Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It seems as if every week somebody comes up with a study that shows the number of people who will die from exposure to second-hand smoke, or from some obscure chemical present in vanishingly small amounts in the air or water, or from who knows what, unless the government imposes some tiresome measure they've dreamed up. I've often wondered how they manage to make those calculations and where their information comes from.

However, I don't have any problem at all believing that lower income causes you to die sooner. Numerous studies have shown that life span and mortality rates are directly correlated with average income levels. The higher the income, the longer people live, and vice versa. So it follows that any measure taken by the state that lowers income will shorten life spans and kill an undetermined number of people.

These days you have to file an environmental impact statement for just about any kind of project that involves breaking ground, estimating the environmental damage it will cause. Why not require the state to file an economic impact statement estimating the number of Americans a new tax or regulation will kill?
--David Wright

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