As I write this in early August 2015, the Greek financial debacle is still dominating the news. Will Greece implode? If it does, how much of the rest of the world’s economy will it take with it? Knowledgeable economists are predicting ruin for the Greek economy no matter what path the country takes. Others are predicting at best, a very long and protracted road to recovery. Closer to home, the EPA recently promulgated a new regulation under the Clean Water Act, and some are arguing it will ruin the economy. Cost-benefit analysis has been required for some time for all new federal environmental regulations, and that inquiry always leads to the very interesting question of how to value the benefits of, say, clean air. The EPA and the environmental groups will always argue that the value is high and industry will equally as often take the counter position. Both sides will be armed with piles of data.
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