Japan’s Tragedy – The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself

David Griffith’s Note: FDR said these famous words during America’s most difficult hours in our 20th Century depression and now the Emperor of Japan is trying to rouse his countrymen to find the strength to get through their current crisis.  Japan does not stand alone – America and the world stand ready to assist the Japanese people to rebuild their great nation as we did after World War II.

By Jason Schwarz 03/16/11

NEW YORK (TheStreet.com) — In times of extreme emotion, it can be productive to take a step back. On the sixth day of this nuclear crisis, doctors have tested radiation levels in approximately 150 people who were in close vicinity of the Fukushima Daiichi site.

Authorities have taken measures to decontaminate 23 people according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The population was evacuated in a radius of 12 miles. People within 18 miles have been asked to remain indoors. The latest radiation readings in Fukushima showed a drop to 60 microsieverts per hour. To put that kind of exposure in context, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows dose limits of 10,000 microsieverts per nuclear event. The average American receives annual exposure of 6,200 microsieverts.

What is our worst case scenario? After the explosion at Chernobyl, the biggest nuclear power plant disaster of all time, 28 firefighters and emergency workers died from acute radiation sickness in the first three months. Ten years after the Chernobyl event, the U.N. released a 1,200-page report pointing out that there were 1,000 cases of leukemia in the village right next to Chernobyl and 998 of them were cured. Chernobyl totally exploded, it had no containment building, the fear that the cloud of radiation would kill tens of thousands of people and deform children never materialized.

I have lost count of the number of sensationalized media headlines that are doing their part to sell content. Very few, if any, of the actual stories are as dire as the headlines suggest. When we’re talking about 23 people getting decontaminated and an evacuation region of 12 miles, there is no reason to overreact.

It’s interesting to watch the media skew the public’s sense of reality. Allow me to enlighten your perspective. Did you know that 37,000 people in the U.S. die of flu-related causes every year? Do you want to know how many people die in the world every day? According to the 2010 World Population Data Sheet, we lose 156,000 people every 24 hours. Over 56 million people die every year and yet somehow the economy keeps on ticking.

Our hearts go out to any who suffer and we all know that Japan faces a long road to recovery.  But the media has done another great job of spreading the doctrine of fear. The economic truth is that more than $200 billion will be poured into the Japanese economy and this proud nation will rebuild itself.

The economic truth is that many businesses have already reopened in Tokyo. Toyota(TM) will resume business by next week. The Nikkei rallied 5.7% overnight. Don’t allow the 15 stock photographs of devastation lead you to believe that the entire country is in ruins. This world deals with natural disasters every year and more often than not, those disasters turn into an economic stimulus for the region.


One Response to “Japan’s Tragedy – The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself”

  1. […] here: The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself – China Lawyer Filed under: china lawyer, lawyer Comment (0) Article tags: china, china-trade, […]

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