Cost Of Living Now Outweighs Benefits
April 13, 2005 | Source: The Onion
WASHINGTON, DC—A report released Monday by the Federal Consumer Quality-Of-Life Control Board indicates
that the cost of living now outstrips life's benefits for many Americans.
"This is sobering news," said study director Jack Farness. "For the first time, we have
statistical evidence of what we've suspected for the past 40 years: Life really isn't worth
To arrive at their conclusions, study directors first identified the average yearly costs and
benefits of life. Tangible benefits such as median income ($43,000) were weighed against
such tangible costs as home-ownership ($18,000). Next, scientists assigned a financial
value to intangibles such as finding inner peace ($15,000), establishing emotional
closeness with family members ($3,000), and brief moments of joy ($5 each). Taken
together, the study results indicate that "it is unwise to go on living."
"Since 1965, the cost-benefit ratio of American life has been approaching parity," Farness
said. "While figures prior to that date show that life was worth living, there is some suspicion that the benefits cited
were superficial and misreported."
Analyzed separately and as one, both the tangible and intangible factors suggest that life is a losing investment.
"Rising energy costs, increased prices on everyday goods and services, and the decreased value of the dollar have
combined to drive the cost of living in this country to an all-time high," Farness said. "At the same time, an ever-
increasing need for additional emotional-energy output, low rates of interest in one another, and the decreasing value
of ourselves all greatly exceed our fleeting epiphanies."
Experts nationwide have corroborated the report's findings.
Gulfport, MS resident Stan Holiday weighs the cost of living against life's benefits.
"The average citizen's lousy, smelly, uncomfortable daily-transportation costs rose 2.1 percent
in January," Derek Capeletti of Wells Fargo Capital Mana