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Friday, September 15, 2006


What is killing the people of the world?

It's a subject I've been writing about for three years -- the fact that, on a list of the world's deadly problems, terrorism ranks well down the list. Indeed, as I noted here, the number of Americans killed by traffic accidents in a single year is more than the number of people killed worldwide by acts of terrorism in all of recorded history (excluding state-sponsored terrorism, which dwarfs acts of individual terrorism).

Now Wired (hat tip to Lenin's Tomb) provides us with the data for the deaths of Americans only, over an 11-year period, in the form of a handy-dandy color-coded chart that we Americans love so much:

You'll note that your chance of being killed by a cop are greater than being killed by a terrorist; your chance of being killed at work, quite likely due to the intentional negligence of your employer (and the equally intentional government gutting of OHSA), is more than ten times greater.

Since the U.S. has done its best to globalize the problem of terrorism, in the sense of trying to make it the #1 priority of every country in the world, we mustn't overlook what is missing from Wired's chart -- the problems that don't just threaten America, but threaten the Americas, and Africa and Asia and everywhere else in even greater numbers. As noted previously, these include 9 million a year from hunger, 1.5 million a year from Diarrhea, 150,000 a year from global warming, 68,000 a year from unsafe abortions, and certainly millions more each year (I don't have the figure) from inadequate health care, just to name some of the things I've written about over the years. I haven't even mentioned hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, which may not be preventable in and of themselves, but the number of deaths they cause (cf. Katrina) is certainly enhanced by government policies and economic status, i.e., by the results of capitalism and imperialism.

But let's focus all our attention and resources on terrorism, shall we?

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