As we’ve said before, the first port of call for economists is trying to frame an issue as objectively as possible. However, in a practical sense many economists can’t help jumping in and adding some conclusions along the way.
Now, I’m no philosopher so I find it handy to keep some rules of thumb in mind when trying to figure out what value judgments seem “reasonable” to me.
the frailty of life matters more when you are on the wrong side of it
(Unattributed as I can’t remember)
This quote makes me think of two important issues when I use value judgments to reach a conclusion:
- Value is subjective and built on experience, so how something makes a person feel and how it came to make feel that way does matter.
- My own values are subjective and built on experience, so I need to correct for my personal bias when I initially look at an issue.
This is something that some other analysts need to think about, especially when they make comments like:
Being drunk in a public place should be made illegal and fines should be given to those caught