Feds: Humans Worth About $8 Million a Pop

Friday, February 18, 2011

How much is a human life worth? Could you hazard a guess at the federal government's answer? Try $8 million, give or take a couple, depending on the agency that's coming up with the figure. An article published by The New York Times about the process of setting the value of a human life caught our interest. The government must have a system in place to come up with this number, so it can set safety regulations for businesses. But each agency seems to have a different formula for coming up with the figure.

Louise Story, Wall Street and Finance Reporterfor our partner The New York Times explians how the feds come up with these numbers. And to help us understand whether it’s really possible to place monetary value on human life is Peter Singer, philosopher and Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University.



Peter Singer

Produced by:

Jen Poyant


Louise Story

Comments [4]

Erica Stanton from Wales

I agree with the comment, children, as everyone knows, are priceless.

May. 06 2011 05:47 PM
Steve Barney from Wisconsin

In his latest book, _The Life You Can Save_, Singer cited such federal agency estimates of the monetary value of the average American life and incorporated it in his powerful argument for donating our excess income to save the lives of the world's neediest people. Read page 103, here:

_The Life You Can Save_, pg 103

Feb. 19 2011 11:37 PM
Ed from Larchmont

And children contribute to the family in many ways, including economically. Why would you ask Peter Singer, that great enemy of children and human life, about the value of children? It's like asking a Nazi about the value of Jewish people.

Feb. 18 2011 08:15 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Children, as everyone knows, are priceless.

Feb. 18 2011 08:13 AM

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