Do you know someone who is a “nervous flyer”? Is it dangerous to fly in the United States? Once again, it is helpful to look at the statistics rather than relying on our personal inclinations.
The Wall Street Journal reported today that there were no fatalities on scheduled U.S. flights in 2011. In fact, the fatal-crash rate for scheduled carriers is down 80% since the late 1990’s. A plane crash is always headline news; few papers report, “America’s skies are the safest they have ever been,” according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
As a result, we can be grateful to God that for the average person the fastest way to travel great distances is also the safest — likely for the first time in the history of mankind. This mobility is of inestimable benefit for commerce, recreation, and family ties. Also, this shows us how our individual views can be biased in the absence of wider statistical information.
In this way economic data — properly interpreted — can help finite individuals better see the world from the perspective of an omniscient God.