Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale: The Moral Limits of Markets
What's wrong with markets in everything? Markets today are widely recognized as the most efficient way in general to organize production and distribution in a complex economy. And with the collapse of communism and rise of globalization, it's no surprise that markets and the political theories supporting them have seen a considerable resurgence. For many, markets are an all-purpose remedy for the deadening effects of bureaucracy and state control. But what about those markets we might label noxious-markets in addictive drugs, say, or in sex, weapons, child labor, or human organs? Such markets arouse widespread discomfort and often revulsion. In Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale, philosopher Debra Satz takes a penetrating look at those commodity exchanges that strike most of us as problematic. What considerations, she asks, ought to guide the debates about such markets? What is it about a market involving prostitution or the sale of kidneys that makes it morally objectionable? How is a market in weapons or pollution different than a market in soybeans or automobiles? Are laws and social policies banning the more noxious markets necessarily the best responses to them? Satz contends that categories previously used by philosophers and economists are of limited utility in addressing such questions because they have assumed markets to be homogenous. Accordingly, she offers a broader and more nuanced view of markets-one that goes beyond the usual discussions of efficiency and distributional equality--to show how markets shape our culture, foster or thwart human development, and create and support structures of power. An accessibly written work that will engage not only philosophers but also political scientists, economists, legal scholars, and public policy experts, this book is a significant contribution to ongoing discussions about the place of markets in a democratic society.
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Adam Smith adults Amartya Sen argue argument asymmetry thesis basic bonded labor capacities chapter child labor choices claim classical political commodity consider contract pregnancy costs decisions depend desperation developed discussion distribution donation Dworkin economic economists effects efficiency egalitarian employers enforce equality example externalities feudalism freedom gender inequality human idea important income individual interests kets kidney markets labor markets labor power libertarian lifeboats limits marginalists market exchanges market failure men’s moral norms noxious markets one’s organs parents Pareto Pareto efficiency Pareto optimal particular markets parties person policies poor preferences pregnancy contracts problem production property rights prostitution reasons regulation relationships role Ronald Dworkin sell sellers slavery Smith social society society’s specific egalitarian surrogacy theory tion Titanic transactions undermine values vulnerability weak agency Wealth of Nations welfare welfare economics women women’s reproductive labor women’s sexual workers