The moral limits of markets
Economics writer Daniel Ben-Ami will introduce a discussion on Michael Sandel’s What Money Can’t Buy: the moral limits of markets. Sandel argues there is an urgent need for a public debate about how far market values, rather than just the market economy, should be allowed to go. In his view excessive marketisation leads to social corrosion and extreme inequality.
Questions to consider:
- What is the true extent of marketisation in America and Britain? Consider not just the economy but the social impact of market encroachment.
- At what point do market values become excessive?
- To what extent does marketisation corrode social bonds and a sense of a common identity?
- How do market values relate to the inequality debate?
Michael Sandel, What Money Can’t Buy: the moral limits of markets
After reading the book it is particularly worth watching and listening to Sandel’s broadcast performances as these illustrate his broader views and underpin his influence as a celebrity academic.
- Justice lectures: his popular Harvard introductory course to political philosophy
- 2009 BBC Reith lectures on “Markets and Morals”: this link in turn includes links to other broadcasts featuring Sandel
Short pieces by other authors on this topic include:
- Kurt Andersen “The end of excess: is this crisis good for America?” Time magazine. 26 March 2009
- Daniel Ben-Ami Ferraris for All, p4-6 and p35 briefly considers this subject
- Lizzy Davies “Sarkozy and Merkel tell US that Europe will lead way towards ‘moral’ capitalism” Guardian 8 January 2009
- Amitai Etzioni “The moral limits of economic growth” Sociological Forum 21 (4) December 2006
- Boston Review How Markets Crowd Out Morals