The Public Interest

Taking Care of Business

Brian Mannix

Fall 1989

THE CURTAIN rises on an empty stage. In 1960 there is no Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, no Environmental Protection Agency, no Occupational Safety and Health Administration, no Department of Energy, no Consumer Product Safety Commission, no National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, and no Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Somehow the world goes about its business without them. Vietnam and Watergate have not yet left their scars on the American psyche.  Ralph Nader’s bestseller Unsafe at Any Speed and Rachel Carsons Silent Spring are still unwritten; OPEC is an obscure bureaucracy. It is a time before Surgeon Generals warnings, before Thalidomide, before carcinogens, and before PACs. If your company has a Washington office, you do not want to be there.

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