Why so little value on a human life
Under the current transportation paradigm in New York, human life and health is traded for mobility, economics and other factors…
More than 250 New Yorkers are killed in automobile related crashes every year, and it’s not unusual for City officials to tout these historically low numbers as evidence they are doing their jobs well, as if exchanging 250 lives is a reasonable trade for mobility. Only in transportation is this somehow acceptable.
The full article is available as a pdf.
…You don’t have to take responsibility for the results of your deeds; you just have to be bold about whatever risk you feel like taking, generally with the lives and money of others.
In keeping with this philosphy, this summer the EPA reduced the official value of the average US lilfe from $7.8 million to $6.9 million. In Bush’s first term this had been a goal of White House regulatory czar John Grahm, who tried to discount the lives of senior Americans in particular...
Why devalue human lives? Because the less your life is worth, the less the Bush administration has to do to keep you safe. The less your life is worth, the easier it is to come up with a cost-benefit analysis showing that banning a dagerous pesticide or preventing global warming is “uneconomic,” particularly as the value of future lives is discounted by 2 to 3 percent a year.
I often wonder how it is possible for people to be reckless in a way that puts others at risk – whether it is driving recklessly down city streets or making decisions based on profit rather than safety. If any single person were confronted with the idea that their action would cost the life of one person (especially if we use someone they know as an example) I would think that they would chose to change their action.
I don’t think that people are inherently evil, but it is possible that without the ability to think longterm or big picture, than some of our actions are evil.
On the other hand, I really do believe in the good of all people and that finding ways to reach out to one another helps to strengthen our communities and positive actions.
As I am writing this, the Bush administration is pushing through oodles of “executive orders” that are raping and pillaging this country and its resources (natrual, human, our privacy, our security). But at the same time, the Obama team is watching closely. And simultaneously the local administration is turning streets into pedestrian plazas.
If we each slow down and notice one another, and then as a next step, come together, maybe there is hope and maybe we can all learn to value every human life.