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Sun Sep 22, 2019, 02:07 AM

Acronym of the day: VSL

Last edited Sun Sep 22, 2019, 10:47 AM - Edit history (4)

Value of Statistical Life. The value of the cost/benefit of human risk regulation. Human life as dollars in corporatist/government/economic sectors.

A TIME article from 2005:

In theory, a year of human life is priceless. In reality, it's worth $50,000.

That's the international standard most private and government-run health insurance plans worldwide use to determine whether to cover a new medical procedure. More simply, insurance companies calculate that to make a treatment worth its cost, it must guarantee one year of "quality life" for $50,000 or less. New research, however, would argue that that figure is far too low.

Stanford economists have demonstrated that the average value of a year of quality human life is actually closer to about $129,000.

To get to that number, Stefanos Zenios ... at Stanford Graduate School of Business used kidney dialysis as a benchmark. Every year dialysis saves the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans who would otherwise die of renal failure while waiting for an organ transplant. It is ... the one procedure that Medicare has covered unconditionally since 1972 despite rapid and sometimes expensive innovations in its administration.

To tally the cost-effectiveness of such innovations Zenios and his colleagues ran a computer analysis of more than half a million patients who underwent dialysis, adding up costs and comparing that data to treatment outcomes.

Considering both inflation and new technologies in dialysis, they arrived at $129,000 as a more appropriate threshold for deciding coverage. "That means that if Medicare paid an additional $129,000 to treat a group of patients ... Based on patient surveys, one "quality of life" year is defined as about two years of life on dialysis....

I'm clueless how humans got here; yet VSL is also used in other countries, in every level of government and economic sectors.

Anyone who knows about this knows way more than I. I've been clueless. VSL ran us long before I fussed and fretted over market values usurping Western Enlightenment/moral values, or their buying up bleeding edge culture/innovators.

Now, the idea "It's not personal, just business" isn't just mafia talk; it changes the frame of our dissolutions of the social contract, the citizen-government relationship.

How many of the rich and powerful see us humans as VSL product is hard to say. But I do see majority public opinion polls since Bush II do not result in legislation the public wants (Princeton/Northwestern study 2014); also,

government service gutting,
taxpayer shakedowns,
climate crisis denial,
planet B investment,
life extension tech,
military grade weaponry,
opioids sold to
overmedicated and
over distracted
junk food eating poor people;
believer wars

On its face, VSL is unconstitutional; no dollar value of life was ever expressed or implied by the U.S. Constitution. No legal organization has yet challenged this capitalist/corporate measure of "life, liberty and property," which is one of the reasons why Americans have now become Big Data product.

Warren, Harris, Sanders are onto what Harvard, OECD, and the rich and powerful think about sentimental, thinking, loving humans.

If VSL world doesn't move humans to subvert the monetizing of humans as capital, I don't know what will. VSL deciders don't know or care that they and we humans will either go downward in unconscious ego, or go upward together.

I'm going for kleenex, pondering the direction.




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Response to ancianita (Original post)

Sun Sep 22, 2019, 02:15 AM

1. So Jeff Bezos has the value of 2,274,000 people

based on his August net worth

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 22, 2019, 09:54 AM

3. Pretty much. I won't check your math.

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Response to ancianita (Original post)

Sun Sep 22, 2019, 02:54 AM

2. Unrelated, but I'm reminded of airlines figuring out how much to compensate crash victims' famlies.

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Response to NCLefty (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 22, 2019, 10:10 AM

4. Oh, it's related, indeed. With AI and court costs now, corps don't even need lawyers to determine

human worth.

Sure, accidents happen and planes are relatively low risk; neither is anyone ON the plane is necessarily negligent. Yet, as the article implies, human suffering and future loss isn't factored in; no punitive damages are paid for the "externalities" of pain, suffering and economic loss to all the families.

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Response to ancianita (Original post)

Sun Sep 22, 2019, 10:23 AM

5. Welcome to capitalism, where your value is only production.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #5)

Sun Sep 22, 2019, 10:26 AM

6. Welcome to fascism, where capitalism governs nations of humans as in a game preserve.

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