The number of Internet users worldwide has now surpassed two billion and so many of us have integrated the web into our lives that it's hard to quantify how much it's worth to us. But The Fund for American Studies gave it a shot.
They asked people this question:.
How much would someone have to pay you to give up the Internet for the rest of your life?
Would a million dollars be enough? Twenty million? How about a billion dollars?
"When I ask my students this question, they say you couldn't pay me enough," says Professor Michael Cox, director of the O'Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom at Southern Methodist University's Cox School of Business.
The free market, says Cox, creates a huge gap between what consumers would be willing to pay for Internet access and how much it actually costs.
So when newspapers run headlines like "The poor get poorer and the rich get richer" - keep in mind that innovation makes everyone's lives much better.
The benefits of capitalism are underappreciated.
Explore further: Cox to shut wireless network it started building