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-   -   Human lives are priceless (https://www.pprune.org/pacific-general-aviation-questions/633566-human-lives-priceless.html)

Dick Smith 26th Jun 2020 06:29

Human lives are priceless
 
Recently this interesting extract of an article in The New Daily by Michael Pascoe was sent to me in relation to the value of human life. Of course we all know that aviation is different and safety is more important that cost.


“I wrote in another place three years ago that an Australian life was worth not more than $4.2 million, on average, according to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Young lives were worth a bit more and we’re also prepared to pay more to avoid particularly painful and gruesome deaths.

The latter is a factor in our willingness to spend disproportionately large amounts trying to minimise the already very low risk of death by shark attack, while doing very little to counteract that much more successful serial killer, the common ladder.

Sharks killed just two of us the year before that article, but ladders averaged 23 deaths a year over the decade to 2012.

The statistics are useful in busting two of the more common myths regularly regurgitated by media: “Human life is priceless” and its close relative, “If it only saves one life, it’s worth it”.

The reality is that human life is constantly being priced – every time a road is designed, every time another safety regulation is mooted, every time an expensive new drug is considered for government subsidy, every time a court decides appropriate compensation for wrongful death. Abacuses of actuaries are constantly on the case.

If it was true that “life is priceless” and “if it only saves one life, it’s worth it”, all our cars would be speed limited to 30 kilometres an hour and every intersection would at least have traffic lights, if not a flyover.”

You could forget horse riding and rock fishing, bicycles would be kept to walking pace, and anyone attempting to mount a motorcycle would be shot to save them from falling off.

As we routinely price lost life, rational economics would also have us pricing saved and improved lives.”


Ex FSO GRIFFO 26th Jun 2020 08:51

Hi Dick,

Is that a 'typo' .....should that read 'than' cost.....or 'that cost'...??

Curious is all....not bein' 'nasty'.....hoo me???
Cheers
Griffo

p.s. Tks again for the 'R'........
xx

Clinton McKenzie 26th Jun 2020 09:56

Cognitive Bias
 
“Cognitive Bias” is a completely uncontroversial and well-known human attribute. The human mind naturally overestimates the probabilities of events that have awful consequences: Events like shark attacks and aircraft crashes. (The ‘mystique of aviation’ has been coined previously to describe the effects of that bias in aviation regulation.)

In sensible societies, finite risk mitigation resources are allocated on the basis of objective risk and cost benefit analyses, rather than perception affected by cognitive bias. When that doesn’t happen, the outcome is unnecessary cost and damage through disproportionate resources being allocated to mitigating the perceived, overestimated risks rather than the actual risks that would more effectively be mitigated.

Cognitive bias and the yawning gap between the talk and the walk about aviation safety risk and regulation are the main (but not only) reasons for the parlous state of general aviation in Australia (in whatever way “general aviation” might be defined).

In Australia, lives, livelihoods and life’s passions are sacrificed in the name of ‘aviation safety’ on a regular basis, when the cost of that sacrifice is either not justified by the cost or - worse and tragically - paid in return for no causal mitigation of any safety risk. It makes me sick to the stomach to reflect on - for example - the people who’ve committed suicide because of the enforcement of colour vision ‘standards’ that existed only in the minds of zealots. And that’s just the tip (albeit the most ghastly part) of the iceberg.

machtuk 26th Jun 2020 13:01

We are each owed a death, our lives aren't exactly in our hands........such is life!-)

megan 27th Jun 2020 01:22


In sensible societies, finite risk mitigation resources are allocated on the basis of objective risk and cost benefit analyses
Perhaps we once had a sensible society Clinton, did an aviation safety course where it was explained that the need (cost) to introduce a life preserving mod would be balanced against the predicted number of lives it may save. If it were otherwise we wouldn't have vehicles driving head on at a closing speed of between 200 and 260 kph and separated in their passing by a couple of feet.

Ex FSO GRIFFO 28th Jun 2020 01:02

AAHHH.... 'E' roadspace..?

Cheeerrrsss.....

Capn Bloggs 28th Jun 2020 02:14

Now now Griffo, DO NOT mention THE question that shall not be asked...

Manwell 28th Jun 2020 05:19

That figure is most likely hypothecated by Govt at birth when our parents sign our birth certificate, which is then registered as a human resource that is used as collateral for "public" debt. Like any big business, Govt has basically three sets of books, the budget, actual figures for the year, and the complete annual financial record that includes revenue from all sources, plus assets. The value of a life depends on various factors like whether they're married, age, sex, racial origin, etc. Basically all the stupid questions you have to answer when filling out Govt forms and censuses. Those factors enable Govt to keep a track of the value of all their assets which include you, me, and our kids. Businesses, pets and cars are also registered, probably for the same reason. Now, the really tricky part is that we are what you'd call plant, income producing assets, and we are registered as collateral for public debt that's incurred by Govt, supposedly on our behalf. Govt rack up mountains of public debt with us liable for repayment, while they shift profitable public assets over onto the Govt owned corporate books where the profits remain with the GOC, instead of going into consolidated revenue. So, in short, that's the highest value of a normal Australian, but I doubt it'd be the price they'd put on someone like Dick.

nonsense 28th Jun 2020 05:53


Originally Posted by Manwell (Post 10823230)
Those factors enable Govt to keep a track of the value of all their assets which include you, me, and our kids. Businesses, pets and cars are also registered, probably for the same reason.

You seriously think the government wants to "keep a track of the value of" my pet cat?

Sunfish 28th Jun 2020 10:35

Man well, you are talking nonsense. An Actuary can give you the figures. They calculate risk vs. cost all the time. That is their profession. How do you think insurance premiums are set?.

gerry111 28th Jun 2020 13:41


Originally Posted by Sunfish (Post 10823426)
How do you think insurance premiums are set?.

I reckon that's an easy question: To the maximum an insurance company believes the market will bear.

Sunfish 28th Jun 2020 22:22

Gerry, yes, but the underwriters still need to know the underlying long term risk and costs otherwise they have no foundation from which to bargain.

For example, the benchmark for RPT aircraft public liability insurance is the price and probability of an aircraft crash in the center of the London commercial. district on a weekday summer lunchtime. For a US domestic carrier it’s the same on Manhattan.


It is obvious that all aviation regulation and airspace design should be based on such work, yet it isn’t in Australia.


An actuary is a business professional who deals with the measurement and management of risk and uncertainty


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actuary




Manwell 29th Jun 2020 04:47


Originally Posted by nonsense (Post 10823242)
You seriously think the government wants to "keep a track of the value of" my pet cat?

Cats aren't required to be registered yet, but they will be eventually.

Manwell 29th Jun 2020 04:50


Originally Posted by Sunfish (Post 10823426)
Man well, you are talking nonsense. An Actuary can give you the figures. They calculate risk vs. cost all the time. That is their profession. How do you think insurance premiums are set?.

I sure thought it was nonsense too when I first started looking into it, but I can assure you it makes perfect sense of what's happening in reality.

Mr Approach 29th Jun 2020 08:02

So the four guys who died at Mangalore were "worth" $16.8 Million - clearly not because no-one (in authority) has lifted a finger to do anything about it.
Perhaps it would be better to make a life value assessment based on the amount of bad press the Minister does or does not attract?
1. Mangalore = 2 GA trainers = nil press coverage = no interest
2. (Hypothetical) Wagga = 2 Rex Saabs = plastered all over the news outlets = refurbished control tower

Do not enjoy being a cynic, but..............:ugh:

Clinton McKenzie 7th Jul 2020 09:20


Originally Posted by megan (Post 10822341)
Perhaps we once had a sensible society Clinton, did an aviation safety course where it was explained that the need (cost) to introduce a life preserving mod would be balanced against the predicted number of lives it may save. If it were otherwise we wouldn't have vehicles driving head on at a closing speed of between 200 and 260 kph and separated in their passing by a couple of feet.

If only that were so in aviation.

In order for cost and benefit to be “balanced”, a price has to be put on each of the lives predicted to be saved. Otherwise, the outcome is an arsepluck driven by mere intuition and politics.

What price does CASA put on a life predicted to be saved? I’ll bet all the passengers on RPT jets flying in and out of aerodromes in G (pre- and post-Covid19 would / will be fascinated to know why their lives are worth less than the cost of implementing E or D or C.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the cost balance ....

CASA destroys lives, livelihoods and liberties in the name of safety, and prices that destruction at precisely $0.0c. For example, how many people who would otherwise have been carried on ‘community service flights’ are now not carried, as a consequence of CASA’s reaction to a couple of tragedies? (Let’s assume, for a moment, that the reaction causally reduces the risks of ‘community service flights’.) Are all the people who would otherwise have been carried still getting all of the medical attention and treatment they need, without incurring further cost? If not, that’s a cost that should be put into the ‘balance’. And what of the cost to pilots who would otherwise have been at liberty to conduct ‘community service flights’ but can no longer lawfully do so? I thought we lived in a liberal democracy where individual liberty has a value and, therefore, its curtailment is a cost.

What was the real cost of CASA’s reaction and what was the price put on the lives predicted to be saved? Absent those numbers, the reaction was you-know-what.

Sunfish 7th Jul 2020 15:26

It’s called the ‘’opportunity cost” Clinton. The opportunity costs of CASA over and mis - regulation are in the billions and there are thousands of associated jobs which are foregone. If you want to understand what we are missing, visit Cooktown, Twizel or Milford sound airports on a sunny day in the tourist season. The aircraft coming and going are as thick as the mosquitoes and sand flies.

‘’A hint of what we are missing in Australia could be seen from a recent private fly in; 155 members joined a facebook group in ten days and at least twenty aircraft attended on a weeks notice. That should give a hint of the pent up demand for aviation services. I don’t expect such events will continue once CASA realises their popularity. They will find a way to shut them down.

megan 8th Jul 2020 01:51

Based on international and Australian research a credible estimate of the value of statistical life is $4.2m and the value of statistical life year is $182 000 in 2014 dollars. The USA is in the $9 million region.

https://www.pmc.gov.au/sites/default...dance_note.pdf

https://www.transportation.gov/sites...dance_2014.pdf

mindsneak 8th Jul 2020 02:35


Originally Posted by Dick Smith (Post 10821377)
Recently this interesting extract of an article in The New Daily by Michael Pascoe was sent to me in relation to the value of human life. Of course we all know that aviation is different and safety is more important that cost.

I too sometimes wonder why the safety of pilot's and their passengers are considered far more important than say the safety of the average car motorist? Especially considering cars are considered far more dangerous when compared to planes. If all life was truly precious we would then treat road safety just as seriously as we treat safety in aviation. That would be rational to me. However, of course it is no simple matter to deal with as there is a fine line between being commercially viable and over the top!

Maybe what we should really be asking is, how many actuaries are currently employed by CASA?





VH-MLE 8th Jul 2020 03:30

Dick Smith, looking back at the beginning of this thread, what is the point you're trying to make?.


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