Anamnesis Journal yesterday published a review of Michael Sandel’s book, What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets. Dr. Coyle Neal writes:
Sandel correctly notes that in reality, this is no solution at all. The problem is not that the market is evil per se; rather, the market operates according to its own set of rules and virtues. These rules and virtues are incompatible with those that govern non-market relationships, institutions, and ideas. The market mentality and the rules it generates are both unfair and corrupting when they go beyond their legitimate limits. As Sandel points out, we all understand that if I pay you money to spend time with me, we are not friends. The introduction of the market-mentality into this relationship has destroyed the very thing it is intended to create. The same could be said of any number of social relationships, institutions, and ideas—the rules of the market simply do not (or should not) apply to marriage, death, sports, and many, many other areas of life. We must remember that when we treat education like a commodity, or sports as if they should be driven by money, or friendship as if it can be purchased, we wrongly benefit some and punish others (the fairness argument), while at the same time destroying the true value of each (the corruption argument). What Money Can’t Buy appropriately challenges us to think carefully about not what money can buy, but what it shouldn’t.