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>if I look back at my youth, I wonder how we all survived

Many people didn't, which is why so many regulations exist now.

If you simply ban anything that’s even remotely risky, then yes, it will save some lives. Is it worth it? Do you want to live in a world where we are all walking around inside padded plastic bubbles?

Some time between my childhood and today, society collectively lost its mind and decided that the only acceptable way to manage risk is to relentlessly drive it towards zero through the force of law. We are going to end up with a boring, sterile and ultra-safe world.

The slope is never as slippery as people imagine it to be. Why does every safety regulation always have to end in "kids in plastic bubbles" in the minds of alarmists? And why was the best time to grow up always exactly the time when the "back in my day" people were growing up? No matter when I grew up everything was always perfect when I was a kid, right?

It should go without saying that children dying from preventable causes is not a very good thing to have happen.

What? There hasn't been significant child mortality in developed countries since the second world war (when there was a spike due to the depression and war). In the 19th century, child mortality wasn't because of lack of regulation, it's because modern medical science was in its infancy.


Your own source contradicts what you're saying... looking at US child mortality rates on your own link shows 4% child mortality rate in 1949 down to 0.7% by 2016. That's a pretty damn significant reduction.

But beyond child mortality, here's another example that regulation does impact: traffic deaths [1]. Government regulations surrounding car safety, seatbelt use, airbags, etc have had a massive impact. Looking at the data from 1970 (a time when older HNers would say "when I was young") to today, there were 4.74 deaths per 100 million miles traveled, compared to 1.16 today. And even as the US has added 120 million new Americans to the population since then and vehicle miles traveled has basically tripled, not only have we reduced deaths per mile traveled, we've reduced deaths period, without worrying about normalizing the data to population or VMT.

I hear quite a bit "when I was young we didn't have seatbelts or airbags and we rode on the back dashboard and didn't have child seats and we survived just fine" except a lot of people didn't. A lot of people died, and that's why regulations were created and that's why fewer people are dying now.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_fatality_rate_in...

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