What can money buy and what can’t it buy?
The audience of young CEO’s shifted uneasily in their seats. It was the first session after breakfast and Harvard Professor Michael Sandel was asking them uncomfortable questions.
- Should kids get paid to read books?
- Should there be a market for organs?
- Should a university admit a student who would normally be rejected because his father offers an $8,000,000 gift?
- Should someone be allowed to exercise his free will to be killed and cannibalized? [This actually happened.]
Michael’s point is that we’ve shifted from a market economy to a market society with most anything being available for sale from holding a place in line for a Supreme Court hearing to buying a custom-worded wedding toast. Yet, much of this has occurred without public discourse and the public discourse we have been having of late hasn’t been all that useful. He tries to remain neutral on these issues as he gets members of the audience to engage in a civil discussion. For a sample, here’s his TED page.
Good luck with that.