Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Chilean Mine and American Politics


Chris "tingle leg" Matthews is off his meds. Somehow he thinks the tea party is about zero taxes and zero government. I read a lot, and I haven't heard that argument anywhere:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Okay let's talk about what the...message to a lot of the people was. The message coming out of the Tea Party people, and lot of them are good people, is every man for himself, basically. "No more taxes, no more government, no more everything. No more safety net. No more health care for everybody. Everybody just get out there, make your buck, save it, screw the government, move on." Right?

RICHARD TRUMKA: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: You know these people, if they were every man for himself down in that mine they wouldn't have gotten out.

TRUMKA: That's exactly right.

MATTHEWS: They would have been killing each other after about two days. This is a story of how people can work together, the people who were down there for two months.

Sure, that's one way to look at it. You could also look at it realistically:
If those miners had been trapped a half-mile down like this 25 years ago anywhere on earth, they would be dead. What happened over the past 25 years that meant the difference between life and death for those men?

Short answer: the Center Rock drill bit.

This is the miracle bit that drilled down to the trapped miners. Center Rock Inc. is a private company in Berlin, Pa. It has 74 employees. The drill's rig came from Schramm Inc. in West Chester, Pa. Seeing the disaster, Center Rock's president, Brandon Fisher, called the Chileans to offer his drill. Chile accepted. The miners are alive.

The Chilean miners can thank capitalism for equipment that gets the job done, and for drillers who have honed their skills in order to earn a good living.

On the subject of zero government, you could see real zero government types protesting the last G-8 forum. There the anarchists (few of whom I would assume are also tea partyers) stood shoulder to shoulder with AIDS activists and demanded that more be done for the victims of AIDS. Um, yeah. Except that any progress we've made towards relieving the suffering of AIDS victims has been done through capitalism. That's where most of our miracle drugs come from: "Evil" drug companies in search of profit.

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