What They Will Pay for You

By Nikola Sušec

Editor’s note. Nikola finished third in the National Right to Life Oratory Contest.

Nikola Susec

The price of a life is $10 million. This is decided by the United States government.

Dangerous conditions exist on the road and in workplaces that cause the deaths of a certain amount of people. These conditions can be reduced, at a cost. To prevent people from dying, the United States must spend money. To prevent more people from dying, the U.S. must spend more. Because there exists a limited amount of money in the economy, the government must decide how much they are willing to spend to save each person. That amount is called the Value of a Statistical Life, and various government agencies have set it at up to $10 million. 

To give an example, right now the U.S. debates rear seat belt alarms. Congress will compare this legislation to the Value of a Statistical Life. If the alarms are predicted to save ten people and to cost up to $100 million, the government will find them worth it. But if the alarms cost $101 million, they will not save those ten people.

We know life is priceless. The greatest people to live have shown this: the Saints, Mother Teresa, Vincent de Paul, have given everything to save people’s lives. Jesus died to show human life is worth the price of God. That is what the Pro-Life movement believes, but we live in a country where the government has set a value to our lives.