A Florida lead smelter and the NCAA shell game are two of my reads this week. What are yours?


First, there is so much to say about it gruesome investigation into Florida lead smelter, written by Corey Johnson, Rebecca Woolington and Eli Murray at Tampa Bay Times. Read it all, because virtually every paragraph brings another dreadful revelation and a summary can’t do it justice. Here are two of the seven main findings of the survey, but the stories of those affected – including the children of workers who have been poisoned by lead from dust stalked at home by their parents – are essential:

  • Eight in 10 workers between 2014 and 2018 had enough lead in their blood to put them at risk for high blood pressure, kidney dysfunction or cardiovascular disease. In the past five years, at least 14 current and former workers have had heart attacks or strokes, some after working in the most contaminated areas of the plant. One employee spent more than three decades around the poison before dying of heart and kidney disease at age 56.
  • Gopher knew his factory contained too much lead dust, but the company turned off ventilation functions that captured the fumes and moved slowly to repair faulty mechanical systems. Workers were made vulnerable, wearing respirators that could not protect them when poison levels rose. In 2019, an employee was faced with an air-lead concentration 15 times greater than what his respirator could protect.

A key thought that I want to associate with this story is that this is why we need local newspapers. the Tampa Bay Times clearly invested a lot of resources in this very important story that otherwise might not have garnered attention.

Another key thought: workers need unions. And government workplace safety regulations (which, you will understand, often arise due to pressure from groups like unions).

The second piece that I would like to draw your attention to is by Washington post columnist Sally Jenkins, follow-up to the poor treatment the NCAA inflicted on players and teams in the women’s tournament. One argument you’ll have heard a lot as to why women have inferior weight equipment, food, and even loot bags is that women’s basketball just isn’t profitable. Well, it’s practically an act of charity for them even to have a tournament, some people imply. Yes. About that.

Do you know how much NCAA Division I women’s basketball collectively generated in 2018-19? Almost a billion dollars. This is according to economist Daniel Rascher, a financial analyst for the OSKR company who studied self-reported NCAA figures and testified as an expert to the governing body. pending antitrust litigation. “I don’t see how they are losing money,” he said.

You know how many companies will be advertising on ESPN at this women’s tournament, brands that want to be associated with the elegance of stars like Caitlin Clark from Iowa and Kiana Williams of Stanford, who plays the game like silk strings? A total of 77, including Verizon, Chevrolet, L’Oreal and Nike.

Jenkins has a lot more information despite the NCAA’s efforts to obscure this point. A key quote from a Senior Vice President of Sports Revenue Management for Disney Advertising Sales:We were very satisfied with its performance both from a demand point of view and from an audience point of view. “

So often when we speak of inequality and injustice, there are many “facts” cited in support of this. really be fair and reasonable. This shows that it is worth looking more in depth.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *