Here is a doozy you might not have heard, says James Downie at The New Republic. Wall Street Journal deputy editor Daniel Henninger is hailing last week's Chilean miner rescue as "a smashing victory for free-market capitalism." He says the 33 men who spent 69 days underground would be dead if it hadn't been for a "miracle" drill bit that a Pennsylvania company, Center Rock Inc., developed because it hoped to use it to make money. But Henninger conveniently ignores that the mine might not have collapsed and that the miners might never have been trapped if the profit-driven mine operator had focused more on safety. In fact, the company was "overwhelmed" by the accident — and broke — that the Chilean government had to take over the rescue. Here, an excerpt:
The point here is not to claim the rescue as a victory for statism. Far from it. Yes, the mine owners re-opened their mine before meeting safety standards because they wanted to start profiting again, but the Chilean government only had eighteen safety inspectors for the entire country. While business may have influenced that woefully inadequate number, the buck still ultimately stopped with the political leaders. Neither the collapse nor the rescue can be solely attributed to capitalism or government. The credit, and the blame, lie with both.
Read the full article at The New Republic.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How Ronald Reagan turned America into a nation of children
- Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016
- The crusade against Iraq War supporters has forgotten someone: Hillary Clinton
- The Nazi smart bomb that inspired China's most dangerous weapon
- Why is the West so afraid of Islam?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- This week I learned the moon might be littered with dinosaur fossils, and more
- 8 things the world's most extraordinary survivors can teach you about resilience
- Why scientists can't kill HIV
- How to make classic pulled pork
Subscribe to the Week