Debate urged over the limits of markets
Harvard professor and philosopher Michael Sandel urges citizens to question faith in markets
Harvard professor and philosopher Michael Sandel wants citizens to call into question the faith in markets that seems to drive our society.
His latest book What Money Can't Buy - the Moral Limits of Markets is a powerful indictment of our market society and how market values have come to dominate almost every aspect of our lives.
In an interview with CBC’s The Lang & O’Leary Exchange, Sandel wonders why the financial crisis did not kickstart a deeper debate in North America into whether markets serve the public good.
"A market economy is a tool – it’s a valuable and effective tool for pricing goods and organizing productive activity,” Sandel said.
“But a market society is a place where almost everything is up for sale; it’s a way of life in which market thinking and market values begin to dominate every aspect of life from family life and personal relations to health, education, law, politics, civic life,” he continued.
Sandel, considered an influential philosopher, says the left/right tenor of public debate would make engaging in the discussion difficult – but he believes it is important to reflect on what our society truly values.