U.S. Traffic Accident Fatalities, 2001-2009

by Kieran Healy on November 22, 2011

From ITO comes this very nice—and very sobering—map of road accident fatalities in the United States between 2001 and 2009. As someone who wrote a book about blood and organ donation in Europe and the United States, I’ve spent time analyzing NHTSA data on traffic accidents. I remember that, during Q&As at talks, people were often surprised to learn just how many road deaths there are in the U.S: about forty thousand per annum (though 2009 saw a very sharp drop, interestingly). Of course, people drive a great deal, too. Standardized by miles traveled, the rate is about 1.5 per 100 million vehicle miles. Still, the absolute number is striking: about two full Boeing 747s’ worth every week of the year.

You can zoom in to the precise location of every accident on the map. Each dot is a life. Drive safely this Thanksgiving.

Blogging the Zombies: Expansionary Austerity – Birth

by John Quiggin on November 22, 2011

Another instalment in the new  draft chapter on Expansionary Austerity, which I’m writing for the paperback edition of Zombie Economics. Comments and criticism much appreciated

 

[click to continue…]

Athens Polytechnic comes to UC Davis

by John Quiggin on November 22, 2011

A Greek friend has sent me lots of information on links between the suppression of dissent at UC Davis and similar events in Greece from the days of the military junta to the present. Here’s a video commemorating the 1973 uprising centred on Athens Polytechnic, which led to the downfall of the military junta the following year[1].  the last title says “The Polytechneio lives on. In struggles today.” Link

Among the legacies of the uprising was a university asylum law that restricted the ability of police to enter university campuses. University asylum was abolished a few months ago, as part of a process aimed at suppressing anti-austerity demonstrations. The abolition law was based on the recommendatiions of an expert committee, which reported a few months ago (report here, in Greek). There’s an English translation here, but it doesn’t work well for me.

Fortunately, my friend has translated the key recommendations

University campuses are unsafe. While the [Greek] Constitution permits the university leadership to protect campuses from elements inciting political instability, Rectors have shown themselves unwilling to exercise these rights and fulfill their responsibilities, and to take the decisions needed in order to guarantee the safety of the faculty, staff, and students. As a result, the university administration and teaching staff have not proven themselves good stewards of the facilities with which society has entrusted them. 

The politicizing of universities – and in particular, of students – represents participation in the political process that exceeds the bounds of logic. This contributes to the rapid deterioration of tertiary education. 

Among the authors of this report – Chancellor Linda Katehi, UC Davis. And, to add to the irony, Katehi was a student at Athens Polytechnic in 1973.

 

fn1. The fall of the Greek junta, only a year after Pinochet’s coup in Chile was, in retrospect, a historic turning point, after which rule by generals became steadily less common.