Where do you draw the line on tradeoffs?
John Bredehoft ponders the question in his post, A steering wheel desk – where do you draw the line between personal and corporate responsibility?
Under discussion is a portable desk you can set up while in the driver’s seat. The illustration at Amazon makes it clear it fits over the bottom of the wheel and would make turning impossible even if you could handle dumping everything on your lap.
John, who is a friend of mine by the way, ponders the tradeoffs on something people could easily misuse versus a tool that would be handy to eat lunch in the fast-food parking lot, make notes before walking into a meeting or sending followup e-mails from the parking lot after a meeting.
Should such a product be banned?
Yes, some might answer the question, if it saves just one life.
His very good point is that tools are neither moral nor immoral. (THink I will return to that idea in a separate post.)
To continue the pondering, John looks at the evidence that dropping the legal blood alcohol level from 0.1% to 0.08% hasn’t had a statistically significant impact on reducing drunk driving deaths.
But it’s still worth it, right? If it just saves one life, it’s a good thing, right?
The rhetorical answer ignores the concept of tradeoff issues and enforcement costs.
His tongue-in-cheek solution to getting a dramatic drop in the rates? (At least I think he’s joking.)
That sure would reduce the deaths from drunk driving tremendously. Like to zero.
But there would be other little tradeoffs. Like collapsing the economy. Like severely limiting our freedom.
And that’s the issue. What are the tradeoffs?