I know that my mother in law typed envelopes for 2.5 cents each to pay for college. Maybe the worth of these items to her was based on the power that comes from wealth to make consumption choices that those without money cannot make. But, it was clear to me that the value of the items all came from the buyer. It is the value that bothers me the most. How much is anything worth?
My mother in law only bought one couch that matched the decor in her apartment. This tastefully maintained and decorated couch is still new, yet we will be only able to sell it for pennies on the dollar. Wikipedia states that the value of an item has many different data points.
The economic value of a good or service has puzzled economists since the beginning of the discipline. First, economists tried to estimate the value of a good to an individual alone, and extend that definition to goods which can be exchanged. From this analysis came the concepts value in use and value in exchange.Wealth maximization predicts that a person will choose to obtain the good or service in the place where it is cheapest, where the amount given up is the least.Value is linked to price through the mechanism of exchange. When an economist observes an exchange, two important value functions are revealed: those of the buyer and seller. Just as the buyer reveals what he is willing to pay for a certain amount of a good, so too does the seller reveal what it costs him to give up the good.Additional information about value is obtained by the rate at which transactions occur, telling observers the extent to which the purchase of the good has value over time.Said another way, value is how much a desired object or condition is worth relative to other objects or conditions. Economic values are expressed as "how much" of one desirable condition or commodity will, or would be given up in exchange for some other desired condition or commodity. Among the competing schools of economic theory there are differing metrics for value assessment and the metrics are the subject of a "Theory of Value." Value theories are a large part of the differences and disagreements between the various schools of economic theory.
It just seems impoverished to me that the value of a life can be reduced to a few dollars. My mother in law influenced lives. I get poetic at times like these. My mother in law told me that time had slowed for her. I imagined that Time was stopping turning the pages in a big scrape book looking for a place for her.