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View Diary: More Mystery Surrounds Canadian Ghost Train: Where are the locomotives? (160 comments)

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  •  OK, can you walk me through how (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, FG

    having 2 engineers would have prevented this?

    Heck, at the end of the shift they both would have packed up and left the train.

    The outcome would have been no different.

    It obviously would have been sensible to have a regulation that trains be attended at all times, but again this would require regulatory oversight.

    And about Capitalists being murderers - umm, OK.  But I'd be interested in some carefully done comparisons with other systems.  Somehow I suspect that they'd be even worse  . .. .  (for example there have been some pretty horrific train crashes spanning the globe including Germany, Japan, India, and China).

    •  Capitalism kills. (6+ / 0-)

      This accident happened because this railroad had too few employees attending that train.  The fact that one person was left to tend such a large and dangerous train is ridiculous on its face.  The fact that he had been on shift for hours and had to have a break, but yet had no relief, was not a factor?

      So why are there too few employees?  Does some government prohibit having too many employees?  Who made the decision to have one person man this train?  Who made the decision that allowed this train to be unattended?

      You rightly noted that if no regulation is in place, then the owner will never have more employees than is legally required.  That's true even if having the legal minimum of employees makes the operation dangerous.  It appears now that you were trying to shift blame from the owner to the government, also negligent, that failed to force him to do the right thing.

      That doesn't absolve the owner from being a murderer.

      When profit is the primary criterion, usually the only criterion in decision-making, you get results like this.

      It's immoral.

      And Capitalists, in the end, are people who are willing to engage in immoral behavior for the sake of profit.  A truly moral person could not succeed in being a Capitalist.  They would go broke in a system in which only profit mattered.

      And we live in a society dominated by Capitalists and their sociopathic decision-making.  We feel the effects from local disasters like this one to the global problem of climate change.  We feel the effects of wealth and income inequality that result in death and misery for tens of millions in this country and billions worldwide.  We feel the effects from an absurd, profit-based health care system that is more about making money than healing the sick.

      The behavior of Capitalists like the owner of this railroad is immoral.  That's been true of railroad owners from the time of the earliest steam loco.  They have occasionally been curbed by unions and state regulation, but if left to their own devices, they will always choose the most profitable route even if it is the most deadly.  Negligent homicide in my book.

      This is all made possible by the Capitalist system because, as theologian Emil Brunner wrote:

      Capitalism is irresponsibility organized into a system.
      •  Overly simplistic (5+ / 0-)
        And Capitalists, in the end, are people who are willing to engage in immoral behavior for the sake of profit.  A truly moral person could not succeed in being a Capitalist.  They would go broke in a system in which only profit mattered.
        Some capitalists, especially taking the longer view of how best to profit, don't use immoral business practices. To be a capitalist does not require thinking only profit matters. I know many very moral, yet still profitable, small businessmen. It the large and impersonal corporations that tend to lose sight of how their actions impact their employees and customers.

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 02:09:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Small businesspersons != Capitalists. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wreck Smurfy, cotterperson

          Capitalists are not small businesspersons who work alongside their employees.

          Capitalists are people who do nothing but make money from money.

          There are some budding Capitalists, like a Dimon or a Blankfiend, who are acquiring extraordinary wealth by virtue of their jobs, such that they and their heirs will soon be true Capitalists.

          If you want to think "Capitalist," think the Walton heirs, not Joe Schmoe who has a successful restaurant that he manages.

          Capitalists are concerned about nothing but return on their money.  They want more, they want more.  They drive the corporate and national agenda.  They're always happy to invest in something with a high rate of return which means that the investment has higher risk, but they never want to take losses, even if it must be the taxpayer who must bail them out through higher taxes or the recipient of government payments who must bail them out through a reduction in benefits.

          These are the folks demanding that Detroit sell its art, that Medicare be privatized, that Greeks starve, that public employees lose their pensions.  They're arrogant enough to make these demands because they see the rules as heads they win, tails we lose.

          These are also the folks who push every company in which they invest to maximize profits to the point that the environment is destroyed, consumers are ripped off and workers screwed.

          Are there a few exceptions?  Maybe.  Perhaps those are nothing more than PR attempts.  But the overwhelming majority of Capitalists would react with disgust to the idea that they should consider anything but profit when making their decisions.

      •  Capitalism is much like anything else (0+ / 0-)

        e.g., science, religion, cats, electrical engineering (or whatever) - it can be used for good or evil, to benefit or harm society, and so on.

        btw, the primary goal of capitalism is not profits - the word simply refers to the way an economy is organized (i.e., based on private ownership although in reality there is no entirely capitalistic society or country out there - all countries including ours have elements of welfare capitalism to a greater or lesser extent.

        •  Non-profit Capitalism, huh? (0+ / 0-)

          Now you're getting desperate.

          Government efforts to ameliorate the many ill effects of Capitalism through regulation and redistribution are not part of Capitalism itself.  That's like saying that quinine is part of malaria.

          The core of Capitalism is maximizing return on Capital, i.e. profits.  That's where the term comes from.

          I can understand your discomfort with admitting that the Capitalist's one and only goal is maximizing profits.  That exposes just how ugly and murderous a system it is.

          •  I didn't say "non-profit" capitalism (0+ / 0-)

            just that capitalism is vastly more complex than that.  Of course profits can be made in capitalism.

            Anyways, since you seem confused, here's the main Wikipedia entry on the topic

            The larger point is just because abuses occur under capitalism, they are not necessarily the fault of the system  - heck, terrible abuses have resulted from virtually every system of organization that humans have ever devised (you know, religion, communism, organized sports, etc).

            IOW, methinks your beef is more with human nature than anything else.

    •  having 2 engineers would have prevented this? (1+ / 0-)
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      Same reason we have copilots. Twice as many eyes, twice as many chances for someone to say "hey, did you do step 6 on the checklist". And twice the chance that someone underperforming, medical, drug, fatigue, personal issues or  alcoholic problems are challenged...

      Twice as many years of experience...

      Is that new information?

      two people just costs a little more. And compared to the lawsuits in this case, it would probably have been a good investment - in the long term....

      Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

      by blindcynic on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:25:35 PM PDT

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