he(Trump) was raising an issue that economists have long grappled with: How can a society assess the trade-off between economic well-being and health?
President Trump and leading business figures are increasingly questioning the wisdom of a prolonged shutdown of the American economy — already putting millions out of work — to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
however, a widespread consensus among economists and public health experts that lifting the restrictions would impose huge costs in additional lives lost to the virus — and deliver little lasting benefit to the economy。
Weighing economic costs against human lives will inevitably seem crass. But societies also value things like jobs, food and money to pay the bills — as well as the ability to deal with other needs and prevent unrelated misfortunes.
Government agencies calculate these trade-offs regularly. The Environmental Protection Agency, for instance, has established a cost of about $9.5 million per life saved as a benchmark for determining whether to clean up a toxic waste site.
政府机构定期计算这样的取舍。例如,美国环护署(Environmental Protection Agency)设定了一个标准,每拯救一个生命的成本约为950万美元,将其作为是否清理有毒废物场地的决定基准。
Other agencies use similar values to assess whether to invest in reducing accidents at an intersection or to tighten safety standards in a workplace. The Department of Agriculture has a calculator to estimate the economic costs — medical care, premature deaths, productivity loss from nonfatal cases — of food-borne disease.
Now, some economists have decided to stick their necks out and apply this thinking to the coronavirus pandemic。
Based on epidemiological projections, as the virus ran unchecked, it would quickly expand to infect somewhat over half the population before herd immunity would slow its course。
秒速飞艇技巧A policy to contain the virus by reducing economic activity would slow the progression of the virus and reduce the death rate, but it would also impose a greater economic cost.
It comes down to what a life is worth.