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Tuesday 24 January 2006

The Problem In A Nutshell

MSNBC is running coverage of the passage of a new law in West Virginia, which requires the use of gadgets that will allow location of, and communication with, miners.

Their headline for this story?



But of course it isn’t the law that makes anything safer: it’s the gizmo. The law just requires use of the gizmo. My guess is that the gizmo isn’t as useful as it’s being made out to be, or it would have already been in use. There’s a popular image of coal miners as being seen as disposable by the greedy capitalist pigs that run the mine companies, but this doesn’t actually seem to be the case.

Coal miners don’t come cheap, in part because the work is dangerous. The coal companies wouldn’t be too stingy in deploying anything that would allow them to hire more miners, and to hire at wages that reflect a lower danger premium.

Posted by tino at 14:20 24.01.06
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