current incomes.  We’re actually hiring anyone with a pulse and providing whatever OJT they need in an effort to get workers - a lot have literally zero experience. Whatever you think is going on in construction is limited to economically mismanaged areas like California. 

And you might want to sit down, it’s not the late 1800’s. It’s 2019. You have to know that, right? Not quite the same anymore.  Juuust a little different.

TheDrake

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #58 on: October 16, 2019, 07:48:07 PM »
That's funny because I can go to glassdoor and look up construction laborer and I'm seeing $10-$20 an hour. It doesn't seem like they got those 10k raises you're crowing about.

I quoted you one from this year already, not at all from the 19th century.

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VOSH issued Fraley 12 violation citations after a worker who was breaking down scaffolding at a jobsite in Springfield, Virginia, had to be hospitalized after coming into contact with an overhead power line.

Upon inspection, VOSH investigators found that scaffolds rising 14 feet to 20 feet high were being supported using blocks and boards instead of sound and level footings; that scaffolds had inadequate guardrail systems; that Fraley allowed employees to work within 10 feet of an overhead high voltage power line; and that Fraley did not contact VOSH about the employee’s injury and hospitalization within the required 24-hour timeframe.

Here's more

These are all construction companies. Crown Roofing having crews work without fall protection. Frame Q - fall protection. etc etc.

Without OSHA regulations, they'd just do this with impunity and put pressure on the safe companies to cut corners to stay competitive.

OSHA was created in 1971, it wasn't a 19th century problem - it was a 20th century problem. It was passed with bipartisan support and signed into law by Nixon. That regulation had a dramatic effect on the number of workplace injuries. As a result of government "getting in the way", workplace illnesses and injuries dropped from 10.9/100 to 2.9/100.

What would you actually like to see, Crunch? The elimination of all that? All the regulation that got chopped away said was this:

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In 2012, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that if a worker got injured, OSHA only had six months to check an employer’s log and issue a citation if the injury was not recorded.  That meant that even though employers must maintain injury/illness records for five years, if OSHA inspectors do not catch the employer’s record omission within the first six months after the injury, the employer will get off the hook.  Since OSHA inspections generally take longer than 6 months, the court’s ruling made it a lot harder for OSHA to punish companies for bad record keeping.  One of the judges on the court, though, wrote that OSHA could issue a new rule clarifying employers’ recordkeeping duties.

In response, OSHA promulgated the rule to allow OSHA to resume what it had been doing for the last 40 years:  citing an employer for failure to log an injury/illness anytime within the entire 5-year period that the record of injury must be kept.  This rule created no new record keeping requirements for employers, it just allowed OSHA more time to do its work.

article

Tell me how this benefits anyone except crooked employers trying to hide their unsafe practices.

Crunch

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #59 on: October 17, 2019, 07:26:55 AM »
Oh, you looked it up on the internet.  Well, it must be true.  ::)

We start people with zero experience at $15/hour. But, they often leave us after 6 months or so for $20 an hour. Let’s do the math. $5 an hour over 2000 work hours per year. I’m pretty sure you don’t need a calculator for that one - it’s $10,000. 

You can quote issues from the late 1800’s all you want if you think that makes some weird sense. But the math and current reality just doesn’t fit your 1880 belief system.


D.W.

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #60 on: October 17, 2019, 09:41:43 AM »
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We start people with zero experience at $15/hour. But, they often leave us after 6 months or so for $20 an hour. Let’s do the math. $5 an hour over 2000 work hours per year. I’m pretty sure you don’t need a calculator for that one - it’s $10,000.

A system that requires some business to intentionally underpay workers and suffer high attrition and lower skilled workers, for the benefit of those workers who leave and those jobs who gain that "free" training, is one of the strangest I've heard of yet.

Thanks for doing your part?

ScottF

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #61 on: October 17, 2019, 10:54:30 AM »
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We start people with zero experience at $15/hour. But, they often leave us after 6 months or so for $20 an hour. Let’s do the math. $5 an hour over 2000 work hours per year. I’m pretty sure you don’t need a calculator for that one - it’s $10,000.

A system that requires some business to intentionally underpay workers and suffer high attrition and lower skilled workers, for the benefit of those workers who leave and those jobs who gain that "free" training, is one of the strangest I've heard of yet.

Except for your use of "intentionally" which I think you just made up, this is literally the definition of a competitive labour market. If your business doesn't have a way of retaining employees through higher compensation or other means (e.g. culture, career growth), it will either adapt or suffer and die.

Have you never worked one place, gained valuable training and experience and then leveraged that experience for a more lucrative job elsewhere? I've literally made my career doing this. Often I've stayed put because the company supported my growth, other times they haven't (or weren't able to) and I've found opportunities elsewhere.

I suppose if you're quite young this could be new/strange to you?


TheDrake

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #62 on: October 17, 2019, 12:12:47 PM »
Usually it is the worst companies that follow this model. I have several friends who drive a truck for a living, and Swift is one of those. People entering the field go there, because they are desperately trying to back fill for people exiting the company. Walmart is clearly another one. As well as Amazon.

At the risk of actually researching something on the internet, rather than relying on Crunch's anonymously sourced anecdotes, you can review the list of companies with short tenure

You might note that some of these companies are wildly successful (see Amazon). They don't have to worry about turnover of their meat robots because all they have to do is go where their handheld tells them to go - there is minimal training and less judgement needed.

Skilled labor is very different. A master electrician would take one look at an unsafe site and get the hell out of there. It's the person being asked to carry stuff that needs the protection of safety regulation, and she shouldn't have to wait 6-12 months to leverage her way into a safer job.


ScottF

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #63 on: October 17, 2019, 12:22:21 PM »
Usually it is the worst companies that follow this model.

Agreed, and they often (but not always) die.

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Skilled labor is very different. A master electrician would take one look at an unsafe site and get the hell out of there. It's the person being asked to carry stuff that needs the protection of safety regulation, and she shouldn't have to wait 6-12 months to leverage her way into a safer job.

I don't disagree, but I think in times of extremely low employment, even unskilled laborers are much more likely to bounce if they know that they can get another job at the site down the road.

NobleHunter

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #64 on: October 17, 2019, 12:31:01 PM »
I don't disagree, but I think in times of extremely low employment, even unskilled laborers are much more likely to bounce if they know that they can get another job at the site down the road.

That presupposes the job down the road is any better than the job they have.

Seriati

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #65 on: October 17, 2019, 01:37:38 PM »
Getting out of the way has worked so well in the past. Looks great on paper until you realize the fallout.

"Congressional Republicans approved and President Trump signed a Congressional Review Act resolution blocking the Workplace Injury and Illness recordkeeping rule, which clarifies an employer’s obligation under the Occupational Safety and Health Act to maintain accurate records of workplace injuries and illnesses. "

Of course if an employer can just replace injured workers with fresh ones, they'll make more money. They may even pass that on as higher wages. It isn't a good idea however, because those workers are drawing federal and other benefits.

I never know how to take it when I read these kind of "soft" assertions of a fact, that posters then rely on as support to write conclusory arguments later in the thread.  So I decided I'd go look and see what you're talking about.  I can find two things that this could be referring to and neither really supports your final paragraph or any of the arguments you make later.

The first was in fact an exercise of the Congressional Review Act, but it occurred back in 2017 just after Trump took office.  Congress overturned the "Volks Rule," which was a regulation promulgated by OSHA to over rule an unfavorable court decision.  On background, OSHA can cite an employer for failure to record an accident at anytime within 6 months of the accident - this is actually stated in the law that created OSHA.  OSHA has a separate rule that requires the employer maintain accident records for 5 years.  The case OSHA lost was an attempt to treat the five year record keeping rule as a back door into a five year statute of limitations that exceeds the statute.  The court said no.  So OSHA passed a rule to "clarify" the situation and effectively turn the five year holding period into the statute of limitations (which, by the way, would most likely have been struck down by the next court to look at it) to try and rely on the so called Chevron doctrine where by court's are supposed to defer to administrative agencies when they are clarifying or interpreting vagueness in their statutory authorizations.  Congress rejected the regulation as exceeded OSHA's statutory authority (which it clearly did).

Nothing about that though changes the status of OSHA regulations as were in force from the 70's through now.  OSHA is still completely able to enforce the rules and hold employers accountable same as always.

The second thing that could fit the bill is the recent OSHA regulations that partially repealed Obama's 2016 OSHA regulatory expansion which did a lot of things, some of which were necessary, but more of which were excessively burdemsome.  The thing I'd focus on is the information grab and support for publicaly posting information.  Effectively, they used part of the regulation to facilitate use of mandatory government record collection to support the plaintiff's bar.  To minimize the "burden" they used "existing records" and required they be sent to OSHA every year.  The problem is the existing records were never designed to be used in that manner, and contain personal and medical information for the employees on the files, which is now subject to the highest standards of personal confidentiality. 

I know you may not be aware, but there has been an enormous push (even before Trump) on the administrative agencies to eliminate the collection and storage of data related to persons and even businesses.  Much of this has its roots in data security and in actual data breaches/thefts of data from government systems that are behind the curve when compared with private bad actors, or even from government employees misappropriating the data and using it for their own benefit (there's a real issue with government employees that can access proprietary tech or information turning around and using it to their own benefit when they leave for private industry).

So the new regulation doesn't change one bit the record keeping requirements - neither did Obama's 2016 change.  It doesn't alter one bit OSHA's existing and historical use of the data.  OSHA has collected the summary forms mandatorily and used that data to set up it's targetted enforcement actions, and used the on site records for the other 2 forms in connection with inspections, investigations and enforcements.  There's literally no damage to OSHA's existing operations to rescind the receipt of the detailed forms, which it would then have to redact, review and come up with new processes to effectively use.  So if OSHA didn't need the info, it shouldn't have it, so why did the 2016 rule make the collection mandatory?  Well it seems to me that there were two primary reasons, first to expand what OSHA would be doing (whether or not authorized, one could make a fair case that this may be a beneficial action) and second, and largely unstated, to collect the information in a single place where a plaintiff's bar friendly team could turn over massive amount of litigation data pursuant to FOIA requests and/or subpeona's (which, despite what some may believe is not a legitimate government purpose and potentially interferes with OSHA's own enforcement actions).   

Here's the link to the implementing release for the new regulation, which walks through much of the history and the thinking - you can also find the 2016 regulation (and all the others before) on the site, also with a lot of the thinking.
 
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/01/25/2019-00101/tracking-of-workplace-injuries-and-illnesses

Here's the paragraph where they explain what they are doing, the 300 and 301 are the log of all injuries - which includes private details about every employee on it, and the individual log of the specific injury.  All are still required to be kept on site (the number of employees language was there before the 2016 reg, after the 2016 reg, and after this reg).  The 301A summary was designed to be disclosed to OSHA, and it's disclosure has not been altered by either of the 2016 reg or the new reg.

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Elimination of the requirement that establishments with 250 or more employees submit information electronically from their OSHA Forms 300 and 301—a requirement that has not yet been enforced—does not change any employer's obligation to complete and retain injury and illness records under OSHA's regulations for recording and reporting occupational injuries and illnesses. The final rule also does not add to or change the recording criteria or definitions for these records.

Here's their explanation for why they are revising the rule to eliminate this routine collection.  I note many find this unpersuasive, but I think they are largely ignoring that OSHA has always been able to identify its enforcement targets from the summaries and direct reports from injured parties and has been and still is able to access the detailed information both during those investigations and during routine inspections.  They are are also able to specifically request the information when they need it.  They actually go into a lot more detail in the release, including walking through the history of how such forms have been treated as "need to know" level of confidentiality.

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In light of this backdrop, OSHA has determined that the rule will benefit worker privacy by preventing routine government collection of information that may be quite sensitive, including descriptions of workers' injuries and the body parts affected, and thereby avoiding the risk that such information might be publicly disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or through the Injury Tracking Application. OSHA has also concluded that the extent of any incremental benefits of collecting the data from Forms 300 and 301 for OSHA enforcement and compliance assistance activities is uncertain. OSHA has determined that avoiding this risk to worker privacy outweighs the data's uncertain incremental benefits to enforcement. The rule will allow OSHA to focus agency resources on the collection and use of 300A data described above, and severe injury reports, as well as data from other initiatives that its past experience has proven useful—instead of diverting those resources toward developing a Web portal for, and then collecting, manually reviewing, and analyzing data from Forms 300 and 301.

Anyway, I don't see anything that supports the reaction that you had to this.  Is there some other rule you meant to reference?  Cause the idea that OSHA doesn't collect and store the detailed records, versus keeping them on site with the Companies as they have done historically, doesn't seem to me to somehow be a wink wink, nudge nudge to business to go ahead and kill off their employees, because there's always more where they came from.

TheDrake

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #66 on: October 17, 2019, 01:59:51 PM »
It was the first one. I don't dispute most of what you are saying. All I am saying is that this reversal makes it easier for companies to get away with bad record keeping. What point is there to forcing maintenance of records for five years if 4.5 years of records can be inaccurate or incomplete?

I do agree that this is not an enormous impact, it was just one example of regulatory rollback. We could find many others, of course.

One question might be about how quickly they get notified to review such records. Is the employee going to raise any issues within the six month window? They might take that long just to try to work through workman's compensation issues. They might not even know such records exist.

In the court case you cite:

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The court case was AKM LLC v. OSHA. The enforcement agency cited AKM, which at the time was doing business as Volks Constructors, for failure to record injuries and illnesses during a three-and-a-half-year period in the mid-2000s. However, the citations weren’t issued until late 2006, at which point a six-month statute of limitations for citing such violations had expired.

Government lawyers argued that when employers fail to record a violation, the six-month statute of limitations does not apply because the obligation to record such injuries is a continuing one. This is coupled with a requirement that employers must “keep and maintain” injury records for five years.

Essentially, the government claimed that by virtue of needing to keep and maintain records for five years, failing to record injuries constitutes a “continuing violation.” Instead of having six months to cite an employer, the government said OSHA actually gets five-and-a-half years.

It would be like having the requirement to hold on to your tax records for years in case of audit, but giving the IRS only six months to challenge whether you left something off.

Seriati

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #67 on: October 17, 2019, 02:39:03 PM »
It's not at all like that.  Statute's of limitations are common everywhere in the law.  For example there may be a 3 year statute of limitations to sue your accountant.  The fact that your accountant has done your records for 20 years doesn't convert the earlier 17 years into a "continuing" issue for the statute of limitations that restricts it to the last 3 years.  Or how, virtually all crimes but murder have a statute of limitations past which you can not be prosecuted.  This would be like, if Congress said there's a one year statute of limitation for the crime of theft, and then a regulator that decided this was unfair tried to impose a rule that the one year doesn't begin until you admit the theft at the police station.  Effectively ignoring the law.

So yes, Congress determined that OSHA has to bring such claims within 6 months.  That's a deliberate decision they made.  The agency does not get to overrule Congress just because they want to.

TheDrake

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #68 on: October 17, 2019, 03:36:32 PM »
That's a procedural question. My question is whether it is good or bad that there is a six month window. Courts exist to provide oversight on legality and mechanism. I actually liked the argument that this is an ongoing violation because they have an ongoing opportunity to make the record correct, but clearly the appeals court did not - though the original court did.

I noticed that the Trump administration didn't drop the attempt and replace it with an effort to change the law, so the effect is simply reduced penalties for chronic recordkeeping violations.

I don't contest any of your points on legality, this is an illustration of attempts to reduce regulation for the purpose of making life easier on businesses. Unless you think the administration is reviewing items on legal grounds and only removing those that they deem illegal.

This is what we are talking about:

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Seventeen other-than-serious citations were issued for failing to complete "OSHA 301 Logs" used for a first report of injury; failing to record 102 injuries and illness on the "OSHA 300 Logs"; company executives certifying OSHA 300 Logs that were neither correct nor complete; and failing to provide the OSHA 300 and 301 Logs upon request. Additional violations included lack of rating capacity for alloy steel chains/synthetic web slings, restricted work space in front of electrical equipment, use of hazardous chemicals from unmarked containers and lack of material safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals. An other-than-serious violation is a condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety or health of the employees.

These are bad guys creating an unsafe work environment and trying to hide the inevitable injuries that result. Even more aggressive rollbacks of such rules have been advocated, up to the elimination of OSHA proposed by CATO in 1995.

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We contend that citizens generally favor a perspicacious government where policy costs and benefits are concerned-they want an efficient government, one that does not pay more for something than it is worth, including the cost of saving a statistical life.

That lays the philosophy pretty bare. We don't care how many workers fall off a roof if it is going to be expensive to prevent it.

D.W.

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #69 on: October 17, 2019, 05:22:29 PM »
ScottF
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Except for your use of "intentionally" which I think you just made up, this is literally the definition of a competitive labor market.
Not sure I follow what you mean by "made up" but the "intentionally" was key to the point.  Maybe I'm wrong but I thought Crunch was illustrating how the average worker pay was going up while bemoaning that his company was losing workers because they were paying less.  As he is one who recently taut the incredible economy, I found this interesting.  That somehow businesses who refuse to raise pay were generating these worker increases, by pushing people into the arms of others, who I guess CAN afford to do so.  Yes, I get this is how the labor market works, I just found it amusing that the simple solution of: "pay them more", seemed to be off the table.  So I assume self-sacrifice of accepting high turnover for the greater good was at play.  After all, workers cannot get ahead, if they aren't behind at some point I guess.   ::)

For your second question, I'm a terrible example.  I've stayed put when many others in my field have swapped companies to get ahead.  I don't know if it's loyalty, comfort or risk aversion or what, but I've not made my career ship jumping.  Surely to the overall detriment of my potential salary.  Your point is valid, but I'm probably a statistical anomaly on that front.

Seriati

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #70 on: October 17, 2019, 05:51:28 PM »
That's a procedural question. My question is whether it is good or bad that there is a six month window. Courts exist to provide oversight on legality and mechanism. I actually liked the argument that this is an ongoing violation because they have an ongoing opportunity to make the record correct, but clearly the appeals court did not - though the original court did.

I noticed that the Trump administration didn't drop the attempt and replace it with an effort to change the law, so the effect is simply reduced penalties for chronic recordkeeping violations.

How is it "reducing" penalties for record keeping violations?  Congress set the penalty, Congress can and does increase penalties when they want to, and they can and do give the agencies discretion to change the rules when they want to do so.

And you may not realize it, but this is far more complicated that the simple idea that this six month window is designed somehow to let companies off.  It's the authorizing statute, which was by far about the opposite about holding companies accountable.  Most of these kinds of limitations are about fairness, including this one.

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I don't contest any of your points on legality, this is an illustration of attempts to reduce regulation for the purpose of making life easier on businesses. Unless you think the administration is reviewing items on legal grounds and only removing those that they deem illegal.

The administration is openly reviewing items based on whether they are economically justifiable.

This rule in particular exists because of the inherent unfairness involved in requiring a company to defend an action about whether an event occurred 4.5 years ago, where there are no records, may not be any staff involved, and the only person that claims to remember it is an ex-employee that is suing the company with OSHA's backing.  Congress very expressly felt that more than 6 months after an event was alleged to have occurred is too long for it to have sat without some action by the regulator.  They don't have to have completed that action in the window, they just have to have filed it or even provided some kind of notice (which often triggers an agreement to toll the six months).

How do you imagine that OSHA is discovering a failure to report years after the fact in a manner that is reliable and credible?

I guaranty that if the reports are being falsified there will be other violations that OSHA can bring that don't toll in the same manner.

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Seventeen other-than-serious citations were issued for failing to complete "OSHA 301 Logs" used for a first report of injury; failing to record 102 injuries and illness on the "OSHA 300 Logs"; company executives certifying OSHA 300 Logs that were neither correct nor complete; and failing to provide the OSHA 300 and 301 Logs upon request. Additional violations included lack of rating capacity for alloy steel chains/synthetic web slings, restricted work space in front of electrical equipment, use of hazardous chemicals from unmarked containers and lack of material safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals. An other-than-serious violation is a condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety or health of the employees.

These are bad guys creating an unsafe work environment and trying to hide the inevitable injuries that result.

I think you're kind of confused about what those mean.  I doubt there's more than a tiny fraction of inspections that don't come up with a list of violations of various levels of seriousness.  Most of the time, and for most of them, notwithstanding they may be a large list, the OSHA office is looking for the company to remediate the problems and not looking to fine them.  Even companies that take safety seriously and that have compliance professionals and engineers focused on safety are likely to not receive a "clean" report.  That's a far cry from being "bad people."

For example, you listed failing to record illnesses on the log, very commonly those relate to technical issues.  Like, for example, believing that the contractor that brings in temporary employees (who the plant owners may not even know) is responsible for maintaining that paperwork, or that a illness was "obviously" not work related.

Safety violations often occur as a result of employees undermining safety features that "get in their way," like by refusing to use harnesses, or disengaging ackward safety rails (or even standing on top of a rail to reach something instead of using a ladder.

Clearly there are serious violations as well.

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Even more aggressive rollbacks of such rules have been advocated, up to the elimination of OSHA proposed by CATO in 1995.

Yep, reasonable people can disagree at the level of safety regulations.  Most of the world has lower safety regulations than the US, are they all clearly wrong?  If so, can I get your support on Trump's tariffs against those factories?

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We contend that citizens generally favor a perspicacious government where policy costs and benefits are concerned-they want an efficient government, one that does not pay more for something than it is worth, including the cost of saving a statistical life.

That lays the philosophy pretty bare. We don't care how many workers fall off a roof if it is going to be expensive to prevent it.

I think rather they want a government that proposes rules like harnesses and nets to protect workers on high rises, rather than one that declares that all buildings have to be built no taller than one story for "safety."  That's where it feels like you're leaving the path hear.  The vast vast majority of companies take safety very seriously and comply with the very high US standards.  Nothing about these changes is a significant, let alone a material departure from those standards.

NobleHunter

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #71 on: October 17, 2019, 05:54:16 PM »
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If so, can I get your support on Trump's tariffs against those factories?

Because foreign safety standards are definitely a national security issue.

Seriati

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #72 on: October 17, 2019, 07:18:41 PM »
So I guess you're saying that we only care about worker safety when it impacts our national safety?  Can I quote you on that and run the implications into the ground?

NobleHunter

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #73 on: October 17, 2019, 10:18:01 PM »
I'm saying Trump has no authority over tariffs which aren't related to national security. I'm sure you wouldn't dream of supporting a President who exceeded his legislated authority.

Crunch

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #74 on: October 18, 2019, 07:30:06 AM »
Went through 8 years of just that thing. You thought it was great then, didn’t you? Unfortunately, it’s gonna be tough putting this back in the bottle unless Congress decides to reclaim its power.

I’ll share your outrage when you’re consistent with it.

oldbrian

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #75 on: October 18, 2019, 09:08:06 AM »
Seriati:
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This would be like, if Congress said there's a one year statute of limitation for the crime of theft, and then a regulator that decided this was unfair tried to impose a rule that the one year doesn't begin until you admit the theft at the police station.

honest question:  does the statute of limitation start at the occurrence of the crime, or when it was discovered/reported?
What if the theft was at someone's vacation home and not discovered until 6 months later?  When does the 1 year begin?

TheDrake

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #76 on: October 18, 2019, 12:55:14 PM »
It's unfair to call somebody out on an incomplete form nine months after they write it? Mmmmmkay. Yammer all you want about the law, I already stipulated that you're probably right. Meanwhile, about rules that 'get in the way' companies have an easy way to deal with that. An employee violates a safety rule, they get written up internally. Enough times, they get fired. Build a culture that is unforgiving of corner cutting.

Its about reducing penalties in the sense that the the terrifying expansion got undone. Under the Obama rule, penalties would be higher.

Wayward Son

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #77 on: October 18, 2019, 03:07:17 PM »
Went through 8 years of just that thing. You thought it was great then, didn’t you? Unfortunately, it’s gonna be tough putting this back in the bottle unless Congress decides to reclaim its power.

I’ll share your outrage when you’re consistent with it.

So I guess that means there is no "outrage" that the House isn't following the rules and voting on starting an impeachment inquiry (especially since there is no such requirement).  So we all should be outraged that Trump is pretending that it isn't Constitutional.

But, of course, why should we be outraged about Trump thumbing his nose at the Constitution when no one else is following the Constitution?

In fact, what do we need a Constitution for anyway when no one follows it's rules?

The inevitable conclusion of not believing in the rule of law unless all your opponents do, too.  ::)

Seriati

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #78 on: October 18, 2019, 04:24:35 PM »
I'm saying Trump has no authority over tariffs which aren't related to national security. I'm sure you wouldn't dream of supporting a President who exceeded his legislated authority.

I've commented  before on Trump's use of tariffs.  I'll be honest, I don't know enough about them to know if they are within his authority or not.  I suspect that the issue is probably more complicated than we'd like to think.  I do agree that the power to impose tariffs unilaterally is something that if it does sit with the President should probably be reconsidered.  I mean I may agree with Trump on the issue, or the results he's been getting, but establishing this as a Presidential perogative is not likely to be a future precedent that will be used in ways that I like as much.  So yes, this is one that should be curtailed.

I just think it's interesting that you dodge the point by focusing on that piece.

Seriati:
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This would be like, if Congress said there's a one year statute of limitation for the crime of theft, and then a regulator that decided this was unfair tried to impose a rule that the one year doesn't begin until you admit the theft at the police station.

honest question:  does the statute of limitation start at the occurrence of the crime, or when it was discovered/reported?
What if the theft was at someone's vacation home and not discovered until 6 months later?  When does the 1 year begin?

Depends on the statute.  Statutes of limitations are pretty literally statutes.  We know that some run from the time the crime occurred, others run from the time they are discovered/reported (or more significantly here should have been discovered/reported), and others expire based on unrelated events (e.g., many crimes against children run their statute of limitations from the child's 18th birthday - effectively to push the now adult to promptly file). 

It's unfair to call somebody out on an incomplete form nine months after they write it? Mmmmmkay.

You really are confused.  The issue on failure to report is that the report wasn't completed (that would be the individual accident report) and that the log therefore will have an omission.  The "incorrect" log is derivative of the failure to complete the report, why would it be the focus?

Maybe you should read up on why we have statute  of limitations in the first place, you don't seem to understand them as anything but a negative.

Imagine an employee from 3 years ago starts asserting that they were injured on the job because of a routine practice of ignoring a specific safety measure.  The company investigates and finds that the safety measure is currently always strictly enforced, there's no history of a lack of enforcement or any previous findings of it being ignored in inspections.  Only a few people work in that area and of the ones still at the company none of them remember such an event.  Floor videos are only saved for 90 days.

Is that proof it didn't occur?  Mostly not.

Now if the claim had been brought in a timely manner (i.e., immediately after the injury) would the company have been able to establish whether the event occurred?  Almost certainly.  And the dangerous situation could have been corrected.

The point of the OSHA implementing law was to ensure workplace safety (not to compensate employees - which is in fact different rule, and if I recall a "no fault" set up that isn't targetted at punishing companies but at compensating workers with minimum fuss). Delaying raising injuries and safety issues for years frustrates the goal of improving work place safety, which is why the statute of limitations is shorter.  I'd also note, that given the "no fault" relief available under worker's comp, recharacterizing an injury as work place related can have a material financial impact, particularly for he uninsured.  Fraud frisk increases as the time between an injury and the report separate.  Is the worker's claim really because of a work place issue from 3 years ago, or from an injury from their recent car accident, or from the uninsured fall they took during a drunk wrestling?  So again the regime is designed to force those claims to occur promptly to allow them to be properly investigated, and if necessary disputed, and to cause the unsafe situation to be remedied promptly.

The 2016 reg did confuse this, because it deliberately protected workers from punishment for a failure to promptly report injuries.  The argument for that was that a worker may not realize they are injured for a period of time, or an injury may be a cumulative event, and they discounted the known fraud risk in the interest of increasing that protection.

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An employee violates a safety rule, they get written up internally. Enough times, they get fired. Build a culture that is unforgiving of corner cutting.

That's generally the rule already, enforcement may vary.  Has little to do with whether injuries are properly reported, and they will still occur no matter how much safety is in place.  The six month limit is on the failure to record an injury, whether or not the injury is tied to a safety violation.   

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Its about reducing penalties in the sense that the the terrifying expansion got undone. Under the Obama rule, penalties would be higher.

Penalties were not intended to be the focus of OSHA or the rules.  Safety was.  Finding out that a company failed to record injuries, even if you can't currently cite them for those that occurred more than six months will show in the OSHA report and require remediation going forward, the failure of which does result in OSHA violations and punishments.

Again, the goal is to create a safer work environment not to levy financial consequences for historic events.

TheDrake

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #79 on: October 18, 2019, 04:59:24 PM »
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On May 10, 2006, OSHA began an inspection of Volks
and discovered that Volks had not been diligent in completing
its logs, forms, and summaries between 2002 and early 2006.
Accordingly, on November 8, 2006, OSHA issued the set of
citations at issue in this case. OSHA fined Volks a total of
$13,300 for 67 violations of 29 C.F.R. § 1904.29(b)(2)—
incident report forms were incomplete, 102 violations of 29
C.F.R. § 1904.29(b)(3)—injuries were not entered in the log,
one violation of 29 C.F.R. § 1904.32(a)(1)—year-end reviews
were not conducted between 2002 and 2005, and one
violation of 29 C.F.R. § 1904.32(b)(3)—the wrong person
certified the year-end summary.1

#1, 67 of these don't involve a dispute that the injury occurred. #2, I assume the government asks for some information to establish that a missing report was more than an employee fabrication. Actual trip to the hospital, etc. #3 explain not having a year-end review.

Statute of limitations is about the difficulty in proving or defending something years after the violation occurs. I don't see the problem here. If we were talking about 30 years or something crazy, I start to understand it. And, there's a matter of the stakes. If you're going to incarcerate someone for years, you need to give them more protection than fining a company for non-compliance.

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Despite AKM’s very clear pronouncement that OSHA is barred from issuing citations more than six months after an alleged violation has occurred, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission recently upheld citations against a Texas refinery for alleged violations of the Process Safety Management standard that occurred years before the inspection and at a time when the refinery was under different ownership. In Secretary of Labor v. Delek Refining, Ltd., the Review Commission held that the employer’s failure to act on recommendations made in a prior employer’s Process Hazard Analyses (some of which dated back more than 14 years before the OSHA inspection) constituted a “continuing violation” that effectively extended the statute of limitations under the Act.

Takeaways

Whether or not you find the decision in Delek to be absurd and illogical, it is currently the “law of the land.” With that in mind, employers (particular those with operations covered by the PSM standard) should:

Ensure that any recommendations made or hazards identified in any type of safety audit are followed up on and/or corrected. Safety audits are only as good as the follow up. In fact, the alleged deficiencies cited by OSHA in Delek were based largely upon a spreadsheet that Delek itself created and provided to OSHA.
Be aware that your company may be held liable for the transgressions of a prior owner. In light of this, employers acquiring new operations or facilities should conduct a careful and thorough review of safety procedures, policies, and prior safety-related audits and develop and act upon a plan to address any safety concerns prior to the acquisition; and
 Recognize that, although it is expressly set out in the Act, the six month statute of limitations is, by no means, a “silver bullet” defense to citations. OSHA and its compliance officers will always be looking for ways to argue that violations are “continuing” and, therefore, subject to citation long after the alleged violation occurred.

another article about the OSHA limit.

If you have an unsafe workplace, fix the problem as a priority even if you have to halt operations. The end. Full stop. Then you don't have to worry about whether you can get exempted on a technicality.

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Again, the goal is to create a safer work environment not to levy financial consequences for historic events.

That's not how any of that works. The threat of fines prompts companies to pre-emptively create safe work environments, rather than letting them get away with it until they are chastized.

Crunch

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #80 on: October 19, 2019, 09:27:07 AM »
Went through 8 years of just that thing. You thought it was great then, didn’t you? Unfortunately, it’s gonna be tough putting this back in the bottle unless Congress decides to reclaim its power.

I’ll share your outrage when you’re consistent with it.

So I guess that means there is no "outrage" that the House isn't following the rules and voting on starting an impeachment inquiry (especially since there is no such requirement).  So we all should be outraged that Trump is pretending that it isn't Constitutional.

But, of course, why should we be outraged about Trump thumbing his nose at the Constitution when no one else is following the Constitution?

In fact, what do we need a Constitution for anyway when no one follows it's rules?

The inevitable conclusion of not believing in the rule of law unless all your opponents do, too.  ::)

It is gratifying to see you say the same thing I and many others said from 2008-2016. You guys made this bed, no we’re all going to lay in it. Thanks for that

TheDeamon

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #81 on: October 22, 2019, 11:49:58 AM »
That's funny because I can go to glassdoor and look up construction laborer and I'm seeing $10-$20 an hour. It doesn't seem like they got those 10k raises you're crowing about.

I quoted you one from this year already, not at all from the 19th century.

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VOSH issued Fraley 12 violation citations after a worker who was breaking down scaffolding at a jobsite in Springfield, Virginia, had to be hospitalized after coming into contact with an overhead power line.

Upon inspection, VOSH investigators found that scaffolds rising 14 feet to 20 feet high were being supported using blocks and boards instead of sound and level footings; that scaffolds had inadequate guardrail systems; that Fraley allowed employees to work within 10 feet of an overhead high voltage power line; and that Fraley did not contact VOSH about the employee’s injury and hospitalization within the required 24-hour timeframe.

Here's more

These are all construction companies. Crown Roofing having crews work without fall protection. Frame Q - fall protection. etc etc.

Without OSHA regulations, they'd just do this with impunity and put pressure on the safe companies to cut corners to stay competitive.

The OSHA regulations regarding fall protection are frankly, overkill. OSHA requires it in situations where honestly, if you get hurt, you (or somebody else) honestly deserved it. All the safety harness is likely to do in those cases is impede work and/or create hazards as people have to work around the safety tie-downs which would be needed. Which also makes the job take longer, and cost more as a consequence. But hey, it reduces that 1 in 1,000+ chance of falling 5 feet to the ground to a chance of your safety lanyard will well, never mind..You're still hitting the ground, and it's probably not going to slow your fall down. ("Parachute cords," which are commonly used for such things, add about 5 feet to the length of the safety lanyard you're tied off with. And that lanyard is several feet long to start with.)
« Last Edit: October 22, 2019, 12:03:25 PM by TheDeamon »

TheDeamon

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #82 on: October 22, 2019, 12:07:09 PM »
I'm saying Trump has no authority over tariffs which aren't related to national security. I'm sure you wouldn't dream of supporting a President who exceeded his legislated authority.

He may not, but Congress does. He can put it before Congress.

TheDrake

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #83 on: October 22, 2019, 12:36:15 PM »
You don't need fall arrest if you have guardrails, which is the most common type of fall protection. You don't deserve to die because your employer had a 5 foot unstable platform and stepped back a little too far.

The VOSH example had 20 foot high unstable platforms with no guardrails, I guess that was that workers fault also. What a dumbass.

FYI

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What is the threshold height? The threshold for fall protection in construction work is 6 feet. You must protect your employees from fall hazards whenever an employee is working 6 feet or more above a lower level. If an employee is working on a scaffold, the height requirement for fall protection is 10 feet, and this protection usually is provided by a built-in guardrail.

Not as restrictive as you are describing, at least for construction.

yossarian22c

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #84 on: October 23, 2019, 11:28:17 AM »
https://www.npr.org/2019/10/08/768251735/for-many-issue-of-logging-in-americas-largest-national-forest-cuts-deep

Here's an example of one of Trump's regulation roll backs.

I'll concede it will provide a short term boost to the economy of the area but I don't think its worth the long term cost, in terms of the cost via climate change and to the local habitat and ecosystem.

Crunch

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #85 on: October 26, 2019, 08:30:16 AM »
There is no evidence whatsoever this would affect global climate and if there are local effects then local government could address it. It’s really pretty simple.

Wayward Son

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #86 on: October 26, 2019, 01:07:04 PM »
Went through 8 years of just that thing. You thought it was great then, didn’t you? Unfortunately, it’s gonna be tough putting this back in the bottle unless Congress decides to reclaim its power.

I’ll share your outrage when you’re consistent with it.

So I guess that means there is no "outrage" that the House isn't following the rules and voting on starting an impeachment inquiry (especially since there is no such requirement).  So we all should be outraged that Trump is pretending that it isn't Constitutional.

But, of course, why should we be outraged about Trump thumbing his nose at the Constitution when no one else is following the Constitution?

In fact, what do we need a Constitution for anyway when no one follows it's rules?

The inevitable conclusion of not believing in the rule of law unless all your opponents do, too.  ::)

It is gratifying to see you say the same thing I and many others said from 2008-2016. You guys made this bed, no[w] we’re all going to lay in it. Thanks for that

Next time a Republican talks about how corrupt and unethical Democrats are, show them this response.  This shows that Republicans are just as corrupt and unethical as they accuse Democrats of being, if not more so, but they just blame Democrats for their own shortcomings.  "You spat on the Constitution, so that makes it OK for me to do it, too, and even more than you guys did!  It's all your fault!!"  ::)  They can't even take responsibility for their own actions, but have to blame the Democrats for it.  ;D

The Republican party has become a sick joke of it's former self.

yossarian22c

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #87 on: November 05, 2019, 08:11:51 AM »
https://www.npr.org/2019/11/04/776174139/trump-administration-proposes-relaxing-rules-on-waste-from-coal-plants

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Under a rule finalized in 2015, all unlined coal ash ponds were to begin closing in 2018. The Trump administration's rewrite would allow some of these plants up to five more years before they begin shutting down these facilities.

Last year, a report from the Environmental Integrity Project found coal ash pollution was leaking into groundwater at over 200 power plants nationwide. It found over 90% of sites that store coal ash are leaking levels of contamination exceeding EPA health standards.

Here's another Trump admin regulation rollback. As long as your cool with extra carcinogens in your water I don't see a down side.  ::)

TheDrake

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #88 on: November 05, 2019, 12:15:11 PM »
You stupid snowflake. Cancer isn't so bad if we want economic freedom.

yossarian22c

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #89 on: November 05, 2019, 12:36:28 PM »
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Davis has been wary of his tap water since he was 15. That's when, in 2000, a massive coal slurry impoundment broke in Martin County, sending 306 million gallons of toxic sludge oozing into the county's water source, leaching into groundwater and seeping into residents' wells.

"It was horrible," Davis says, pointing at a creek near his home where all the fish turned up dead amid the spill. The slurry has been cleaned up. But most people in Martin County remain deeply distrustful not only of the water that comes out of the pipes but of the authorities who are tasked with providing it.

A 2018 rate increase made Martin County's near-undrinkable water the eighth most expensive in the state, according to a recent affordability analysis.

https://www.npr.org/2019/10/31/772677717/first-these-kentuckians-couldnt-drink-the-water-now-they-can-t-afford-it

Private profit, public cost. These are the types of regulations Trump is rolling back. Its fine for a year or two or ten but that small savings in environmental regulations (extra profit for a big corporation) doesn't mean much if its your water supply that is contaminated for 18+ years.

Seriati

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #90 on: November 05, 2019, 01:16:48 PM »
https://www.npr.org/2019/11/04/776174139/trump-administration-proposes-relaxing-rules-on-waste-from-coal-plants

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Under a rule finalized in 2015, all unlined coal ash ponds were to begin closing in 2018. The Trump administration's rewrite would allow some of these plants up to five more years before they begin shutting down these facilities.

Last year, a report from the Environmental Integrity Project found coal ash pollution was leaking into groundwater at over 200 power plants nationwide. It found over 90% of sites that store coal ash are leaking levels of contamination exceeding EPA health standards.

Here's another Trump admin regulation rollback. As long as your cool with extra carcinogens in your water I don't see a down side.  ::)

So that's a pretty nonsensical interpretation of what is occurring.  Did you look at the actual proposed rule?

https://www.epa.gov/coalash/pre-publication-version-proposal-holistic-approach-closure-part-deadline-initiate-closure

Or event the fact sheet?

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https://www.epa.gov/coalash/factsheet-proposed-revisions-coal-combustion-residuals-rule

Or even any of the court cases that suspended the 2015 rule and changed what is covered?

Of course you didn't, you just grabbed a top line "summary" written to make it appear that the Trump admin is evil.  If you had, you may have noticed that a 2018 court case directed the EPA to reevaluate the situation because it found that Obama's 2015 rule was "arbitrary and capircious" because it exempted certain waste piles from the closure requirement in the regulation (specifically, those that were unlined and not leaking, or clay lined regardless of whether they leaked).

This rule actually implements that expanded scope and requires those wast piles to close.  A bit hard for them to have been closed in the past, where they weren't even required to close by the Obama rule.

And what about the "five" year extensions.  Did you look at the actual context?  Of course not, nor the did the author.  Most of the time extensions in the rule are tied directly into how long it takes to develop the alternative waste disposal - and that is laid out in great detail.   The other category of extensions relates to coal plants that are going offline, which means the costs of retrofitting are hard to justify.

It's just a demonstration to me that it's easy to throw up a sound bite that looks bad, but it's just a big ole deception when you get down to it.

Seriati

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #91 on: November 05, 2019, 01:40:41 PM »
Quote
Davis has been wary of his tap water since he was 15. That's when, in 2000, a massive coal slurry impoundment broke in Martin County, sending 306 million gallons of toxic sludge oozing into the county's water source, leaching into groundwater and seeping into residents' wells.

"It was horrible," Davis says, pointing at a creek near his home where all the fish turned up dead amid the spill. The slurry has been cleaned up. But most people in Martin County remain deeply distrustful not only of the water that comes out of the pipes but of the authorities who are tasked with providing it.

A 2018 rate increase made Martin County's near-undrinkable water the eighth most expensive in the state, according to a recent affordability analysis.

https://www.npr.org/2019/10/31/772677717/first-these-kentuckians-couldnt-drink-the-water-now-they-can-t-afford-it

Private profit, public cost. These are the types of regulations Trump is rolling back. Its fine for a year or two or ten but that small savings in environmental regulations (extra profit for a big corporation) doesn't mean much if its your water supply that is contaminated for 18+ years.

What regulation would that be?  You have a community that became poor after the coal mines closed, living in an area with an ancient infrastructure.  There's not a regulation that magically would have updated an infrastructure that's been underfunded through multiple Presidencies - or did you see a large grant from Obama's administration to address this that I missed?

How do you fix poor?  Are you suggesting to bring back the mining jobs that paid well and polluted the environment?

Is there some magic regulation that keeps prices low when infrastructure is paid for?  (I note, their water costs are not the highest even in the state of KY, and that's after they went up 41% - seems like the water costs should have been higher for a while to pay for infrastructure).

Who controlled the KY State Government during the coal boom years?  During the years where the pipes degraded?  Bet you're "shocked," it was the Democrats.  So why are we hearing about this now?  Republicans took over House, Senate and Governor in 2017 (so it's become politically convenient to raise an issue decades in the making).  Here's a link to the party control since 1992, where you can see Dems controlled all or 2 out of 3 parts of the state government for the majority of time.  https://ballotpedia.org/Party_control_of_Kentucky_state_government  And this one goes back even further, from WWI through to 1992 there's very little red in that link.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_party_strength_in_Kentucky

So how is a state that was largely controlled by the Dems as it was exploited for Coal and the water system degraded in Martin county, somehow related to Trump deregulation?

TheDrake

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #92 on: November 05, 2019, 01:54:22 PM »
Of course they are going to cite the "technical challenges" - aka we want to develop cheaper methods than the ones we could be using.

You are quite correct that there are some provisions that are more strict. Including a deadline two months earlier for unsafe facilities to cease receiving new waste. The general problem is that the unlined leaking ones are also getting their deadlines extended in the process, are they not? From the EPA:

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The provisions of the proposed rule decrease costs by extending certain existing compliance deadlines.

Whereas they could have kept the same schedule for the facilities originally covered, and extended the schedule for any additional ones.

It is true that there are potential nuances, like forcing too much cost on debt-laden companies can cause them to go bankrupt and potentially leave facilities untended, unmonitored, and unclosed.

Of course the sites would probably be well on their way to closed if the companies had just got started instead of waiting on their various court challenges.

And then there is this:

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The EPA also announced changes to a 2015 rule overseeing the discharge of coal plant wastewater. That proposal would relax some limits on the amount of pollutants allowed in wastewater, and let more of it be discharged.

I don't have the energy to go find the original EPA document behind this, but I really don't doubt its veracity. I'm sure that one also talked about decreasing the costs.

It should be noted that Germany and the Netherlands require all their coal ash to be almost 100% recycled, no storage of any kind is allowed.

Seriati

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #93 on: November 05, 2019, 02:33:24 PM »
If you had looked, you could see that Trump's EPA already passed regulations to encourage recycling of Coal Ash (part of why they want to allow time to go to the dry handling process that takes a bit longer).

They also pointed out that based on new data the compliance burden on the regulation is much large than anticipated.  That's for a lot of reasons, including that some of the plants that were supposed to close on schedule were doing so by diverting their waste to clay lined facilities.  Those are the same facilities that the court decision declared had to close as well.  Effectively, the "solution" that the Obama regulation proposed was closed, how can that not adjust the time line?  (Oh, and just for reference, they actually did limit the timelines for compliance in a bunch of circumstances based on the date of the Court decision, not pushing them forward from today, which makes the idea that they didn't deceptive).

In any event, my point was that this was a far more nuanced position - virtually none of which is actually unreasonable - yet we got it cited to as a "Trump bad" sound bite.  If you're going to be outraged, take the time to find out if your outrage is reasonable.  A very basic one, if you're criticising a regulation take a look at the regulation and it's reasoning and not just the media write up.  Just for reference, ALL regulations have to have their background, reasoning and economic impact laid out, there's really no excuse for "journalists" not knowing what's in there when they print misleading information about it.

TheDrake

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #94 on: November 05, 2019, 02:51:31 PM »
I'm going to go right out on a limb and say that any change in environmental regulation that relaxes any aspect, I'm going to be against as a starting point. I appreciate you pointing out the nuances, they are useful and important. If the coal industry as a whole celebrates a regulatory change, I'm always going to be naturally suspicious, though I may not always take the time to get an entire picture.

Part of this is, how is the administration itself describing their own initiative? Did they describe this as "toughening up regulations on coal"?

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"Today's proposed actions were triggered by court rulings and petitions for reconsideration on two 2015 rules that placed heavy burdens on electricity producers across the country," EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement.

Obama era coal rules had required leaking coal ash ponds to close by April 2019, but the Trump administration adjusted that until October 2020. The new proposed rule would move that deadline up to August, but environmental groups say the rules also allow for alternatives and additional time. 

EPA proposed both rules simultaneously "in order to provide more certainty," Wheeler said. The proposals reflect the Trump administration's "commitment to responsible, reasonable regulations by taking a commonsense approach, which also protects public health and the environment," he added.

Isn't that interesting? It sure sounds like he's talking about a reduced burden, not an increased one as you have postulated. And relaxing regulation "which also protects protects". Which sure sounds like less protection.

Seriati

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #95 on: November 05, 2019, 03:13:47 PM »
The courts ordered that the rule be amended.  Flat out that is an increase in the covered clean up.

The "reduced" burden is to move the compliance back one year (in some cases) to account for that increased coverage, and for those currently closing waste disposals that were being re-routed to ones that are now also required to close.

Nothing about these rules relaxes the requirements on closing the non-compliant toxic waste piles, other than to delay them in certain circumstances to allow reasonable alternatives to be put in place.  If you don't want the delay, then the alternative would be immediate shut down of a significant part of the power grid, or putting the costs of alternative disposal fully on consumers (which would involve - more than likely, moving toxic waste around the country by truck or train - that's a process that risks spreading it everywhere).

So again, the "evil" Trump admin is still putting in place closings of toxic waste piles, at greater rates than Obama's regulation required, and encouraging more recyclying, but "evilly" allowing plants a reasonable amount of time to implement the changes.

yossarian22c

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #96 on: March 31, 2020, 01:27:06 PM »
https://www.npr.org/2020/03/31/824431240/trump-administration-weakens-auto-emissions-rolling-back-key-climate-policy

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The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule will toughen carbon dioxide emissions standards by 1.5% a year through model year 2026, compared to about 5% a year under the Obama policy.

The Trump administration originally proposed freezing the standards altogether without any increase. It modified the rule after push back from not only environmental groups but also some automakers, who worried they will be out of step in a global marketplace increasingly geared toward lower emission cars and trucks.

Just posting another regulatory change here.

The Trump admin is doing these things. Again I view most of these as short term gain for long term losses. The US automakers are becoming increasingly dependent on trucks and SUV's again. When the Saudi/Russia oil price war ends, after a number of american producers have been driven out of business (covid 19 shut downs are just exacerbating their pain), there will be another big oil price shock within the next 5 years and the Detroit automakers are going to be in the same place they were in 2008/2009 looking at bankruptcy without government assistance.

While the regulations wasn't targeted aimed at making the US automakers sustainable in an oil price shock it would have that effect while limiting the cost impact to consumers because they had more efficient cars. All of that is the side effect of the primary target of reducing emissions, to reduce climate change, and other pollutants that contribute to asthma and other lung disease.

yossarian22c

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #97 on: May 28, 2020, 11:00:29 AM »
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Recently finalized rules include scaling back regulations for fuel efficiency in cars and trucks, air pollution coming from power plants and water pollution in streams and wetlands. The administration is also pushing ahead with a string of more localized policies, such as expanded logging and oil drilling in Alaska.

More regulatory changes. Glad we'll be boosting corporate profits in exchange for more polluted air, water and destroying some of the last temperate rain forests in the world.

wmLambert

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #98 on: May 28, 2020, 12:09:41 PM »
...More regulatory changes. Glad we'll be boosting corporate profits in exchange for more polluted air, water and destroying some of the last temperate rain forests in the world.

What are you talking about? The USA has the best record on environmental safety of anywhere on the planet. Regulations didn't do it - the free market did. Most EPA regulations are not about making things better,  but for punishing those the EPA resents, or the bureaucrats can't control. Unless cow farts are in your cross-hairs, why act so outraged over common sense returning?

BTW: puddles and drainage ditch overflows are not rain forests.


DonaldD

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Re: The impossible economy
« Reply #99 on: May 28, 2020, 12:12:28 PM »
I'm pretty sure you sincerely believe all of that.  Sad.