I have a question and I haven’t completely answered it, but it’s an interesting question considering that the Washington Post is making a lot of Obama’s visit to the funerals of the most recent mining fatalities in West Virginia.  Despite the fact that his Vice President is on record talking on YouTube about “No Coal Plants Here in America, Build Them, If They’re Going to Build Them, Over There.”

Aside from Biden’s ability to connect with young co-ed environmental activists, I was just wondering about the occupational death rate in the coal mining industry versus the occupational death rate of being a political consultant — for either party?

It would seem to me that coal mining is still a fairly dangerous job, although the American fatalities drop consistently and are now hovering around 30 per year (maybe that’s part of Biden’s plan to:  “build them over there”) but almost nobody reports reliable statistics on the occupational death rate of political consultants. 

This post is just a question: does anyone know how often political consultants fall into open manholes or are involved in fatal traffic accidents or suffer from fatal infections and other injuries in the line of duty? What about people who do nothing but work to serve politicians? I mean, Joe Biden’s motorcade has been involved in three or four (or maybe it was five?) accidents in the past two years alone if I remember correctly.

I found a pretty decent, attractive graph that I know isn’t totally deranged which shows coal mining deaths, here.  For 2009, the number of deaths per 10,000 miners was 1.3490 — out of every 10,000 coal miners, about 1 and 1/3rd were killed while on the job.  My question is simple:  are there fewer or more deaths per 10,000 among people who describe themselves working as activists for, consultants to, or employees of both political parties?

It could be that just in terms of the numbers, working as a political consultant/activist/employee/subcontractor is a more dangerous profession or avocation than being a coal miner, but if nobody is keeping accurate statistics, how would we know?