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October 29, 2008

The age issue

qqxsgMcCain Age.jpg
If elected, John McCain would be the oldest president at inauguration ever. Remarkably, the age issue has not come up much during the campaign, being seen as too insensitive or offensive a topic to mention. But the actuarial tables of average life expectancy indicate that a 72 year old man would, on statistical average, not live an additional four years. Many newspapers that normally would endorse Republicans that instead endorsed Obama cited the selection of Sarah Palin, saying she's simply not ready to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, and yet she might be the vice president most likely to succeed a sitting president.


love the comic, but must point out the error, sorry ;)

75 years is the average life expectancy at birth, not the life expectancy for a 72 year old. Let me use an analogy. Chances of flipping heads 10 times in a row is 0.5^10 or 1/1024. But if you flip 9 heads in a row, your next flip does not have a 1023 in 1024 chance of being tails, it's still 50/50.

Life expectancy at birth takes into account all the people that died "early". All the 1-year olds that died in their crib, all the teenagers killed in a rollover, all the young suicides, the 50-year olds who went early due to heart attack, etc. But a 72-year old cannot die from any of those early deaths. He has a higher chance of dying in the next 10 years than a 50-year old, yes, but life expectancy is constantly changing (for the better) based on how old you are. That's why the term "at birth" it usually attached to "life expectancy".

So be happy, the older you are now, the higher your life expectancy is compared to a newborn.

That said, go Obama!

Posted by: Andy at October 31, 2008 9:02 AM

Steve Greenberg is a cartoon. Left wing loonies who vote us into eternal debt. Bill Clinton never had a surplus and there hasn't been a real fiscal conservative for decades. Steve Greenberg is a lousy cartoonist who lives off taxes from the rich. Your comics tell the really good lie in our American government. As fellow crazy liberal Keith Olberman would say "Steve Greenberg is todays worst person in the world."

Posted by: Geoff Bell at June 10, 2009 10:40 AM
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