Remember those times when you and your friends would play the, “Would you rather…” game? Things would be silly for a while and then eventually, after concluding that you’d rather eat a live spider than make out with your brother, you’d get to body parts. Eye or an arm? Thumb or an ear?
Well, the US Department of Labor also plays that game, except when they play, it’s for realsies.
It turns out that in each state, there’s a very specific maximum dollar value to which you are entitled if you lose a particular body part as a result of a workplace injury or occupational disease. And because they’re awesome, the folks at ProPublica made an interactive, illustrated breakdown of all the parts, all the states, and all the figures.
It is really fascinating, and at times rather concerning, to play around with it, especially when you compare numbers across parts and state lines.
For instance, did you know that one of your thumbs in New York, at a value of $60,649, is worth more than your big toe and middle finger combined? In other words, the state of New York thinks it’s more important to drive safely than it is to flip someone the bird and chase them through Central Park after they cut you off.
And speaking of flipping the bird, a middle finger in Oregon is worth almost four times as much as a middle finger in New York! What’s up with that math?
In terms of the ranked evaluation, the only parts that average 6-figures across the country are Arm ($169,878), Leg ($153,221) and Hand ($144,930). While some states value each Eye at over $200,000 ($235,590 in Illinois) the average citizen will only see $96,700 for their peepers, and states will generally kick in about $91,779 for a Foot. And despite what you may have heard, ears average out at a quiet $38,050 per item.
Oh, and if you lose a testicle in Chicago you’ll get $73,537; the highest valuation in the country. Unlike Minneapolis, who values your marbles at a measly $3,750 a pop. As far as we can tell, valuations do not factor in weight.
So next time you’re flattered by a friend or you splurge on an expensive vacation and you hear the words, “You’re worth it”, now you know that “It” means, “About $1,663,798”.
Not including organs of course.