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Infographic showing workplace fatalities dropping as OSHA budget rises.
It's not surprising that stricter enforcement of workplace safety and health regulations would reduce workplace deaths. But you wouldn't necessarily expect to see as direct and clear a relationship between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's budget and the number of deaths on the job. We Party Patriots' Steve Cooper lays it out:
Of the years researched by the report, 1994 saw the highest fatality numbers with 6,632 victims. That year, OSHA’s budget was around $300 million. As OSHA’s budget grew, the number of victims dropped. There was a slight spike during the Bush Administration in 2006 when workplaces claimed 5,840 victims despite a rise in OSHA budget. From that year on, though, the number of fatalities plummets to 4,547 by 2010, a year in which the OSHA budget was $558 million.
Cooper notes that the recession may have played a role in the drop seen in the final years covered by the infographic—but by then, the relationship is well established. And if deaths are going down, it's likely that injuries and work-related illnesses are also declining.

Just a little something to remember when Republicans are wailing about job-killing regulations: lack of regulations is people-killing.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

A fair day's wage

  • You know that your leisure to watch an NFL game on Sunday was argued and bargained and fought for by unions, right? That the wages you spent on that game-day flatscreen were argued and bargained and fought for by unions, right? That your standing as a member of the American middle class was argued and bargained and fought for by 200 years of collective effort and sacrifice and blood on the part of folks just like you, right?  Or maybe you don't. - Jeff MacGregor, ESPN
    Read Jeff MacGregor's full piece.
  • The Chicago Teachers Union's president has been authorized to give 10 days notice for a strike, though she has not yet done so and says no decision has been made. School will start on time on Sept. 4, though teachers could still strike after the beginning of the school year.
  • Vision Pro became the second New York City Cablevision contractor to unionize, with 55 technicians joining the Communications Workers of America on a 43 to 3 vote.
  • Find a Labor in the Pulpit/on the Bimah/in the Minbar event.
  • College professors making $10,000 a year? Welcome to the wonderful world of adjuncting.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama announced that 125,000 veterans and military spouses have been hired or trained by the more than 2,000 businesses that are part of her Joining Forces initiative.
  • The union workers who make Twinkies and other Hostess products have been presented with management's "last, best, and final" offer, and it sucks. But that's private equity for you.
  • Georgia unions and small businesses are finding common ground in a campaign to bring jobs home.
  • We should know more than this about a major sector of the economy:
    Who are freelancers and contingent workers? The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics has not done an official study since 2005, when it estimated that they were 10 to 15 percent of the U.S. workforce. If their income is reported on a 1099 tax form instead of on a W-2 form with deductions, its monthly payroll surveys won’t count them as having jobs. Its household surveys will count them as employed, but don’t ask about their job arrangements.
  • If your employer is ignoring evidence that your job will lead to traumatic brain injury, by definition there's no way you're getting a fair day's wage. And speaking of football, members of the Atlanta Falcons are participating in a voter registration event with the Atlanta-North Georgia Labor Council on Wednesday.
  • After the Castlewood Country Club locked out its workers, jpmassar writes, "Still No Health Care. Still No Job. But 907 Days Later, One Vindicating Court Decision."
  • More unemployment stories collected by Gawker's Hamilton Nolan.
  • Laundry workers on Long Island join a union after a year of organizing.

The War on Education

Legislation, state, local and otherwise

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 10:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, DKos Pennsylvania, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  GOP = The Biggest D**khead Wins (4+ / 0-)

    The GOP is in a race with itself to see whoo can take the most from the middle class and give the most to the upper class.   They are running policy for the top 1% and propaganda for the rest of their base hoping enough mud sticks to Obama to get the swing voters.  That is the strategy.  This results in dimished capacity of our society to deal with the real needs of our society.   The biggest Dickhead wins in their eyes.

    Romney on Taxes.
    Ryan on Medicare.
    Akin on Choice.
    Walsh and West every thing else.
    Palin, Bachman and Angle are cover for the female voters.

    I'm just here for the Mojo!

    by Gator on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:09:53 AM PDT

  •  Inflation? (0+ / 0-)

    Are the OSHA budget number adjusted for inflation? If not, the link is not as strong as suggested.

    Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

    by edg on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:10:56 AM PDT

  •  I'm sure Republicans will claim that the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    drop is because murdering employees just isn't as profitable as it used to be, and demand tax breaks for every company that manages to kill one of its employees.

  •  I wonder what accounts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for the precipitous drop during the end of the Bush  years even when OSHA's budget was relatively stagnant.  It started prior to the recession.  

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:22:03 AM PDT

  •  Too Expensive (0+ / 0-)

    The GOP will argue we spend $267,625 to save a life. That is way too expensive. Bloated. Not to mention how many jobs were lost. They will outsource OSHA to China and cut the cost to $2000 per life.

    After all, if they put all the american workers out of a job, then a lot fewer will lose their life at the workplace. Simple math.

    Help! The GOP is NUTS (& the Dems need some!)

    by Tuba Les on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:23:10 AM PDT

    •  Actually, the GOP strongly advocates (0+ / 0-)

      cost benefit analysis on regulation.  Such analysis typically values lives at several million dollars per life (see for example).

      The left has typically resisted this kind of analysis out of fear that it will be used to block regulations.

      Your analysis, however, is not correct.

      First, you are assuming that all of the decrease in work place deaths is due to OSHA.

      Secondly, you are not including the benefits of fewer injuries.

      Third, you are not looking at last dollar.  The correct question is how many lives the last $10MM in OSHA's budget saves, not the average cost.

  •  I started noticing the weakening of OSHA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Of Limeyland

    about 15 years ago. They have been pretty much defanged.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

    by SaraBeth on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:45:51 AM PDT

  •  I noted some comments on TV today... (0+ / 0-)

    The GOP whines about small business needing tax cuts, but small business OWNERS say overwhelmingly they need CUSTOMERS, not tax cuts!

    A strong working and middle class supports all business...they spend money and buy products, and more people make money and more people get jobs.

     I just came from a thrift shop and it was jammed with people buying their kids back to school clothes..they can not afford to buy in the retail stores, so they buy in Goodwill. This is great for Goodwill, but not good for retail sellers.

    The GOP by laying off workers is contributing to the terrible economy they blame Mr. Obama for.

    I'm not sure if this is deliberate or just right wing stupidity, but it is poison for business to lay off hundreds of thousands of government workers.


    Retired AFSCME Steward and licensed gun carrying progressive veteran.

    by old mark on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:55:31 AM PDT

    •  Of course it's deliberate... (0+ / 0-)

      they have stated repeatedly that if the economy gets better it will be bad for Republicans. They've been impeding recovery all along, from their opposition to the stimulus, to refusing to extend unemployment, to declining to help struggling state governments.

      Elected Republicans don't care about the people they supposedly serve--it's all about them.

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:27:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And, yet, we don't talk about jobs/economy (0+ / 0-)

    We dems have become the party that is more about "equality" and the "war on women" and the "war on workers" and the "war on immigrants" and just so many wars.

    I'm all over that...don't get me wrong.  But, I'd be FAR more enthused if we had a "war on jobs" and a "war on the economy" so that those that are just so hurt by this devastating economy in America can get back on their feet without having to count on continuing government involvement in their lives.

    No, that's not "democratic" or "liberal" or "progressive" as a statement.  But, don't we ALL truly want that to be what we want for our so-called leaders to be working for?  Really?

    I doubt very seriously that democrats will win elections by just fighting for the equality in the tax system and equality for the various races in our country and for women's rights and for immigration reform.  When you come right down to it, people are going to vote their economic situation.  Now, I'm sure that there are many, many people that will vote democratic because they feel democrats will continue or even expand their entitlements.  In fact, I'm sure of that.  But, the majority of our citizens want to make their own way and work for their future, their family, their retirement.  So, although we see just so many great posts and so many super efforts on behalf of women and minorities and so forth, what's going to make the difference is what is taking place in jobs and the economy in America, IMO.  This is where people want to trust in government.  This is what our American citizens want for our government elected officials to make their first priority.  

    I love the Daily Kos diaries that show Romney and Ryan such scuzzbuckets.  They're cute and they tell all of us how horrible they really are.  But, that's not what mainstream voters are seeing IMO.  I think they want to see what's going to be done to get our country back on track economically...fiscally...and what's going to be done to help their plight and their familys' plight and their friends' plight in that respect.  We're hurting out here in Americaland, folks.  Hurting badly.  

    The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

    by commonsensically on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 12:03:22 PM PDT

  •  As an insurance underwriter for a property- (0+ / 0-)

    casualty company insuring businesses, i was trained to examine the economic situation of a business because we knew that when money became tight, safety was one of the "luxuries" that were first to go. The fact that the trend on on the job fatalities is moving downward, even in a recession, suggests that government may not be the problem, but the solution.

    Who knew?

    OTOH, it may be that most dangerous manufacturing jobs have been outsourced.

    "I cannot live without books" -- Thomas Jefferson, 1815

    by Susan Grigsby on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 12:22:44 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for this article. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Follow me on Twitter: @denverunionguy

    by Richard Myers on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 12:42:19 PM PDT

  •  Rick Snyder (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    got himself elected by resolutely refusing to give any specifics on how he would "fix" Michigan's problems.

    He raised taxes on retirees and the working class to give businesses a $1.8 billion tax cut.

    His emergency manager law is an excuse to disenfranchise local citizens and sell off public property to cronies.

    While attempting to cast himself as only interested in "solving problems", he has nevertheless signed nearly every piece of extreme legislation sent to him by our teabagger run legislature.

    There's much more.

    The guy is a corporate weenie whose primary aim is to gut the government and give away the commonweal to his business pals.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:37:00 PM PDT

  •  whoops, bad stats (0+ / 0-)

    If you look at the OSHA budget in constant $, it looks very different.

    In fact, even in the inflation-distorted graph, a detailed look doesn't compel belief in a causal relation.

    Don't get me wrong- I think we need a stronger OSHA as well as many other regulatory agencies. OSHA just did a good job locally in my town investigating a terrible truck bumper plant.

    But we shouldn't use phony Republican-style stats.

    Michael Weissman UID 197542

    by docmidwest on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:37:41 PM PDT

  •  unions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David Kaib

    all we have left in this country hopefully we get some equal footing and get some value of life back

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