What Is A Life Worth By Amanda Ripley Analysis

924 Words 4 Pages
The Time Magazine article “What Is a Life Worth?” discusses how the government invented a formula to determine the monetary value of a person’s life. The author, Amanda Ripley, poses the question: “Is a poor man’s life worth less than a rich man’s?” Using reasoning and true stories, she concludes that everyone’s life is worth the same regardless of a person’s wealth. I contend the opposite. The government’s method of compensating families after 9/11 was the right decision.
It may seem like economists price an individual’s value, but that is simply not the case. The compensation that government allots to the families does not define the worth of the individual. It is merely a method of providing the family with an income. As specified by the article, the first step--the most important step--is to “estimate how much a victim would have earned over his or her lifetime had the planes never crashed.” (para. 7). Then they add on a plethora of more money for “‘pain and
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The article explains an incident concerning the divorced parents of a woman killed in the Pentagon. One would expect them to be mourning for their child, but instead of being at the funeral, they sauntered into the court room and demanded that they get the money. Her father goes as far as to announce, “‘I feel that I’m entitled to something.’” (para. 15). It is evident that these families are not “victims” as the article points out, but merely entitled brats who use their loved ones’ deaths as an excuse to gain wealth. Ripley thinks it to be unfair that the government does not allocate more money to the families; she even goes as far as to suggest that the math used to calculate compensation is “wrenching”. This is not the case as the money that they were allotted is an estimate of the amount that their loved ones would have acquired over the course of their

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