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Author Topic: Life is cheap: CN pays 37,500 per death
VanLuke
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posted 07 December 2005 09:55 PM      Profile for VanLuke     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
http://www.cbc.ca/bc/story/bc_mcbride-crash20051207.html

I remember my economics professors who taught about profit being the reward for risk taking.

What a great science the dismal one is, isn't it?

[ 07 December 2005: Message edited by: VanLuke ]


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
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posted 07 December 2005 10:02 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That story doesn't mention anything at all about how economists would`approach this issue.

This one does. Note the difference in scale.


From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
VanLuke
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posted 07 December 2005 10:37 PM      Profile for VanLuke     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Give me a break, please.

I believe it was Ruskin who said that the cycnic (this is *not* a dig at you) knows the price of everything and the value of none.

I happen to *believe* that you cannot attach a monetary value to a life, although in our way of doing things we end up dealing with it this way.

Finally, I would have thought that it was kind of obvious in which way I meant my comment since it was the judicial deal that resulted in this digusting sum.

You surely agree that the father who lost his son is rightfully very upset about a paltry 75,000 Dollar fine for the negligence that killed his son.

And please tell me that you do not think this is adequate and please tell me too who are the biggest risk takers: The workers, who put their lives and/or health on the line or the capitalists who put a limited amount of their wealth on the table. What is worth more in *your value system*, i.e. not economics twhere this is excluded by definiton -- economists claim: Money or human health and life?

Btw you expect way to much of the CBC if you think that they'll give you a decent economic analysis. Even Jeanie Lee, who surely knows what she's talking about, doesn't provide much (if any) analysis.


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
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posted 07 December 2005 10:55 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My point is that you shouldn't be blaming economists for those numbers, since they don't appear to have been produced by anything that even remotely appears to be an economic analysis of the question.

Blame the lawyers and/or the accountants, instead.


From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
jrootham
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posted 07 December 2005 11:38 PM      Profile for jrootham     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Economists get raked over the coals enough on this board for their actual sins. It seems excessive to roast them for the sins of others as well.
From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
VanLuke
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posted 08 December 2005 12:01 AM      Profile for VanLuke     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stephen Gordon:
My point is that you shouldn't be blaming economists for those numbers, since they don't appear to have been produced by anything that even remotely appears to be an economic analysis of the question.

Blame the lawyers and/or the accountants, instead.


You misinterpreted what I said or maybe I wasn't as precise as I should have been. Though i do not think I blamed economists for the numbers. I did take another swipe at my (yes I studied it too) discipline.

You did however avoid the questions I posed about risk taking.

What about it Stephen? Who is taking the more serious risks? Who is getting the bigger rewards?

You're a human being not just an economist and while we could argue that economics is *not* value free, why don't we do what economists do best: Lets assume it's value free. As a human being (outside your profession) you have values.

So what about an answer to those two questions?


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
VanLuke
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posted 08 December 2005 12:07 AM      Profile for VanLuke     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jrootham:
Economists get raked over the coals enough on this board for their actual sins. It seems excessive to roast them for the sins of others as well.

And just where did I blame them for it?

I made a perhaps unrelated comment but I did not say that economists are to blame for this appaling settlement. It is true however, that according to economics profit is the reward for risk taking, is it not? And who took the risk there?

Btw CN has had 2 more derailments and in the latest had not obeyed the order given by the National Transpoertation Safety Board (though of course they claim they did) to limit trains to 100 cars from Squamish to Whistler.

It seems pretty clear that they don't give a damn about people's safety and the environment. If I as an individual acted in such a reckless way the RCMP would lock me up.


From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 08 December 2005 08:26 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The other two charges – of failing to protect employee health and safety – were stayed.

Actually, they paid $0 for the two deaths, technically speaking. They paid $75,000 for failing to comply with engineering standards in not repairing the bridge. The mind boggles.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
scooter
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posted 08 December 2005 12:16 PM      Profile for scooter     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I wonder when people will start talking about the poor quality of maintenace done by BC Rail before being bought by CN.
From: High River | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
VanLuke
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posted 08 December 2005 01:16 PM      Profile for VanLuke     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Is there any evidence that contradicts the CBC about the number of derailments under BC Rail you can offer?
From: Vancouver BC | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
scooter
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posted 09 December 2005 12:01 AM      Profile for scooter     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't see any contradiction. BC Rail ran a small time operation. CN runs a big time operation. You run large trains on poorly maintained rail you get a high number of accidents.

CN will either have to invest to upgrade the old BC rail system or start running short uneconomical trains like BC rail used to run.


From: High River | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
MasterDebator
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posted 09 December 2005 08:15 AM      Profile for MasterDebator        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by scooter:
I don't see any contradiction. BC Rail ran a small time operation. CN runs a big time operation. You run large trains on poorly maintained rail you get a high number of accidents.

CN will either have to invest to upgrade the old BC rail system or start running short uneconomical trains like BC rail used to run.



BC Rail ran shorter trains and made money. Yes, their track was designed to a lower performance standard in terms of grade and curvature, that's historic going back to when it started as the PGE.

During the 1990s when Harcourt and Clark were in office, the BCR upgraded its track considerably in terms of engineering soundness and security within the context of a regional freight only railroad. Those upgrades made BCR a more attractive privitization target for CN once Campbell came in.

Railroaders tell me that CN on all its track now gets away with behaviour that ten or fifteen years ago they would never dream of tying, all kinds of extreme stuff. The bridge that collapsed had been inspected and found deficient some time before the crash, yet nothing or very little was done.

Today on the CBC Radio One they had some business expert from the Rotman School of Business in Toronto blaming any derailments on "legacy" problems inherited from the BC Rail days. Nothing could be further from the truth and he knows it.

As I recall, Scooter, you were one of the posters who took a pretty strong anti-union attitude during the Telus lockout. Are these remarks you have made about BCR-CNR an extension of that same attitude?


From: Goose Country Road, Prince George, BC | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 09 December 2005 10:14 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by scooter:
I don't see any contradiction. BC Rail ran a small time operation. CN runs a big time operation. You run large trains on poorly maintained rail you get a high number of accidents.

CN will either have to invest to upgrade the old BC rail system or start running short uneconomical trains like BC rail used to run.


So, BC rail used to operate safely, knowing the limits of the infrastructure they were running trains on. CN doesn't. And you are pissed at BC rail because???


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged

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