|Economics asserts that we are rational actors — "economic man" — seeking to maximize a self-interest — personal good — measured in dollars. The good of the nation, too, finds expression in dollars whenever we assume that economic growth is a positive good. Economic growth is defined in terms of gross domestic product — the total value of all "goods" and services measured in dollars. Another significant quantification of goodness is embodied in cost-benefit analysis, which assumes that all relevant costs and benefits can be assigned a monetary value. In so doing, it is often necessary to assign a value even to human life. Is it worth it to spend a billion dollars on safety equipment that will save ten lives? How much money is a human life worth? How much is your life worth? The monstrous implications of this way of thinking — a literal reduction of life to money — are clear. Ethicists tie themselves into knots over this issue, but no satisfactory solution is possible as long as we continue to quantify the good... From the economist's point of view, the equation of economic growth with more and more "goods" adds a note of moral imperative to the quest for economic growth. More and more goodness, more and more happiness. The ascent of humanity. "To cry enough or to call a limit was treason. Happiness and expanding production were one."