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Honor the Inspectors

2010 September 6
by Ben Achtenberg

Ralph Nader on Labor Day: Let’s Honor the Inspectors

Whatever his faults as a political candidate, Ralph Nader does show an endearing persistence in reminding us of the basics: little things like the fact that it’s wrong to manufacture cars that burst into flames, or sell food that makes us sick, or – despite the Supreme Court’s recent Citizens United decision – that giant corporations don’t really have the same interests, and shouldn’t have the same rights, as us “natural persons.”
…..In that vein, then, take a look at his Labor Day message on, in which he reminds us that the day is meant to honor the folks whose hands-on labors keep it all going.
…..In particular, at a time when much of the electorate appears to be up in arms over government spending – while simultaneously demanding to be protected from exploding oil wells and contaminated eggs – take a look at his paragraphs in praise of those who labor to protect us against such hazards, our inspectors:

“…millions of them working…to assure that health and safety laws are observed and quality controls are maintained. They are the meat and poultry inspectors, OSHA and Customs inspectors, sanitation inspectors of food stores and restaurants, motor vehicle inspectors, nuclear, chemical and aircraft inspectors, inspectors of laboratories, hospitals, clinics, building code inspectors and the insurance inspectors assigned to loss prevention duties.
…..“The hands-on workers who harvest our food, clean up after us, repair our property, look out after our health and safety conditions and serve as nannies to our children receive few honors, status or anywhere near the compensation of those who gamble with our money, entertain us, or drive us into wars they don’t fight themselves.” 


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