In his letter Bill Jones’ is right that government protection diminishes our freedom, but is the freedom of a company to pollute the soil, water and air more important than the freedom of the local citizens to breathe clean air and drink clean water? I’m quite sure that the former residents of Love Canal in Niagra Falls, New York feel that their freedom to be safe from toxic materials outranks a corporation’s freedom to dump it. After all Hooker Chemical secretly buried toxic waste that then polluted the land and water so bad that it forced residents to evacuate. New York State Health Department Commissioner David Axelrod stated that Love Canal would long be remembered as a “national symbol of a failure to exercise a sense of concern for future generations.”
I doubt the families of the miners who died in the explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine think Massey Energy should continue to be free to risk the lives of miners. I doubt that the employees of Enron whose 401k’s were invested in the company’s stock think they shouldn’t have been protected from their CEO’s manipulation of stock values. Banks risked their client’s money in casino like gambles on bad assets crashing our economy in 2008 putting millions of Americans out of work. We’re still reeling from the effects as Texas is about to slash funding for education.
History shows time and again that strong regulation protects Americans and keeps our economy healthy.