Have we become a Market Society?

Is everything for sale?  Does everything have a price?  Is that what the market promised us?

I don’t think so.   2 books are now exploring what has happened to our society and their conclusions should be the beginning of an interesting debate.

 

  • The Love of Money and the Case for the Good Life  By Robert and Edward Skidelsky
  • What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets  By Michael Standel

To quote the Financial Times, (based upon their review of these 2 books, I’ve become a subscriber.):  John Maynard Keynes stated that the problem with society is material instability.  The incessant quest for more…Higher incomes, faster growth, is robbing us of the “good ” life.   Paraphrasing  and quoting from the FT review of both books:

  • Faith in markets has undermined what we care about
  • The influence of contemporary economic thinking has numbed our understanding of the “good” life.
  • Acquisitiveness has become an end in itself and not the means to a “good”life.

Thus, a dialogue has begun about how we ought to value things.  The Financial Times concludes with: be free to choose your concept of the “good” life.  However; if your choice leaves you morally impoverished, this is s problem that should be addressed through deliberation, education and policy.

 

By all means, enlist the economists to help us achieve a better world!

 

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