Timmy elsewhere

At the ASI.

An interesting point about death rates in past wars. The death rate in the American Civil War, for example, was high, yes, but it wasn’t all that different from the normal death rate for that time.

13 comments on “Timmy elsewhere

  1. It used to be said that the US lost more lives in road accidents than in the same years in the Vietnam War. But was it true?

  2. Yes, definitely. Vietnam US deaths were around 50,000. “Highway incidents” are currently around 30,000 a year. Dunno what they were in the 60s but would guess higher.

  3. Not only that, but given that the cohort which fought in Vietnam is the same cohort which tends to die in RTAs, the war probably saved lives…

  4. Sewage and vaccination certainly play a huge role in reducing death rates, but penicillin and aspirin, along with freely available potable water, also play a big part.

  5. The thing about the American civil war was that it consisted of several large set-piece battles which killed a lot of people, plus many smaller battles which killed fewer people. I don’t think there was any continuous fighting which saw significant casualties racking up, so unless there was a serious battle on then you’d expect to see a death rate a bit higher than normal to account for the reduced availability of food and medicines, people made homeless, etc. but not hugely different. Perhaps averaged over the 4 years the deaths from the battles were not enough to skew the figures more than 7-10 percent.

  6. Surely US death rates were high in the Civil War chiefly because the Americans were on both sides?

  7. My contention is that the Western medical profession is hitching a free ride on the back of Western Engineering, and in particular, the Civil Engineering discipline. Clean purified water and sewage systems have done more for the health of Western man than the so-called modern western medicine of boob enlargements and sex-changes.

    Try western medicine in the absence of western civil engineering, like for instance parts of Africa, and the results are not that spectacular.

  8. Not only that, but given that the cohort which fought in Vietnam is the same cohort which tends to die in RTAs, the war probably saved lives…

    Only if you’re not counting Vietnamese lives.

  9. “so-called modern western medicine”: you’re picking on recent stuff. Instead consider the advances in the Golden Age of Medicine – see James LeFanu’s book.

  10. Of course, TheJollyGreenMan, if mining engineers hadn’t dug up the energy and materials, the civil engineers would have been left twiddling their thumbs.

  11. @Witchsmeller only American lives were being discussed. However wars against communism probably always save more lives than they cost all round, going on the death toll in countries where they get away with it.

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