IBJOpinion

What about worker safety?

March 19, 2011
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

Am I correct in reading this that the Republicans are the ones voting against a real smoking ban? This is a very hot button item for me. I am always astounded to listen to any argument against putting this ban in place. Go to any major city around, none allow smoking and no one has lost any revenue.  How does government not get involved in employee health issues? Our company had the federal government all over us for digging a 2 foot hole and not having a ladder present! This is government absurdity at its highest.

____________

Bruce Torrance
CFO, Mainscape Inc.

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  • Figures Lie?
    The government DOES have work safety rules and a body to oversee them. OSHA is responsible for them and it has refused to rule on secondary smoke exposure. Why? Because the risk is so far below anything it normally deals with. At one point ASH tried to force a ruling with a lawsuit. OSHA wrote ASH and told them to drop the lawsuit or they WOULD set a standard and it WOULD allow smoking.

    As far as "no one losing any revenue," well, if that's true, then why not lift the ban? After all, if it hasn't hurt anyone's business why would they go back to allowing it.

    However, you might also want to explain why the State Goverment of Minnesota is lying when its figures show losses literally in the hundreds of millions of dollars JUST in its "charitable gambling" revenues -- largely bar-based pull-tab and Keno type things. What motivation would they have for lying? Google V.Gen5h and read the "Health Arguments" there. Note the graph of Minnesota official state figures on page 18.

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
  • Because...
    Workers are not required to work at a smoking establishment. They do so because they make that work choice.

    As far as not losing business because of a smoking ban, why not let the businesses evaluate that information and choosing whether to have smoking rather than government mandating a smoking ban?

    Freedom...it's a good thing.

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  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

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