How Much is your Life Worth?

If we save a life and in turn lose our own, our value is in the life saved. If we lose our life at the scene of a building that is already lost with no human life at stake, how do we recuperate the cost?


If we save a life and in turn lose our own, our value is in the life saved. If we lose our life at the scene of a building that is already lost with no human life at stake, how do we recuperate the cost?

If you were shopping in the mall Christmas Eve this past year, you may have noticed all of the "sale" signs. Retail stores prepare to have enough product on hand to satisfy all of their customers. They estimate how many people shopped in the store all year long and then cross reference that number with the amount of items they sold last year at Christmas. Scientific calculations generate a reasonable number of expected merchandise items to stock.

How can the stores determine the cost of an item?

Research and development are giant costs in the beginning of a new item's life. No companies feel this burden more than drug companies. They perform years of analysis in expensive laboratories. Toys need to be tried on kids to see if they will be the next "gotta have." Any chef worth his salt will try new recipes on family and friends before giving them to restaurant patrons. These costs must be recuperated at the point of sale.

Advertising moguls work hard to provide a stimulus to all potential buyers. They produce catchy jingles and funny commercials. They send flyers to your house and put billboards and posters on almost any vertical surface. They do this in hopes of gaining a "market share" in you the customer. Billions of dollars a year are spent trying to get people to buy a new Barbie doll or better mouse trap. These costs must be recuperated at the point of sale.

The production of anything requires machinery, a plant and employees to run them. Labor is labor, no matter the industry. Real estate has become a very high priced commodity. The raw materials must be purchased before the finished product can be brought to light. It is next to impossible to make something from nothing. These costs must be recuperated at the point of sale.

Shipping and handling needs to be totaled. Freight cars, tractor trailers, ships and airplanes are not the proverbial "free ride." The means of transportation are one cost and the people needed to make the journey are another. Salaries and benefits are the same if you work in the fire service or haul new Ford F-150s to the show room floor. These costs must be recuperated at the point of sale.

Notice there was no mention of profit. Companies do not supply us with necessary goods out of the kindness of their heart. They intend to make a profit. This perpetuates the cycle, gives companies longevity and employees the needed jobs to provide for their families. All of these transactions add up to the price of the merchandise we see on the shelves. These costs must be recuperated at the point of sale.

Taxes and tariffs are added. The federal, state and local governments make a small amount of the total price.

If the store manager was zealous in stock calculations, the store might become an undersized warehouse. Too much on hand and not enough being sold. This may result in the choice to reduce the price of something in order to "move" it. We see this phenomenon as a "sale" sign. There are times when the price for an item at retail will be less than the cost of the item. Stores use these loss leaders to entice you into the door in hopes of having you see something else you may want or need. This loss will produce a gain on another item in the end.

If we view your life as a product... How much is your life worth?

Before you were born, your parents were exposed to lots of other children. They did a little research and thought they might be able to do a better job than the neighbors in child development. They may have tested theories on a dog. A decision was made to take off the training wheels and try for a human child. Conception, just like invention, can happen overnight (literally) or may take years of concentrated effort with a little outside assistance.

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