Thursday, August 31, 2017

Things That Go Boom

I am a high school teacher.

My students know that they are in school to learn and that they must finish their assignments well in order to be successful in my class and in the world.

While I'm in the classroom with them, walking around and checking to see if they're working, they buckle down. They pay attention (mostly). They try.

Intrinsically they know they're working for their own good, but the motivation comes mostly from my oversight and encouragement.

Let's suppose I told my students what to do and just left the classroom, fully expecting them to do what I told them to do. How do you think that would go? Twenty-five kids between the ages 14 and 15, all on their own, with some assignment to do. Would they do it?

Ha ha! That's a rhetorical question. Of course they wouldn't do it! Oh, of course one or two super studious kids would work, but the rest would goof off.

Oversight is important.

Another word for oversight? Regulation. As the teacher, I'm the regulator in the classroom. I'm the person with standards and expectations. These standards and expectations are often followed grudgingly by my pupils ... but they are followed, so long as I oversee.

The federal government is kind of like a teacher. Regulations are like oversight. All these businesses calling for less regulation? They're the kids who want to goof off because the teacher is gone. Except they don't really want to goof off, they want to make more money. Rules get in their way.

Maybe you heard that there was a big explosion in a chemical factory in Texas due to flooding. More explosions can be expected. Buried deep in the story is the fact that this company had ten violations recorded last February. This company should have had a fail-safe plan for a hurricane, but hey. This is Texas, land of conservative Republicans.

Now, even the safest and best company will run risks in catastrophic flooding. But companies who have been like kids in an unattended classroom will be more likely to threaten human health with their products and processes ... if there are no rules.

Don't tell me there are too many regulations! If you let the fox mind the hen house, someone is going to get hurt. Maybe a lot of people. Things will go boom.


Sierra Sue said...

We,too, were amazed that Texas allows chemical plants, or any other "plant" to be placed willy-nilly around the state. Putting one near a school, nursing home or general housing is just fine. But, as you said "it's Texas" I wonder how the people would have reacted if it had blown up during a normal day. It did in West, Tex. and about 15 lost their lives.Oh well, "we're Texans and we dont have to honor anything we dont want to."
Living there for several years taught me one important lesson-- the STATE feels LITTLE OR NO compassion for most of it's citizens. Pride before all else.
Some even voted to deny funds after Katrina, now I wonder how they would react if that happened to them--Oh well, I'm thrilled to be far,far, away.
Ok, my rant is over !! Really enjoyed reading your piece.


A little news for Sierra Sue..and believe me I'm one of those liberals in texas that is rare..but I live in that little town that blew up..and the plant was there first..the city grew around it..the schools the nursing home etc. we didn't just plop it down in the middle of town...that said..if there had been any sort of regulation they would have relocated it when the town started to grow..but they didn't..and boom there we went..
Texas isn't the only state with no regulations..every red state in the union has the same thing..until we get people that care more about people than money...we're all fucked.

anne marie in philly said...

we screw off at work when the boss is not around.

Janie Junebug said...

I like your analogy. I alternate between being amused and appalled by Ted Cruz continuing to argue that the funds for dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which he voted against, had all sorts of "pork" added to them (not true). Somebody needs to pork Ted Cruz. I love the show VEEP. I almost fell on the floor laughing when I found out that the character of Jonah Ryan, who is a total moron, is based on Ted Cruz because one of the show's writers or creators (I don't remember) heard the joke that if someone murdered Ted Cruz in the senate that there wouldn't be any witnesses. Of course, it's senators who tell that joke, and some of them even admit to it.


Sierra Sue said...

Jackie Sue--
Thanks for the additional info. I totally agree with your last line--
Until we get people that care more about people,than money, we're all f'd.
I worry about my grand kids and what their future will hold, as any grandmother will do !

Janie--LOVE the murder of Ted Cruz with no witnesses joke !

I'm writing it down, I'm old and dont want to forget it b!!

Anonymous said...

Lately, I have been calling regulations "protections". but I think the real reason for so many regulations is not left or right, it is over-population. the more of us there are the more protections we need to deal with us rubbing up against each other.
--Kim Cooper