What is Most Dangerous to Americans?
d. home appliances
Hazard – Annual Fatality Risk (3)
Bathtub Drownings – 1 in 950,000
Home Appliances – 1 in 1,500,000
Deer Accidents – 1 in 2,000,000
Terrorism (1970-2007) – 1 in 3,500,000
Would you throw your civil liberties and a trillion tax dollars away to be slightly safer from bathtubs? (1) The government and media fearmonger for votes, viewers, and money. Replace hype with cost-benefit and risk analysis.
An example of media sensationalism was this comment by ABC’s Charles Gibson on the fifth anniversary of 9/11:
Putting your child on a school bus or driving across a bridge or just going to the mall—each of these things is a small act of courage—and peril is a part of everyday life. (4)
A rare example of a politician being level-headed about the threat of terrorism was in 2007 when NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg told citizens fretting over terrorism to “get a life” and that they have a better chance of being struck by lightning than by terrorism. (2)
To learn more about the colossal waste of money that the TSA has been read, “How the TSA Kills Us … Literally”.
To learn more about the fantastic absence of rational analysis in America’s continuing response to 9/11, read the book by John Mueller and Mark Stewart, Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security (2011).
1. Ronald Bailey, “How Scared of Terrorism Should You Be?” Reason.com, 6 Sep. 2011. LINK
2. Sewell Chan, “Buzz Over Mayor’s ‘Get a Life’ Remark,” NYTimes.com, 6 June 2007. LINK
3. John Mueller and Mark Stewart, “Hardly Existential: Thinking Rationally about Terrorism,” ForeignAffairs.com, 2 Apr. 2010. LINK
4. John Mueller and Mark Stewart, “Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security,” 1 Apr. 2011. LINK (PDF)