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  • Good morning Hank. It's Tuesday.

  • I want to ask you a question.

  • Do you think the violent crime rate in the United States

  • has gone up or down

  • or stayed about the same

  • since 1990?

  • The answer is, that it has gone down, dramatically!

  • In fact, there are about half as many violent crimes

  • per one thousand Americans

  • as there were 25 years ago.

  • Overall, crime rates are also down dramatically

  • but every year since 2006

  • at least 60 percent of Americans polled

  • have said that they feel that

  • "crime is going up".

  • And I am among them. In fact, I wanted

  • to make a video about why crime is going up

  • in the Untied States only to find out...

  • you know...that...that it's not.

  • Okay, so if you are an American

  • this is how likely you are to die of various causes.

  • You see violence down there at the bottom right corner.

  • That's all interpersonal violence

  • war, terrorism, murder, etc.

  • Now, because its victims are disproportionately young,

  • violence becomes a bigger problem

  • if you change this visualization to

  • measure disability adjusted life years.

  • Which is like a measure of how many years

  • of healthy life are lost due to various causes.

  • But it's still a relatively small public health problem

  • in the United States. Smaller than

  • suicide, or drug overdoses, or asthma,

  • or complications from preterm birth,

  • or traffic accidents.

  • And also violence is shrinking faster

  • as a cause of death and disability

  • in the United States than any

  • other major cause except for HIV.

  • So Hank, several studies have shown that on the Internet

  • we like to share what makes us outraged.

  • And that incentivizes media companies, even

  • very small ones that make videos in their basements,

  • to find outrageous stories because

  • we know that you will share them.

  • I've done this. Like in 2010, I made a video about how

  • outrageous it is that we continue to mint pennies

  • even though they cost two cents a piece to make

  • and are never used to buy goods or services.

  • The problem is the penny, while it's an obvious outrage,

  • it's an exceedingly small outrage.

  • I mean the US government could save far

  • more money by just by passing a long term

  • highway funding bill which Congress has been

  • unable to do for the last six years.

  • But that isn't as narratively simple or as easy to get

  • outraged about, so we don't talk about it much.

  • And then there is Martin Shkreli, the bond villainesque

  • former hedge fund manager, whose company

  • acquired the rights to a drug that

  • treats people with toxoplasmosis and

  • promptly rised the price from 13 dollars and 50 cents a pill

  • to 750 dollars a pill.

  • The internet boiled with outrage until

  • the company promised to lower the price.

  • Two months later, they've just announced, that for

  • some customers, they are going to lower that price

  • all the way down to 375 dollars a pill.

  • But the outrage at this ass-hat masked a much

  • more complicated and interesting problem.

  • Like, even before the price hike the drug cost 30 times more

  • in the US than it did in the UK.

  • And these price hikes aren't even particularly new or rare.

  • Longterm Nerdfighters will remember back in 2011

  • when Warner Chilcott raised the price of its drug

  • Asacol 1200 percent overnight.

  • There are dozens of similar examples

  • and this stuff isn't happening because of

  • one individual's asshattery. It's happening because

  • there is a huge web of problems

  • with pharmaceutical markets in the US.

  • Point being, our collective outrage may have

  • slightly decreased the price of one rarely prescribed drug.

  • But it has done nothing to address the larger issues

  • that affect every American who takes medication.

  • Now, of course, the Internet can and does grapple with

  • big and complicated problems and it's also

  • given a voice to people who traditionally have been

  • discriminated against in public discourse.

  • And I also don't think there is anything wrong with being angry.

  • Anger combined with sustained effort

  • can lead to real change.

  • But when we allow ourselves to casually move from

  • one outrage to the next,

  • from pennies to Martin Shkreli,

  • nothing ever really changes.

  • Well... Except that maybe we have become more afraid

  • and pessimistic.

  • Like, since January of 2010, crime is down.

  • The U.S. joblessness rate has fallen dramatically.

  • The economy has grown and we report being happier

  • on average than we were five years ago.

  • And yet every single month since January of 2010,

  • more than two-thirds of Americans have felt

  • that the US is headed in the wrong direction.

  • And I feel like we are unnecessarily inundated with bad news

  • because we seek it out and when we find it,

  • we share it. And so we become more afraid

  • and pessimistic than we need to be.

  • But then again, as a nation we've never been healthier

  • or claim to be happier.

  • So maybe we're getting exactly what we want.

  • Even if we don't know it.

  • Hank. I'll see you on Friday.

Good morning Hank. It's Tuesday.

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B1 中級 美國腔

犯罪和憤怒 (Crime and Outrage)

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    Johns 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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