Monday, January 12, 2004

Mad Cow USA: "THERE HAS been change. The situation in terms of workplace deaths, for example, isn’t as bad now as it was in the 1920s. And that happened because of the union movement and a number of social movements that put pressure on institutions. But what you see happening with the Bush administration–and even before–is that the minute public pressure lets up, the pressure from industry mounts and begins to roll back the protections that people start to take for granted.

"I think the main thing is to continue to scrutinize, to be skeptical of what you hear from the government, to look at the small print and to put pressure on them. There’s the old adage that power concedes nothing without a struggle, and I think that’s as true today as it was back when it was first said. Sometimes, there’s a temptation to look at all the ways we’re not winning right now–at how corporations and powerful institutions are disempowering individuals–and to feel frustrated. But the truth is that we do have a legacy that’s been built on the shoulders of past popular struggles, which has produced protections for the public. And I think we need to keep pushing for those and have a clear vision of what kind of world we want to live in. We’ve made progress that way in the past, and I think we can do that in the future."

"THE MEAT industry pays a price for endangering U.S. consumers with tainted beef. But it’s a bargain price--about $41 million spent on politicians during the 1990s, to be precise. Republicans received the lion’s share of that money, but the meat business also bought some high-powered Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and former House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.), both of whom come from big cattle states."

No comments: