Thursday, September 07, 2006

Are we Safe Yet?

That's the question I asked in my last column, published last Thursday in the Potomac News.

Unfortunately, both the printed and online column are missing the last paragraph, although I guess it read ok. Here's the last three paragraphs:

We don’t have safer, hundred-thousand-dollar cars because we don’t think it’s worth it. We don’t have pure drinking water because we don’t want to send half our income to the water company. Our air isn’t perfectly clean because it is safe enough and we don’t want to spend all our money making it slightly cleaner.

If we lived in a fantasy world where everything was free, we wouldn’t balance safety with cost. But we live in a world of finite resources. Each of us decides how to spend our money to make our own lives the best that we can. Sometimes we spend more on safety, but often we spend to make our lives better, if riskier.

When the salesperson offers you a “free” home security system, he hopes you forget the monthly fee you will pay to operate it. When a candidate offers you more security, your increased taxes will pay for that security – so ask not “are we safe yet”, but rather “is it worth it”.

Please see the entire article over at the Potomac News site. I like to encourage them when they get my stuff put online.

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