In an effort to combat the ongoing recession, the Chinese government is currently attempting to place a monetary value on life based on earning potential. Preliminary reports have been released with estimates of how much they have determined people to be worth; men are going to be worth more than women and a person's value will be dependent on what religion, race and age they are.
Spectators are anticipating that this could lead to a new branch of economics that may eventually result in markets being established, where it will be possible to invest, purchase stock and issue securities and options based on the value of life.
However, the plans have been met with severe critcism. Apart from the obvious ethical and moral opposition, detractors worry that countries ravaged by war, famine, disease and a rising surplus population will be at a distinct trading disadvantage and, coupled with the increasing rates of obesity, depression and suicide and the ageing population in the western world, this could lead to a run on the market and the value of life plummeting.