September 10, 2005

It Pays To Live in a Democracy with a Market Economy (Updated)

Death toll for 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: 120,000 plus.

Death toll for Hurricane Katrina in N.O.: 300 plus.

Zero deaths would be great, sure, but a ratio of .0025 isn't bad for the "worst natural disaster in US history," as MSM is so fond of saying. Anyone who has updated information on the actual death toll from Katrina (not the hyperbolic "estimates"), especially if it includes the entire Gulf Coast, gets well-earned kudos for reporting it here. The 300 number comes from a PBS report yesterday, issued by a N.O. official.

This is a participatory and self-correcting enterprise, unlike the alternative.

Update: Thanks to the entirprise of Oyster and the Associated Press we can now report that the 300+ figure for the death toll from Katrina is not just for New Orleans, but for the entire Gulf Coast. Granted the comparison of a Hurricane with a Tsunami isn't ideal, but a death toll ratio of 1 to 3,300 suggests that there's something to the notion that you're safer living in a market oriented democracy. A comparison of earthquakes in Iran vs. the US yields a similar ratio. Even going back to 1906 to find a quake comparable in magnitude to the one in Bam, Iran, which killed 41,000 we find that the San Francisco Earthquake--the most devastating in US history--killed 3,000. Death tolls from more modern quakes in the US are in single digits. The death toll from the Northridge quake, the most destructive modern temblor, was less than 60. The difference is probably a matter of construction methods and other engineering interventions, as well as communicatons and disaster response and relief. Winds of Change has more.

By Demosophist at 01:31 PM | Comments |