Hypothetical: You have an extremely rare heart condition that surgery completely alleviates 60% of the time. Your surgeon feels confident. He’s performed this procedure many times with above average success. You have paid your insurance premiums. Everything is on the level and you have decided to take the chance and go under the knife. Then… you discover that not only does your surgeon make less than $55,000 per year but he has just over 6 months—total—of medical training. Still willing to let this guy open you up and fiddle with your ticker?
Non-hypothetical: You are a citizen of a country that has passed so many criminal statutes on the federal level, not even the government is sure of the actual amount. The count of state government criminal statutes are even more difficult to pin down. Some studies suggest the average adult in the U.S. commits 1-3 felonies a day without conscious knowledge of doing so. Average annual income for police officers in the U.S. runs between $47,000 and $57,000 per year. Basic law enforcement training for U.S. police officers usually lasts 21 weeks. That’s 3 months. The average probationary period of on-the-job training is 18 months. These people carry guns and the full tonnage of state authority. They literally hold your future in the palm of their inadequately trained hands.
Why are you willing to allow the non-hypothetical cop to make life and death decisions but not the hypothetically low paid, undertrained surgeon? What’s the difference?
In the U.S., we tend to drag illogical problems to the forefront without adequately addressing the numbers. U.S. highways kill more people than cancer and handguns but until technologically forces us to leave all the responsibilities of driving to a computer, we’ll ignore this imbalance.
Just another ironic disparity in the world of governing peoples’ lives.
Anarchism would never allow these sorts of things to happen. Capitalism and republicanism nearly demand it.
Chrysalis, a growing collection of very short fiction.
Unless noted, all pics credited to Skitz O'Fuel.