Sunday, December 27, 2009

Airborne Terror
Should government act because of outliers? Political Scientists would probably say no. Consider this post which gives figures going back to 2000 saying one has a one out of 16,553,385 chance of being on a plane that will have a terrorist (even a failed one) action. There is more here. Of course politicians have to get elected so they don't listen to political scientists. But it is food for thought to ask your students to consider for other exercises such as what should states be paying for now that they will all have tougher budget decisions next year. Should we base those decisions on the percentage of people in our society who are impacted (schools, reserch for diseases, technologically improving state government) or do we lenghten prison sentences and put more into prison building. Obviously there is no correct answer, but it would bring up party differences and the role of government.

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