Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Cost in dollars

Another snowstorm snarled the evening commute. My rehearsal was canceled, so I didn't have to be out in it. Our previous snowstorm was just Wednesday-Thursday of last week. But Sunday got up to 55F (12C) and it all melted.

Two years ago we had a record amount of snow. This year we've had about a third of that.

A federal jury trial ruled against Dow Chemical Company in a class-action lawsuit (I heard the award was over $1 billion, but don't have a source). Dow appealed to the Supremes, figuring with five conservative justices they would fare pretty well.

Then Justice Scalia died. And the GOP is vowing to block a replacement.

Suddenly taking the case to the Supremes didn't look like such a good idea. A 4-4 split would mean the lower court's ruling stands. So Dow settled for $835 million. Paying out that huge amount looks like the safer bet.

Other corporations are likely to make similar calculations.

I've reported on the sordid tale of Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat, two representatives to the Michigan legislature who were kicked out after having an affair and attempting to use a strange scenario with gay elements to cover it up. The two now face charges of perjury and lying under oath. Each could face at least 5 years in prison.

The South Dakota Legislature passed a bathroom bill – transgender students were to be banned from using the restroom of their gender identity. The House passed it 58-10. Thankfully, Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed it. The House could easily override the veto. Thankfully, in the Senate not so much.

The latest in the Flint water crisis is newly released emails show Gov. Rick Snyder knew about the contamination long before he said he did and long before anyone started doing something about it. That prompted Melissa McEwen of Shakesville to write:
Naturally, despite the dire warnings and urgent recommendations, nothing was done. Because it was deemed too costly.

In dollars. The cost of lives didn't seem to be part of the considerations.

Once again, I will note that this is what class warfare actually looks like. It isn't asking wealthy people to pay more taxes. It's sacrificing the health, and sometimes the very lives, of poor people so that wealthy people don't have to pay more taxes.

No comments:

Post a Comment