Ralph Nader’s open letter to President Bush regarding the needless deaths of 58,000 Americans every year.

February 16, 2008 | By | Reply More

Ralph Nader recently sent a pointed letter to President Bush.   The letter concerned a annual national tragedy of 58,000 of needless workplace deaths.  Here is an excerpt (from Common Dreams):

Dear President Bush:

I was listening to your address before the self-described Conservative Political Action Committee gathering in Washington, D.C. last week, while reviewing materials on occupational hazards in the workplace. The contrast between your declarations and the ongoing annual tragedy of 58,000 Americans losing their lives due to workplace diseases and traumas (OSHA figures) was astonishing and deplorable.

Your remarks included such phrases as “You and I believe in accountability;” “People should be responsible for their actions;” “Maintaining a culture of life;” and that “My number one priority is to protect you;” “All human life is precious and deserves to be protected.”

These are words and phrases that you have been using year after year in your capacity as a judicially-selected President who has sworn to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land.

Therefore, let us apply your verbal sensitivities about accountability, responsibility and the safety of working Americans, to your sworn duty to uphold the job safety laws of your Administration.

Is the United States doing everything it can to protect its citizens from deaths and injuries from exposure to chemicals?  Not at all.  In fact, the U.S. is working hard to keep its citizens in the dark, according to this disturbing article from Harpers.  The Harpers article concerns the E.U. chemical regulation called REACH—Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals:

Europe is now compelling other nations’ manufacturers to conform to regulations that are far more protective of people’s health than those in the United States. Europe has emerged not only as the world’s leading economic power but also as one of its moral leaders. Those roles were once filled by the United States.

The U.S. media needs to focus harder.  A death is a death, but we get distracted in this time of our “war” on “terrorism.”   For our news media, a death at the hands of a “terrorist” is 1,000 times more newsworthy than most other deaths (including most other preventable deaths).  There is no good reason for this disparity.

For more on deaths and statistics, “mere statistics.”visit this article regarding some of the many ways 3,000 people could die.  And see this post for many examples of mere statistics that should deeply move us.  Real life spiders make us jump and the cancellation of a TV show makes us visibly angry, while most real life deaths bore us. 

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Category: Corruption, Health, Law, Statistics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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