You really are just a number

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There goes $6 million.
  • There goes $6 million.
Ever wonder what your life is really worth?

Don't worry about it. The government and the business sector are already spending plenty of time thinking about that for you. And actually your life, your kid's life, or any American life for that matter, is worth about $6 million. Give or take.

This sort of reminds me of that part in Douglas Adams' comedic novel, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, where we find out that the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything" is "42."

Well OK then.

But seriously, this number — $6 million — is actually pretty important to all of us. See, while some of us may assume that the government would require companies to keep us as safe as they can, that's actually not the case. The government generally only passes regulations that force businesses to keep us safe if it's cost-effective.

Real-life example: The Bush administration didn't force car companies to build thicker roofs on vehicles to save your life if you get in a rollover crash. But the Obama administration is requiring those roofs. The difference is that the Obama administration thinks your life is worth more than the Bush administration did. Literally.

By the way, if you think the Bush administration wanted to diminish your worth, just think about what the business world wants to do to you. You? Worth $6 million? The CEOs of the world think not.

Read more at the New York Times.

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