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Ultimate Price: The Value We Place on Life

Howard Steven Friedman

How much is a human life worth. Individuals, families, companies, and governments routinely place a price on human life. The calculations that underlie these price tags are often buried in technical language, yet they influence our economy, laws, behaviors, policies, health, and safety.

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Book Information

Publisher: University of California Press.
Publish Date: 05/05/2020
Pages: 232
ISBN-13: 9780520343221
ISBN-10: 0520343220
Language: English

What We're Saying

May 06, 2020

All Lives Are Precious—But Not Priceless

By Howard Steven Friedman

We should seek to minimize injustices wherever possible. This can only be done if we challenge injustices wherever they appear, especially when lives are unfairly valued. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

How much is a human life worth? Individuals, families, companies, and governments routinely place a price on human life. The calculations that underlie these price tags are often buried in technical language, yet they influence our economy, laws, behaviors, policies, health, and safety.

These price tags are often unfair, infused as they are with gender, racial, national, and cultural biases that often result in valuing the lives of the young more than the old, the rich more than the poor, whites more than blacks, Americans more than foreigners, and relatives more than strangers. This is critical since undervalued lives are left less-protected and more exposed to risk.

Howard Steven Friedman explains in simple terms how economists and data scientists at corporations, regulatory agencies, and insurance companies develop and use these price tags and points a spotlight at their logical flaws and limitations. He then forcefully argues against the rampant unfairness in the system. Readers will be enlightened, shocked, and, ultimately, empowered to confront the price tags we assign to human lives and understand why such calculations matter.

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