Japanese Pensioners Offer To Brave Radiation Risks

A crew of approximately 200 retired Japanese engineers is trying to put a team of old people together to do dangerous work at the Fukushima plant:

Volunteering to take the place of younger workers at the power station is not brave, Mr Yamada says, but logical.

Mr Yamada has been getting back in touch with old friends via e-mail and even messages on Twitter
“I am 72 and on average I probably have 13 to 15 years left to live,” he says.

“Even if I were exposed to radiation, cancer could take 20 or 30 years or longer to develop. Therefore us older ones have less chance of getting cancer.”

That’s via Feminist Philosophers and Neil Sinhababu who labels it “impressive utilitarian moral reasoning.” It’s definitely reminiscent of Spock at the end of The Wrath of Khan. Also a reminder that America’s current policy of financing the health care needs of elderly people much more generously than we finance the needs of the non-elderly is slightly insane. The Affordable Care Act is a step in the right direction, but it could use a public option or a Medicare buy-in. In an ideal world, we’d have Universal Medicare plus higher payroll taxes (or something similar) and when we talked about reforming it we’d be talking about altering a level playing field for people of all ages.