When a market economy creates a market society

The great missing debate in contemporary politics is about the role and reach of markets. Do we want a market economy, or a market society? What role should markets play in public life and personal relations? How can we decide which goods should be bought and sold, and which should be governed by nonmarket values? Where should money’s writ not run?

In “What Isn’t for Sale?” (Atlantic, April 2012), Harvard political philosopher Michael J. Sandel makes the central point that, almost without our noticing, “markets—and market values—have come to govern our lives as never before.” Continue reading