Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
A typical example is that it makes more sense to focus safety investment in the transport sector on roads (roundabouts, restructuring of dangerous crossroads, safety ad campaigns, etc...) rather than on things like railway crossings, which cause a few deaths each year but generate tremendous amounts of outrage.

Two kind-of-counterpoints on this, one of more general significance, the other only for your example.

I wonder if this will make me appear even more cynical in the eyes of your wife, but there are deaths, and there is economic damage - and one accident in a railway crossing can cost more (in property damage, losses due to cancelled traffic, emergency services) than a hundred car accidents, and more than the costs to secure railway crossings. So here is the apparently cynical economics argument: it can make sense to attack a safety problem causing even very few deaths, if doing so saves money (which money, to show that this argument only appears cynical, could be spent on attacking other, less money-expensive but more deadly safety problems).

The other is that railway crossing accidents are road accidents (with the fault being that of a car driver in 95% of cases), though much of those tremendous amounts of outrage seem oblivious to that.

But, my wife asks, who will take care of rare diseases / orphan diseases?

Or indeed, who will take care of the persons behind the statistical numbers we discuss? Your wife's reaction reminds me of something De told me, but that'll wait until her next diary.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun May 7th, 2006 at 10:40:29 AM EST
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