3/9 Our Accidents Are Their Profits w/ Jessie Singer

March 9, 2022

Sam hosts author and journalist Jessie Singer to discuss her recent book There Are No Accidents: The Deadly Rise of Injury and Disaster-Who Profits and Who Pays the Price, on the policy and regulatory collapse that has pushed America’s number of “accidental” deaths through the roof. Jessie begins by situating her research over the last two decades; her best friend was killed by a driver that accidentally ran through a biking pedestrian path – an incident that would be repeated (on accident) countless times over the next decade – until in 2017 a driver purposefully took the same exact route in a terror attack killing eight and injuring eleven, finally resulting in barrier protections for the path. She then dives into the concept of “accidental” deaths, and how that term makes them seem random despite the patterns within them, with Black and brown people, impoverished people being hurt at drastically higher rates, and a clear inverse relationship with crumbling regulatory capacity and social safety net policy on every level of US politics – as they decline, deaths ramp up. Next, she and Sam dive into the fall and rise of these deaths after WWII, as regulatory agencies pushed safety on the American public up until the turn of the neoliberal era, when we see a complete turnaround as the number of deaths double after 1992, before they look to the willful ignorance behind this increase as a social and political problem, not a design or regulatory one. Lastly, they cover the role of two American ideals in pushing this narrative – the profit motive and the obsession with personal responsibility – and how they have encouraged the creation of more and more dangerous (and more and more expensive) cars, discouraged the creation of mitigation efforts in the opioid epidemic, and just generally undermine the ability of communities to be built around protecting human life. After they wrap up with a discussion on policing and judgment, Sam touches on developments in the West’s response to Russia, and dives into his passion subjects of Postal regulation and America’s history of poisoning its citizens with lead.

And in the Fun Half: Stephen Crowder discusses the bad people on both sides of the Russia-Ukraine “conflict” (invasion), Bro Flamingo talks night clubs and Trump’s personal agenda, and Sam dives into the firing of a Starbucks organizer. Graph from CO discusses the current wave of anti-LGBTQ culture war from the right, Dave Rubin takes on the authoritarian nature of parent-child relationships (just imagine the GOVERNMENT enforcing your BEDTIME and making you eat VEGETABLES), and Noah from NoLa has a difficult time holding a conversation on misinformation, plus, your calls and IMs!

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