Saving Lives Saves Money

Check this out. What you will see is an interesting, if somewhat odd, computation. As set forth in this working paper, social distancing in the U.S. for 3-4 months would save 1.7 million lives by October 1, 2020. Given the average statistical value of a life, that translates to a positive financial impact of $8 Trillion!!!

Bottom Line. One of the strange impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the myriad strange statistical computations that have been put forth. Frankly, this strikes me as one of the strangest. I am still trying to figure out what I should do with this information, and with the drill down reporting that 90% of these financial benefits “accrue to people age 50 and older.” Where do we go to collect the $8 Trillion?  

Call me crazy but I am guessing that an additional 1.7 million lives being saved, with the vast majority of those being in my advanced age group, is benefit enough without the financial argument layered on top.  

Want to convince people that social distancing is worth practicing? Tell them that it can save their life, not that it saves money!  

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