VSL – A Poem by Rowe Williams

Suppose each person in a sample of 100,000 people were asked how much he or she would be willing to pay for a reduction in their individual risk of dying of 1 in 100,000, or 0.001%, over the next year. Since this reduction in risk would mean that we would expect one fewer death among the sample of 100,000 people over the next year on average, this is sometimes described as “one statistical life saved.” Now suppose that the average response to this hypothetical question was $100. Then the total dollar amount that the group would be willing to pay to save one statistical life in a year would be $100 per person × 100,000 people, or $10 million. This is what is meant by the “value of a statistical life.” Importantly, this is not an estimate of how much money any single individual or group would be willing to pay to prevent the certain death of any particular person.

from the EPA’s “Mortality Risk Valuation
One thousandth
of one percent
of one year
of one life

can apparently be measured
in dollars.
Budget this much for work,
fun, depression, family, and rainy days.

And it all adds up
to me.
I have been accounted.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

E-mail verifiablyhuman@gmail.com Hours ©2019 Rowe Williams
%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close