Tuesday, November 18, 2003

WSJ Spews Bile on WA Ergo

Well, they just couldn't help themselves. It took almost two weeks for the Wall St. Journal to come out with an idiot-torial gloating over the loss of the Washington State ergonomics standard.

There are so many deeply disturbed things about this piece that you all should be grateful that I can't link it. Nor will I bother to go into all of the lies and distortions. Anyway, you've heard them all before. (Over and over again.) For the life of me, though, I can never figure out whether they actually believe the lies, or they're really just the cynical cretins they appear to be. Delusional, evil or just stupid? Or all three?

But there are a few areas in this column so profoundly low that I can't help holding them up for the idiots that they are.
  • The Journal is apalled that
    The rules would have applied to a huge swath of the state's economy, everyone from grocery checkers to landscapers, couriers and even nursing home employees.
    "Even nursing home employees?!" If there is any justice in the universe, the editors of the Journal will spend eternity lifting slippery, uncooperative 300 pound nursing home patients onto the toilet, then be stricken with back injuries and end up unable to support their families or play with their children. Over and over and over again.

    Yeah, I know, it's mean to wish that on anyone, but that's the fate to which they've condemned thousands of nursing home workers -- nursing home employees who will hopefully drop their fat carcasses on the floor every day when they end their sorry lives being cared for by the workers that they didn't give a shit about.

  • "Naturally, the vagueness of the regulations would have been tested in court." They already were tested in court, you idiots, and you lost.

  • The word "Patronizing" comes to mind: "No one doubts that 'repetitive stress' injuries are real, and the writer of this very editorial has felt a twinge or two in his own typewriting thumb and arms."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," the industry folk are saying as they read this (I know some of you are lurking out there in cyberspace.) "Boo fucking hoo. We won, you lost. So cry me a river."

And they're right. They beat us. And they did it by being sensitive to the voters' fears. The state AFL-CIO had found the initiative losing badly just weeks before the election.
But voters were swayed by arguments that the rules would place Washington at a competitive disadvantage with other states and perhaps lead to further job loss. Washington has already lost 96,000 jobs, or 3.5% of its workforce in the past two years. The state's seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 7.6% in September, well above the national rate of 6.1%.
Voters were afraid of that the ergonomics standard would cause job loss and the bad guys effectively used lie upon lie to stoke those fears.

But then the writer couldn't help slipping back into his delusional reverse universe:
Forces favoring regulation typically have the easier political task because they are advocating things ("safe workplaces") that everyone wants. But if they're given the right information and arguments, voters are smart enough to understand that government regulation also has costs."
This is a true statement. But only if by "right," they mean "whatever works to convince people that lies are true." And if by "smart" they really mean "vulnerable."

In other words, if that sentence read "But if they're given the right incorrect information and arguments, voters are smart vulnerable enough to understand believe that government regulation also has costs."

There, that's better.
  • "If ergonomics rules can't pass in Washington, they probably can't pass anywhere." This may also be true. But we (unions, public health activists, and maybe a few deep pockets) have the power to turn that statement into a lie as well.
Personally, after reading this editorial and hearing about their campaign, I don't know how these guys can look their children in the face.

I wouldn't be able to.