Tuesday, August 21, 2007

East and West - A Critical Difference

Over the last two weeks, our news outlets here in the United States have chronicled the saga of 18 miners trapped in a Utah mine. The company drilled hole after hole to find them, and we, as a nation, were watching. We cared about them, those 18. Indeed, in other times, we've watched and hoped for as little as one or two trapped miners in places like West Virginia, Kentucky and Wyoming.

Contrast that with Chinese mines. In this story, Chinese families, distraught over the lack of regard for human life by the company that owns a large mine in Eastern China, stormed the buildings occupied by the owners and smashed all that they could. The toll? Nearly 200 workers. And there are little or no real rescue efforts, and the mining company failed to heed the warnings that their employees would be trapped by the floods.

The punch line? An AVERAGE of 13 miners are killed in mining accidents in China every day. Thirteen a day. Killed. In this country, such an industry would be outlawed. Every one of us would be unhappy about it.

I draw the conclusion that we have a higher regard for human life and dignity in the West. That may be the wrong leap of logic, but that's my view.


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