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America’s greatest threat: Unsafe work conditions

If I told you that government officials possessed ironclad proof that an imminent threat to this nation had the capacity to create a 9/11's worth of injuries and deaths every year at an annual economic cost of a quarter trillion dollars, ask yourself: Would you say we should do something about it?

I'm guessing you would. Out of a basic sense of patriotism, you would probably at minimum support some new security regulations and investments in enforcing those regulations, even if that meant paying slightly higher taxes. After all, you profess to love America, and that's the least we should do in the face of such a threat to our country, right?

Now ask yourself: Would your response to the original query change if you discovered that the threat at hand was not from a terrorist, but from unsafe workplaces -- and that because of that unaddressed problem, these casualties and costs have already become a fact of life in America? Come on, admit it -- your response probably would change. Yes, many who would reflexively support more regulations and enforcement in the face of a foreign terrorist threat would suddenly scoff at more regulations and enforcement in the face of unsafe workplaces. Why the double standard?

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