gmalivuk wrote: Tyndmyr wrote:↶
ucim wrote:They may not benefit you or me, but they benefit somebody in power.
As mentioned before, the role of cost/benefit analysis is for society as a whole.
But ucim didn't say they benefited society as a whole, or you or me. He said they benefit somebody in power.
Did you miss that point or are you intentionally obfuscating?
Nobody missed that. It's just an is/ought conflict.
Gov ought to pursue cost/benefit for society as a whole. In practice, it falls short.
Sableagle wrote:Can you put a price on that suffering, though? Can you ascribe a dollar value to any of those things? Is there a price for which those people or people in general would agree to suffer those things?
Yes, all of those things can be given a specific dollar value. The most difficult to evaluate via choice is death, since people generally will not wish to experience that in return for money. Death is not a delta in these choices, so it doesn't need to be strictly evaluated to make a decision...one can simply realize that the fourth choice is strictly inferior to the rest, and make the call using lazy evaluation, since it must be worse. You don't need to evaluate the specific dollar value to determine it's the worst call.
But as it's a hypothetical example, I'll answer the question you're after. We put a value on things like death and other crimes all the time. We have to, as a result of determining what we spend money to prevent. Pouring more money into all sorts of things would prevent deaths/crime, so we always have a dollars/lives exchange rate in practice.
As of 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency set the value of a human life at $9.1 million. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration put it at $7.9 million — and the Department of Transportation figure was around $6 million. So, the government kind of does this, but it's sort of odd that different departments value lives differently.
Different countries use different values, typically lower. This makes a sort of sense, in that the US has more money than most countries, and so is able to spend more money to save a single life. However, we could probably get a better optimization of lives saved in the US by normalizing valuations, which would highlight transportation as a fairly cost/effective means of saving lives.
These particular crimes are somewhere in the neighborhood of 15.33 mil in terms of negative utility(2x normalized life value). Treble damages is a pretty reasonable rule of thumb for pain and suffering settlements, though exact amounts vary somewhat. The first option does not have this, and thus, is the least negative. The fourth option appears to have the approximate duration of additional suffering of both the second and third combined, so the additional negative utility added to it for suffering should equal the premiums added to both 2 and 3. So, the final option could reasonably be valued at approximately 107 mil in negative utility. This is enough to make it a fairly newsworthy event, similar to other significant disasters, and worthy of significant investment to avert.
I suppose one also ought to add in the cost of the van, but I doubt that's the bit in contention.
Sableagle wrote:Hey, you're the one who voted for the guy who's making this kind of thing happen more often. You ought to have already considered this.
If you've been following my comments, not merely those who ceaselessly accuse me of being a fascist or what have you for not being a sufficiently extreme socialist, you'd realize that I've never voted for Trump, and in fact, swapped my voter registration Republican to vote against him in the primary as well.
So, not only do I not feel any particular responsibility for Trump, I suggest that anyone who didn't bother to vote would bear more responsibility for him than I.
ucim wrote:Your friend has a lot of money and/or property sitting idle, and because of it she enjoys a nice leisure life making paintings (that never sell). If you could steal her stuff, you could make much more productive use of it. You've figured out how do to it, the only downside is that your friend will know. Nobody else will, and your friend will not be able to prove it. If she tries, she'll be laughed out of town. Either way, you lose a friend.
Her (uninsured financial) loss will force her to get a job. She'll be less happy, but ultimately richer, and her employer will also have higher profits, because she's good at what she does, despite her dislike of the job.
You will of course be richer too. It's a win all around, except that you become (just the once) a thief, and you lose a friend.
Do you do this? Can you put a price on this?
It's hard to value "could make much more productive use of it" without any specific knowledge of what that use might be. It also presupposes a lot of knowledge of the future, and gives you responsibility for her actions. This is particularly odd. In actual practice, you do not know that she'll choose to get a job, or that this job will inherently be one she's good at.
However, we can evaluate some of these actions. The transfer of wealth neither creates or destroys anything intrinsically. While it may benefit *you*, it does not benefit society as a whole. Anything expended or destroyed in stealing is a cost, however. If you cut a painting to remove it from the frame, society has lost value by virtue of those damages.
We can assume pain and suffering for your former friend. That's a negative. Given the vague nature of what you are stealing, how much pain and suffering you are causing is hard to estimate, but it seems clear it's significant. Therefore, the net value of the act is obviously negative. If people generally did this, society would be the poorer for it. If you had more exact details, we could assign it a specific negative dollar amount if you wished to say, compare thefts to murders.