Safe Saws 2 — Cassie Hoffman

  1. Manufacturers
    Constituent: Steve Gass
    Claim: “About 3,000 people take their fingers off —about ten a day.”
    Claim Type: Casual; Table saws cause about ten people a day to lose their fingers.
    View: The way in which Gass breaks down the more abstract figure of 3,000 people to a realistic view of ten people per day really makes his argument effective; imagining ten people losing their fingers in one day is a horrible thing to think about.

    Constituent: Power Tool Institute
    Claim: “Gass (SawStop) is asking for 8 percent licensing/royalties on the wholesale price of each saw sold, a figure that [may be a] near-extortion and monopoly position.”
    Claim Type: Definitional; Gass’s 8 percent licensing/royalty request is a near-extortion and monopoly position.
    This claim can easily bring many to the defense of the power tool corporations; by using such strong language — near-extortion and monopoly — the PTI is illustrating how serious the financial impact of SawStop becoming mandatory would have on the power tool industry. Perhaps if Steve Gass lowered  his percentage request for licensing and royalties, power tool companies would be more likely to oblige.

  2. Customers 
    Constituent: Everett Schneider
    Claim: Making the SawStop technology mandatory would “double the price of entry level power saws.
    Claim Type:
    Evaluation; Entry level power saws made with mandated SawStop technology would cost twice as much compared to what saws cost without the technology.
    View: This customer’s point of view is a good support on behalf of the power tool companies because it harmonizes with the industry’s worry of the financial impact that the technology would have on the companies and their products. Of course customers are concerned about their safety, but as Schneider implies here, the added safety of SawStop may not be worth paying double for an entry level power saw.

  3. Industry Spokespeople
    Constituent: Power Tool Institute
    Claim: Consumer choice can dictate whether this technology … will gain widespread acceptance by consumers.
    Claim Type:
    Casual; Choices consumers make while buying will dictate the technology’s success.
    This claim is extremely weak and has no real significance. The same can be said for any product or service; it is always the consumers choices that reflect the success of any company.

  4. Consumer Safety Advocates
    Constituent: National Consumers League
    Claim: Current table saw safety standards have proven ineffective in protecting consumers.”
    Claim Type: Definitional; Current table saw safety standards are ineffective standards in protecting consumers.
    This claim is ineffective because it is too vague; they don’t mention why these standards are ineffective, nor how it has been proven, or to what extent they expect the standards to protect the consumers (saving a finger? saving the financial burden of a new saw? saving their life?).

  5. Injured Plaintiff
    Constituent: Ryszard Wec
    Claim: Bosch Tool Corporation “has also actively lobbied the Consumer Product Safety Commission … to prevent the adoption of flesh detection systems as a safety standard on table saws.”
    Claim Type: Definitional; Bosch Tool Corp. is a company that has lobbied the CPSC to prevent the saftey standard legislation.
    View: This claim is extremely subjective because it essentially points fingers at Bosch Tool Corp. for “actively lobbying” against the legislation, which casts them in such a negative light, as if they were actively lobbying against consumer safety.

  6. Personal Injury Lawyers
    Constituent: The Schmidt Firm, LLC
    Claim: “Table saws cause more injuries than any other woodworking tool.”
    Claim Type: Evaluation; Table saws cause more injuries compared to other woodworking tools.
    While this claim does a good job of presenting the dangers of using a table saw, it is ineffective in making it clear which side of the argument this law firm advocates protecting. Rather than demoralizing the power tool industries or claiming that the passing of increased safety legislation would create a large financial loss, they instead make the table saws themselves appear to be the problem.

  7. Government Officials
    Constituent: Consumer Product Safety Commission
    Claim: The Consumer Product Safety Commission is determined to be part of the solution to reduce the serious number of preventable table saw injuries that occur each year.
    Claim Type: Definitional: The CPSC is determined.
    This claim is somewhat vague; although they say that they want to be “part of the solution,” they don’t really state whether or not they have plans to do something or if they just want to be part.

  8. News Reporters
    Constituent: Larry Okrend
    Claim: “… mandating SawStop’s technology across the board is unnecessary and counterproductive. “
    Claim Type: Definitional; Mandating SawStop is unnecessary and counterproductive.
    This claim strongly states Okrend’s opinion on mandating the technology. It’s strange to think that increased safety on a product could be viewed as counterproductive, but this claim will at least make people think about the power tool’s side of the argument if they hadn’t already.
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1 Response to Safe Saws 2 — Cassie Hoffman

  1. davidbdale says:

    1. First of all, I like the way you’ve formatted your post, Cassie. Also, I think you’re quite right about Gass’s claim. Even though the quantity is important to his argument, the closer he gets people to feeling one finger going through the saw blade, the more effective is his claim rhetorically.
    1(A). You probably meant to make the Power Tool Institute its own category (or not: both they and Gass represent manufacturers). They certainly have different perspectives! You’re exactly right about the rhetorical value of the words extortion and monopoly, Cassie. You’re not quite justified in linking extortion to a percentage though. Blackmailers are still blackmailers whether they extort 10% or 1%.
    2. Very nice, Cassie. “Harmonizes with the industry’s worry” is lovely. Are you sure Schneider is a customer for entry-level saws speaking for all customers of entry-level saws? Just a thought.
    3. Huh. Why does the commonness of the claim make it weak, Cassie? Isn’t the Institute here saying that the safer saw is already available in the marketplace and that if consumers want it, they’ll buy it? That’s quite relevant to the question of whether manufacturers should be forced to provide it, don’t you think?
    *not casual but causal.
    *not consumers choices but consumers’ choices.
    4. Nice. I agree the claim could easily be made more effectively specific: “have proven ineffective in preventing amputations and serious blade contact maimings.”
    5. True. And the subjectivity would be really apparent if the recommended safety standard were to make saw blades out of Jell-0. They’d be entirely right to actively lobby the CPSC to prevent the adoption of such a standard!
    6. Sure, it’s an evaluation claim, Cassie, but it’s also obviously a comparison claim. 🙂 Your analysis is interesting. In the abstract, the claim might be a defense of the power tool industry, if they first minimize the number of injuries from their most dangerous product, and then present the others as “even safer.”
    7. You’re funny.
    8. First, I don’t think the power tool has a side in the argument. Shop owners like Okrend certainly do! You don’t really evaluate what Okrend means by counterproductive, do you, Cassie?

    This is quite impressive overall, Cassie, some of your most careful and deliberate evaluation work to date. (Plus, it didn’t Fail for Grammar, so you get a real grade!)

    Grade Recorded.

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