Americans are fortunate to have regulatory agencies that protect our food, medicine, and air and water quality unlike the Chinese and Indian people who have been given Americans’ jobs to guarantee higher profits for American corporations. When toothpaste, toys, and even pet food imported from China showed dangerous levels of toxic materials, Americans were furious that the Chinese sent the poisoned products to Americans, and many conservatives reacted the loudest and with the most indignation. However, it was America’s corporations who imported and sold the poisoned goods, and if Republicans have their way in Congress, American made goods will rival the toxicity of Chinese imports and the public will have conservatives and the Chamber of Commerce to thank for killing our citizens.
It is fairly common knowledge that Republicans hate regulations because their masters at the Chamber of Commerce and Koch Industries have directed them to eliminate regulations so corporations can enjoy higher profits. If one were to believe the Chamber of Commerce, Democrats create new regulations for the sole purpose of breaking corporations by setting standards and rules with no scientific data and no specific reason other than to steal profits from business. Republicans never point out that regulations are created to protect consumers, the environment, and public safety from unscrupulous business owners who would kill Americans for higher profits if they could escape prosecution. Even with regulations in place, many corporations and industries find loopholes around the rules or ignore them entirely to meet production schedules or make higher profits. In the past year or so, Americans saw firsthand what happens when West Virginia miners worked in hazardous conditions and oil-drilling platforms avoided safety protocols in the Gulf of Mexico. In both cases, company owners disregarded the regulations for the sake of production, and human beings perished and an entire ecosystem was nearly destroyed. Also in both cases, Republicans attempted to mitigate the culpability of the offenders, and apologized that the government was holding the owners responsible for the death and destruction they caused.
In the past month, Republicans like Darrell Issa have asked corporations to tell them which regulations are preventing them from making higher profits. The Republicans framed the discussion as if job creation was their goal, but the corporate world is making record profits and sitting on $1.1 trillion but have not shown any interest in creating jobs. Without regulations, businesses can use sub-standard materials, pollute the environment, and endanger workers with impunity to increase their profit margin at the expense of consumers’ safety. Asking corporations to list regulations they think are burdensome is like asking a criminal if they want the penal code eliminated.
Republicans recently held a forum for businesses to complain about costly government regulations, and they only wanted to hear about the burdens regulations caused businesses. Of note was one contractor who complained that a test for lead was unnecessary and that the inspection fee was burdensome. Most responsible businesses factor in inspection fees as the cost of doing business, and on a secondary level, the business owner should feel a responsibility to conduct business without endangering the environment or subsequent generations. Republicans never want the public to hear the benefits of regulations, because like most Republican policies, when the public learns the truth, they will reject Republicans’ arguments in favor of their own safety. Regulations protect the labor force as well as the public in general, and in fact, regulations protect the poor, wealthy, Democrats and Republicans alike.
If Republicans really want regulations eliminated to help corporations and businesses realize higher profits, perhaps they should take the lead to demonstrate their trust in an industry without regulations. Darrell Issa sent letters to 150 corporations to solicit their ideas on regulations that are too burdensome, so he most likely sent a letter to the airline industry. One can imagine that airlines complained that the regulation that jets be inspected at regular intervals, or that pilots must be licensed before they can fly a 747 prevents higher profits. The next time Mr. Issa travels from Los Angeles to Washington, the airline should find a homeless person to pilot a 747 with only one engine for Issa to ride in. If the plane crashes, it is too bad for Issa because the airline made higher profits.
Because Republicans are against regulations, the next time Dick Cheney needs a pacemaker or heart pump, someone can find a high-school dropout to install a dirty automobile water pump in the ex-Vice President’s chest for $5 an hour so the corporate-owned hospital can make higher profits. If Republicans hurry and get tort reform passed, Cheney’s survivors will be forbidden from suing for damages so the company that manufactured the broken water pump can make higher profits.
Regulations are a necessary cost of doing business and are in place because businesses cannot be trusted to protect workers or their customers. There is a reason for a regulation that requires airlines to inspect their airplanes, or to require pilots to be qualified to fly jet aircraft. Despite Republican or Chamber of Commerce complaints, regulations are not put in place or enforced to destroy the profit margin of a business or corporation. There is also a reason there is judicial recourse for workers or consumers who have been harmed by unscrupulous businesses. The miners who perished in West Virginia and the oil-rig workers who were blown to bits in the Gulf of Mexico would still be alive if the regulations in place had been followed.
Americans depend on government regulations to guarantee our medicine, food, water, and environment is safe through regulatory agencies. Consumers cannot trust businesses or corporations to police themselves or use the safest materials, and even when regulations are in place, every industry will find the means to avoid the rules. Republicans have made it their ultimate goal to adopt a laissez faire attitude toward business and to eliminate regulations to increase corporate profits. Corporations and businesses are making higher profits but it is never enough for greedy Republicans. Conservatives should remember that regulations protect liberals and conservatives, rich and poor alike, and it is the government’s duty to protect its citizens. Protecting Americans is not a priority for Republicans, so the government must protect Americans from Republicans. It is too bad there is not a regulation against conservatism.