This is not a silly question since the number of Internet users worldwide has surpassed two billion and with so many having seamlessly integrated the web into everyday life, it may be tough to quantify how much it’s exactly worth to an individual. But, the free market group, Fund for American Studies gave it a shot, asking passersby, “Would you give up the internet for a million dollars?”
To prove how vital new technology is to the economy, host Michelle Fields poses the question and so does Southern Methodist University professor, Michael Cox to his students, but both found few takers of the proposal. Beyond giving up the internet, the video questions how much people are willing to pay for new devices. In the past, computers cost millions of dollars, cell phones cost thousands, and cameras cost hundreds, but their prices have fallen drastically due to competition to create the best, most cost-efficient products.
The video also explains a free market system, where the wealthy buy new products first at their peak prices. After glitches are ironed out and production costs are lowered, the products gradually become affordable to a much wider audience. The takeaway in regards to the value of the internet, as professor Michael Cox says, “What the market has done is created a tremendous gap between worth — how much you pay for it — and cost.”
The video ends with the following statement:
“In some ways, maybe we’re all millionaires and billionaires, if we have something that’s worth so much to us – something that lets us do so much. So think about it, how much is all of that worth to you, you might just be richer than you realize.”
A good point since the goal of innovation is to make everyone’s lives much better.
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