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« Happy Sts. Cyril and Methodius Day! (Not Valentine’s) | Main | Alan Keyes disowns his daughter »

February 14, 2005



The US has certainly lost a lot of workers over the years. At least 27 died building the Brooklyn Bridge. 600 died in the Galveston Bay explosion in 1947. Between 1870 and 1995, 51,483 deaths were recorded in the coal mining business in Pennsylvania. That is one reason why we don't do much heavy industry in this country any more.

I don't know when we had our biggest per capita losses, but I'll be they compare to the Chinese numbers.

Frank Warner

The United States mines more coal now than it ever has. Coal produces 43 percent of our electric power.

For each ton of coal mined, China's miners are 100 times more likely than American miners to die.

This is the 21st century. What has held China back from better job safety technology and the pressure to use it? A society kept poor, backward, closed and unaccountable by totalitarian communism.


How about that! 100 times the fatalities per ton mined? That's a good comparison, but not entirely appropriate. China is not yet in the 21st century. I'd put them at about 1950.

I googled a little and came up with these numbers:
US Historical Fatalities in Coal Industry
in Fatalities per Million Tons of Coal Production.

1931 - 6.5
1970 - .43
2003 - .034

China 2003 - 4.0

I guess this puts the Chinese at about 1940.


That's a lot of CO2 you're talking about, and not many jobs. I'll bet the main reason the fatality numbers are so low is because of increased productivity.


Maybe it would look worse for China if you measured fatalities per dollar of mineworker salary. That would probably put them closer to 1880.

Frank Warner

My guess is, the Chinese actually are improving, or are about to improve their coal mine safety record.

The first step toward improvement has been their unusually open news coverage of the coal mine disasters in the last two years. That stirs public opinion, which stirs government inspectors, which stirs workplace improvements.

However, in spite of China's freer economy, there is a limit to the accountability a totalitarian dictatorship will endure. Until China is politically free, China's workers labor under rules designed primarily for the regime's health and safety.

The Chinese people are a distant second.

Red Star

You flatter yourself, Frank.

That is the wackiest analogy you've yet used: more deaths in China due in the mining sector vs USA deaths due to fighting for freedom.

USA is involed in so many fighting overseas is not because to liberate and bring freedom. It is a way for the Americans to see the world and learn geography ! !

Frank Warner

I guess freedom just broke out by accident in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq and Taiwan.

Americans learned geography, and hundreds of millions of people are free. What a coincidence!

Red Star

When did WWII start and when did USA enter this WWII to bring freedom and liberation?

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