How much do things really cost?
On April 2nd True Price was featured in The New Yorker.
This extensive article talks about our story, beginning around 15 years ago when Michel Scholte and Adrian De Groot Ruiz met at a student debating society, and brings us till this day and our work with De Aanzet, Tony Chocolonely, and more.
â€ťSimply talking about true prices can be useful. Products do not have a â€śtrueâ€ť price in the way that an element has an atomic mass. Yet the questions that true prices raise are not hopelessly subjective. Most people agree that we should outlaw the production of goods made by slaves and young children working in dangerous conditions. The research done at True Price and elsewhere simply proposes that we apply the same thinking to a broader set of issues: a living wage for adults, freedom from harassment, physically safe working conditions, environmentally sustainable production techniques, and so on. This is the most basic sense in which true prices are â€śtrueâ€ťâ€”they capture the deep moral intuition that human rights and the natural world should not be violated for the production of cheap goods. With time, better studies will refine our understanding of the costs of restoring freshwater ecosystems poisoned by fertilizer runoff, or of providing school for agricultural families in rural Ghana. What we already know, however, is that excluding such costs from the prices of goods presents consumers, governments, and businesses with false information about the world. And this is a form of lyingâ€”about nature, economics, and one another.â€ť