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The Pricing of Progressivism

“An eight-pound baby is worth, at birth, $362 a pound. That is a child’s value as a potential wealth-producer. If he lives out the normal term of years, he can produce $2900 more wealth than it costs to rear him and maintain him as an adult. The figures with regard to earning capacity are given by Irving Fisher, Professor of Political Economy.” Thus opens a page-long article in the New York Times on January 30, 1910, titled “What the Baby is Worth as a National Asset: Last Year’s Crop Reached a Value Estimated at $6.96 Billion.”