Costing the lockdown
Robert Durkacz, Brunswick News, 21 May 2020, Comment on opinion piece in The Conversation
This article, The costs of the shutdown are overestimated – they’re outweighed by its $1 trillion benefit in The Conversation of May 16 is written by two economics professors (Richard Holden at UNSW and Bruce Preston at Melbourne). The $1 trillion benefit alleged in the headline depends on costing any death due to coronavirus as a $4.9 million dollar loss. Articles in the Conversation like in many newspapers accept comments for a certain time, and in this case many times the same question was asked: should not the cost ascribed to a death be depreciated in a realistic way for the age of the deceased?
Comments in newspaper forums and in this one are closed after a few days and that can be before the subject is resolved. In this case the authors did not reply to the question, and the question seems to be central to their argument.
Brunswick News never closes for comments. The discussion can continue here. Not only that but we will look for a format for comments so that comments and questions do not eventually get buried only to be asked again.
Here then is the question as yet to be answered, as put by Catherine Beacham.
In reply to John Hawkins [another professor]
The problem I have with this article is around the statistical value of a human life. Doesn’t it decrease at a certain point? Shouldn’t the value be adjusted based on age?
The authors are invited to reply. Further comments from readers are accepted under the usual conditions (comments to be posted under author's real name, contact s for log-in account.)