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The Value of Life

            Should people put the value of life into monetary value or should life be kept solely as an emotional quantity? People and societies throughout the ages have been trying to answer the problem of putting the value of life into terms of dollar bills. The ancient Egyptians buried their dead with all of their worldly belongings. They believed a person's monetary worth on Earth was over, and they should take all of that earthly worth with them to the afterlife. Modern day Americans are different from the Egyptians. Today people believe that the families of the dead should be compensated for "their" loss. It is true that life is a precious commodity much like a diamond. But unlike a diamond, life has no set monetary value. But today's government is trying to change that. .
             After the tragedies of September 11, 2002, the federal government started a federal fund to help the victims and families of victims of the attacks. This fund would give priority to people who were injured in the attacks, then to the spouse, and then to the parents. Sounds great doesn't it? Your husband dies, and now you just lost your income, and the government is going to pay you for your loss. Well, don't jump on the bandwagon so fast now. This might sound great now, but once you are knee deep in the program, it won't be so fun. To figure out how much money a person will receive from this fund is determined by a multi-step process. First they figure out how much an individual would have earned had there been no attacks. This would mean that a banker's family would earn far more than the family of a janitor in the buildings. Is it true that a banker is worth more to society than a janitor? Is a lawyer more important than a desk clerk? Then the fund adds $250,000 as a base cover, and then another $50,000 for a spouse and each child (Ripley 12). This would imply that a married man who has six kids in more important than a married man with no children at all.

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