Sunday, February 20, 2005
Bathtub curve again
Back in one of my November posts I kept thinking about analogy of the bathtub curve when thinking about abortion. Just recently two more points I thought of came up. The first one is that in engineering the infant mortality part is the issue that is considered "quality control", and the way to resolve it is extensive testing to exclude any subquality items. It may be that abortion is going down the path of increasingly being used to screen out severe abnormal fetuses that would both have miserable lives and would be a financial burden for society. Secondly, I was looking for a financial connection with death probability that didn't mean I was looking at peoples life as a commodity that could be bought and sold. The one that I found was life insurance. The yearly premium is proportional to the death probability of the individual. Children have low premiums, smokers have higher premiums than older non-smokers. Suicide and homicide (by people taking out the insurance) is excluded, and people who choose to stand in the middle of Italian roads habitually would pay very high premiums if they can get life insurance at all. For older people it makes more sense to take out reverse life insurance (annuities) that insure against living too long for their savings to take care of. The implication is that it is too expensive to protect the lives of people at a "high" risk of dying.