Friday, June 7, 2013

Actual Risks of Death in the United States Contrasted to Terrorism

Leading Causes of Death in the United States (annual)
  • Heart disease: 597,689
  • Cancer: 574,743
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 138,080
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 129,476
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 120,859
  • Alzheimer's disease: 83,494
  • Diabetes: 69,071
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,476
  • Influenza and Pneumonia: 50,097
  • Intentional self-harm (suicide): 38,364
  • All-time deaths due to terrorism:  Less than 4,000
Statistics other than regarding terrorism are from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Notwithstanding the above numbers, the American government has been waging a relentless and extremely expensive war against terrorism in violation of countless laws and principles on which the country operated since its inception.  I wrote on this earlier today in Privacy is So Over-Rated in a Free Country - Updated and this article is for presentation of the relative risk.  Relative to the other actual and confirmed risks to health and life in the United States, why is there such an overwhelming focus on any implied threat from terrorism.

Incumbent on an individual in any situation is a risk analysis prior to taking any action.  This is rather less than an exercise in astrophysics as we do this throughout our lives or we don't last very long.

Based on the above numbers, it makes no sense that people need to beg for money for heart research given that the personal risk, observed and actual, is six hundred times greater than it is from the risk of terrorism and this is measuring that risk in terms the annual deaths from heart disease.  If it were all-time deaths, relative to the all-time deaths from terrorism, the number would be astronomical.

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