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Sinflation: Corporate Greed + Corporate Power = Growing Devastating Policies to People

— October 6, 2022

Inflation has devastating consequences, so call it “Sinflation”.

Inflation has devastating consequences, so call it “Sinflation”. Sinflation includes the long term consequences of the climate crisis due to excess air pollution for decades.  And now add the political power of oil producers cutting production to increase inflation prior to the midterm elections to help Republicans.

The Fed has a long history of helping Republicans gain and retain power.1

See graph of Fed interest rates over the past 60 years showing how the Fed helped replace LBJ with Nixon, Jimmy Carter with Reagan, and Obama with Trump.2 

I joined the U.S. Public Health Service in 1966 as a hereditary Republican serving under Democrats (LBJ).  I was impressed with the honesty, decency, and candor that I witnessed while working to control air pollution. But then, over the next half century, I painfully learned the power of corporations to control inflation and government people and policies.3

Nixon Air Polluter  

Nixon reorganized the U.S. P.H.S. air pollution program into the EPA. While I was there Nixon heeded GM & Ford executives and weakened the emission control regulations. I blew the Whistle, was fired, and sued for access to government records. Lombardo v. Handler went up to the Supreme Court and lost. The result was excess emissions of automotive air pollutants for decades contributing to the destructive Climate Crisis we die from today. 

Reagan Auto Safety Killer 

When Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter, he appointed a coal industry lobbyist to head NHTSA who then reduced NHTSA staff by 30% (300 auto safety workers out the door) a low level that still exists at NHTSA 41 years later.

Airbag deployment; image courtesy of Adam Bartlett/Flickr, via CC by 2.0.
Airbag deployment; image courtesy of Adam Bartlett/Flickr, via CC by 2.0.

The Reagan administration also rescinded automatic crash protection rules for air bags. 

One consumer victory in the unfinished long war for safety was the unanimous Supreme Court decision of June 24, 1983 that overturned the Reagan rescission of the airbag rule. Justice Byron White wrote the immortal words:

“For nearly a decade, the automobile industry has waged the regulatory equivalent of war and lost – the inflatable restraint has proved sufficiently effective. Now the automobile industry has decided to employ a seatbelt system which will not meet the safety objectives of standard 208.” 

I was personally gratified that the Supreme Court cited the NHTSA July 1980 Report that Joan assigned me to prepare.4

NHTSA reports that, by 2015, frontal airbags have saved 44,869 lives in the U.S. alone, and that number is increasing each year by about 2,500 more lives saved. NHTSA does not yet estimate lives saved by side airbags.

Ralph Nader’s Advice Now

Protect our children and protect our future.5

References (Live Links to Documents)


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