Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Drug Dealers are Losers

Every high school student should watch this. Based on ten years of research and interaction with actual gang members, the data concludes that being a drug dealer is one of the worst jobs in America. Here are the facts:
  • average dealer makes $3.50 an hour (half the minimum wage)
  • death rate was 7% per person per year
  • compared to 2% on death row or .5% for soldiers in Iraq
  • based on that, being in a gang for 10 years means you have a 70% chance of dying
Outside of legalizing these drugs, how do we change this? One, convince them how bad this is, because many of my students don't believe it. Two, give them good options by helping them to graduate high school.

Related: Despite what Freakonomics claims, it wasn't abortion that lowered crime, it was prescription drugs.


  1. You have the probability of death over a 10 year span as being 70%, but that isn't the correct way to do that math.

    If every year you have a probability of survival of 93%, then the probability that you survive every year is 93%^10. That means you have a 48% chance of surviving a 10 year span as a dealer, or a 52% chance that you'll die in the 10 years, not 70%.

    Not much better odds, but still...

  2. One of my favorite TED talks.

  3. Thanks for the correction Bryan. I talk a lot about how important statistics is and yet I don't fully understand it myself.


You are the reason why I do not write privately. I would love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or not.