Pricing the priceless child [Article]

When it comes to pricing a human life, the answer seems simple. Human life is precious, unquantifiable, priceless. In practice, however, court cases, insurance claims, and victim funds often demand a monetary value for a lost life. Read “The Price of a Child

As the author says,

Children are our future, but it’s only recently that they’ve been valued as such.

Does the world need more people? [Article]

Judge Richard Posner answers his own question: “I am dubious.”

Maybe children are actually an “inferior” good, valued most by poor people either because the children of the poor work to augment family income or because the family lacks the resources for such child substitutes as expensive cars, clothes, homes, entertainment, and travel. Increasingly in the wealthy countries both spouses work, increasing the opportunity costs to both parents of raising children.  …

There is no necessary connection between population and economic growth. The sharp decline of Europe’s population because of the Black Death is thought to have increased per capita incomes significantly by reducing the ratio of people to arable land, resulting in improved nutrition.

Viewing humans as economic “goods” is ________ (fill in the blanks with your own answer).

The Blip: American Economic History on a timeline [Article]

I grew up to the adage that when America sneezes, the world catches a cold. What happens in America does have an impact on the rest of the globe’s denizens. Which is why I read this article with interest.  Benjamin Wallace-Wells deciphers economist Dr. Robert Gordon’s two predictions for the American economy:

Perhaps it isn’t that our success is a product of the way we structured our society. The shape of our society may be far more conditional, a consequence of our success. Embedded in Gordon’s data is an inquiry into entitlement: How much do we owe, culturally and politically, to this singular experience of economic growth, and what will happen if it goes away?

Recycling: Can it be wrong, when it feels so right [Discussions]

Prof Michael Munger kicks off the debate with this statement:

Almost everything that’s said about recycling is wrong. At the very least, none of the conventional wisdom is completely true.  

Edward Humes, Melissa Walsh Innes, Steven E Landsburg contribute their thoughts to this discussion too.

Ignored in all this, I think, is the incredibly increase in the desire to consume, for most of the world.

When work disappears – What do we do with people whose livelihoods are destroyed? [Article]

Megan McArdle worries about the not-so-distant days when work starts to disappear:

 In much of the industrial world, it seems to be increasingly difficult for people to earn a decent living without a fairly elite set of skills–or an elite set of credentials that mimic skills, like a BA in English Literature from an Ivy League institution. The ability to earn a decent living, either yourself or as part of a family, is one of the basic criteria for a decent life.

Why the Euro is doomed – [Article]

Mathew O’Brien, in the Atlantic, reasons on why the Euro is doomed:

The euro zone doesn’t have the fiscal or banking unions it needs to make monetary union work, and it’s not close to changing that. In the meantime, the euro’s continuing flaws continue to suck countries into crisis. And their politics get radicalized.

RA, in The Economist blog had similar thought too..

There are those that grow, and those that destroy [Article]

Economics makes the world go round, right? What happens when the ones who wield the clout bet on both sides? Ever wondered why so many people go hungry in the world while so much food is wasted elsewhere in the world? Or why the ones who grow the food you & I eat find it incredibly difficult to even cover the costs of producing such food? What about the economics of food? & what do bankers have to do with food? Goldman Sach’s Food Speculation Turns Global Hunger Into Wall Street Profit

Papal Economics and the forgiveness of sins [Article]

For a long long time, it is known, at least among few, that forgiveness for earthly transgressions are a matter of simple economic principles.  Feel that weight on your conscience? Do not fear, child. The local religious house, of your chosing, has the solution to your problem. This Guardian article, another example, this one from the Catholic Church, shows just how intrinsically intertwined the nexus between religion & politics is.  Sure to anger/ annoy/ agitate those of strong faith.