Say a person is stuck inside a cave that's collapsed, and the cost to get them out would be $100,000. Would most western governments pay this to get them out? Almost certainly. How about $1,000,000? Probably. And $10,000,000? Maybe not.
Is there a limit at which it would be ethically acceptable to not help the person out, simply because of cost?
If it exists, is this limit any lower when an accident hasn't occurred? Say the government knew that if they didn't spend $1,000,000 or more on a certain traffic intersection, the death toll would increase by one. Is there a limit at this point at which the economic costs overweigh the ethics of it leading to a death?