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Gabriel Mihalache

Regarding "sunken costs"... I appreciate the answer given, especially since that's not what I meant. If that were my question, then indeed it would have been little less than "cognitive fog".

My point was this... how can we factor into a cost/benefit analysis the rights violation of the forceful relocation required for those land owners in New Orleans that want to inhabit their property?

My point is about individual rights, not efficiency. Much in the same way we don't take into considerations efficiency arguments made for the summary assasination of certain citizens (I hope we don't!) because it's against their rights, the same rights stand between a efficiency-justified forceful relocation and the land owners of the area.

Sam J

Cost benefit analysis is key for determining a cause and effect projection. However, it is only a tool for informing what becomes an ethical decision right? Given that math is the language of economics; how might one plot the ethical impact of a given decision? Or would it even be relevant (ever) if benefit was always measured in relation to the greater good
Specifically, how would one, and has anyone, factored the relationship between the amount of government aid provided New Orleans, and its' subsequent effect on citizens' trust/faith-in the government throughout the entire country? And finally, what effect that might on our economy?
Perhaps I am a dreamer, but if all monetary transactions were done after calculating the balanced utility for the self and man we could help mankind as we helped ourselves.


I believe that to preserve national dignity, New Orleans needs to be revived. There's so much history attached to that Great City that we cannot but react with humility. Much of the historic French Quarter is left standing, 'strategically' the dirtiest sections have been washed away. This is in some ways quite convenient, the government could not have masterminded an evacuation better. What is terrible is that its a city where crooks go to hide. The poor are stuck, and most of the poor are stuck with other poor who have few resources. Usually, they're so stuck that they're incredibly selfish, social forces select for that. The worst of the poor, the most pessimistic, think that they can't extend a hand when in many cases they can. Most are treated so shamelessly that they have no shame. In a city that tolerates hedonistic disarray its suddenly not shameful to leave an elderly person behind. To leave the weakest behind. To not cover up a corpse. Its disgusting. It shows that sometimes, greed and greed alone is not the answer because capitalism depends on the bedrock of social solidarity in a fluid structure that is hardly a hive.


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