Printed on: May 16, 2013

Corporate history


Received May 9

While I can agree that free enterprise has contributed many positives for America, there are people who would have big corporations down to ma-and-pa businesses operate without any restrictions. They maintain that businesses will do the right thing based upon supply and demand. Is that correct? Their premise is that the market will determine the quality control of the products and services provided.

So, let's review some corporate history:

Port Chicago Disaster. For the most part, these men had not been trained in handling munitions. Additionally, safety standards were forgotten in the rush to keep uploading schedules; 332 dead.

Piper Alpha disaster. 1988 breakdown of chain of command and lack of communication to the crew. The continued pumping of gas and oil by Tartan and Claymore platforms even though the fire could be seen; 167 dead.

Texas City Phillips explosion, 1989. Causal factor was subcontractor personnel didn't know the system they worked on; 23 dead.

Hamlet chicken processing plant, 1991. Locked exit doors (to save money); 25 burned to death.

Thiokol explosion in 1971 kills 29.

Bhopal, 4,000 to 20,000 deaths. Cutting safety features.

Get the idea? There are thousands of these examples of greed taking precedence over people, profits over safety, profits over the value of human life.

This demands the question: If unfettered free enterprise is so good and desirable, why do so very many workers die for it?

It couldn't be greed, could it?

Will write my positives next. (Word count: 250)

Brian Morris

Idaho Falls