Richard Rider

Richard Rider
San Diego, California, USA
August 24
San Diego Tax Fighters
Biography of Richard Rider (Updated July, 2011) San Diego, CA 92131 E-mail: * AGE: 66 * EDUCATION: B.A. Economics, University of North Carolina, 1968 * MILITARY SERVICE: Commander, Supply Corps, U. S. Naval Reserve, retired after 26 years (four years active, the rest in the reserve). ** OCCUPATION: Retired stockbroker and financial planner. Lifetime member of the International Association of Financial Planners. Former business owner. * AFFILIATION: • Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters • National Taxpayers Union • Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association • San Diego County Taxpayers Association * POLITICAL ACTIVITIES: • Successfully sued the county of San Diego (Rider vs. County of San Diego) to force a rollback of an illegal 1/2-cent jails sales tax, a precedent that saved California taxpayers over fourteen billion dollars, including $3.5 billion for San Diego taxpayers. • Actively supported a variety of tax-cutting ballot initiatives including Proposition 13. Has written ballot arguments against numerous county and state tax increase initiatives. • County co-chair of both California term limit initiatives (Prop 140 and Prop 164). • Libertarian Party candidate for governor in 1994. • Candidate for the 3rd District County Supervisor in 1992 (third place among six candidates with about 20% of the vote). • 1993 – appointed to (and then elected chair of) the San Diego County Social Services Advisory Board. • 1996 – appointed as a Commissioner on the California Constitution Revision Commission by state Assembly Speaker Kurt Pringle. • Has been involved in legal actions against City of San Diego to force a public vote on issuing bonds for Qualcomm stadium expansion, convention center, baseball ballpark and other projects. • 2005 – Unsuccessful candidate for Mayor of San Diego, though his reform ideas have since taken hold. • 2007 – Columnist for NORTH COUNTY TIMES and SAN DIEGO DAILY TRANSCRIPT • 2009 - The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association's "California Tax Fighter of the Year" * FAMILY: Married. Wife, Diane, is a retired public high school teacher. Two sons, ages 32 and 27.

NOVEMBER 8, 2010 5:08PM

Police & Firefighter work dangerous? Yes. And no.

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Do police and firefighters (who, oddly enough, have almost the same chance of dying on the job) really have higher workplace fatality rates than other occupations?


And no.

Check out the 2006 fatality statistics published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor.  The national average mortality rate on the job for all occupations is 4 deaths per 100,000 workers.  Police and firefighter deaths on the job are a bit over 4 times that average.  Clearly their jobs are more hazardous than what most working people have to face.

But let's compare that public safety mortality rate with some other blue collar, mostly male jobs.  The figures below are the number of on-the-job deaths annually per 100,000 workers, by occupation (and note the average for men vs. women):

  • Policemen: 16.8
  • Firefighters: 16.6
  • Men: 6.9
  • Women: 0.7
  • Farmers and Ranchers: 37.2
  • Grounds Maintenance Workers: 13.5
  • Fishers and related Fishing Workers: 147.2
  • Construction Laborers: 21.4
  • Roofers: 33.5
  • Structural Iron and Steel Workers: 61
  • Operating Engineers and other Equipment Operators: 18.2
  • Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers: 90.4
  • Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors: 40.7
  • Logging: 87.4
  • Mining: 28.1
  • Taxi and limousine drivers: 22.1
  • Truck Transportation: 27.2

You can read the entire document by clicking here.

Or here:

As you can see, a number of occupations entail as great or greater risk.  Indeed, a grounds maintenance worker faces almost as much mortality risk as our police and firefighters.  Construction laborers face a 28% higher risk.  Truck drivers are 63% more likely to die on the job.  Roofers face twice the mortality risk of our public safety workers.  And then there are some REALLY dangerous occupations to consider.
A common lament is that "police and firefighters' wives -- when they send their husbands off to work -- don't know whether or not they will return that evening." [Somehow it's unmanly to reverse the genders.]  True enough. 
But the fact is that there are millions of workers who go off to work each morning with less of a chance of returning home than the odds facing a police officer or firefighter.
One reason few people are aware of this fact is that when a public safety employee dies on the job, there is a huge amount of publicity.  You seldom have a private funeral for a cop or firefighter -- it's an "all hands on deck" evolution. 
Meanwhile every day people die on the job in these other riskier occupations, and such tragedies seldom get even a mention in the papers, let alone on TV.
Every occupational death is a tragedy, and no one should downplay that fact. But the idea that police and firefighters face incredible dangers is simply not true.  Public safety jobs entail risk, but not THAT much risk.
In a separate blog item I will deal with the public safety RETIREE morality rate.  For now, suffice it to say that there is little difference compared to the general population -- labor union propaganda notwithstanding.

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