It seems more and more like we are becoming a nation of fraidy-cats. We, as a nation, are so afraid of dying that we spend vast fortunes on things like First Responders being at our sides within 5-minutes. We have an untold number of ambulance and helicopter corps standing by, ready on a moment's notice, to get to us and whisk us away to a team of physicians anxiously waiting in sterling clean, state-of-the-art medical facilities to save our precious lives. We have armies of Search and Rescue personnel devoted to saving us from our own stupidity when we do things like, break our necks rock climbing, or "Look everybody. No hands." or when we get drunk and lost in the woods.
But the thing is, what are the chances of anything actually happening to us? Are we really getting our money's worth for all of the cops, firemen, para-medics, doctors, servicemen and all of their stuff "standing by" to rescue our sorry asses? Let's put things in perspective.
From insurance actuary tables. What are the odds?
The chance that Earth will experience a catastrophic collision with an asteroid within the next 100 years: 1 in 5,000. 1 in 5,000!! Crimini! Was Chicken Little right? Is the sky really falling?
To put things in perspective. The odds of dying from a dog bite? 1 in 700,000. The odds of dying from a shark attack: 1 in 300,000,000! The odds of being killed by lightening: 2,320,000 to 1.
On the other hand, the chances of getting aboard an airplane with a drunk pilot are 117 to 1. (Now you know why I get drunk BEFORE I get on one of those things.)
But asteroids, shark attacks, that kind of stuff always happens to someone else, someplace else. What I'm concerned about is what happens right here, to me. Crime is rampant and getting worse. What are the odds that I will be murdered?
Odds of being murdered: 18,000 to 1. 18,000 to 1??? You mean, there's a 3-times greater chance that a giant rock will fall out of the sky and land on my head than the chance of me being murdered in our crime-infested country? Folks, that just don't seem right.
But on the other hand, the odds of getting away with murder: 2 to 1. Whoa! It turns out that all of the money we spend on law enforcement can only accomplish a 50% conviction rate for murder? I'm afraid to look up the rate for spitting on the sidewalk.
Alright guys, here's the bottom line. What should we really be worried about?
Chance of having a stroke: 1 in 6.
Chance of dying from heart disease: 1 in 3.
Chance of a man developing cancer: 1 in 2.
Chance of a woman developing cancer: 1 in 3.
Will someone please tell me again exactly what it is we should be spending our money on?
But here's some good news. The chances of becoming President: 10,000,000 to 1.