You can't put a price on your health, or so the saying goes. But in his book The Undercover Economist, Tim Harford argues you can do exactly that. To put it simply, the information revealed by pricing is something that can just as easily be applied to how much you'd sell a kidney for as to how much you'd sell your house for.
But can you put a price on beliefs? For example, if I think that Rupert Murdoch is an egomanical monster whose obsessive need to control the news agenda is corrosive to democracy, how much does that view cost me? After years of self-flagellation - not buying a Murdoch newspaper or a Sky TV subscription - I have settled for the moral defeat of middle aged compromise. I am now a Sky subscriber for phone, TV and Broadband.
I can, of course, comfort myself with mealy-mouthed excuses: for every Murdoch paper I didn't buy I probably read a Harper-Collins book or watched a Fox Corporation movie or TV show, both of which line Murdoch's capacious pockets. I can say I am doing it for my family, providing the best value multi-media package on the market. But I suppose the most curious compensation is that I now know the exact price of my principles. £28 per month, apparently.
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5 years ago