City Journal Summer 2014

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Summer 2014
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Nicole Gelinas
What Should Never Be For Sale « Back to Story

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The marketplace is simply where people exchange goods and services. In and of itself it cannot be considered moral or immoral. Only people can be moral or immoral in all aspects of life.

This is also why morality and immorality will be practiced by individuals in all economic arrangements, so to speak about the "immorality of markets" as if markets are living entities that choose right or wrong, and perhaps "compel" immoral behavior in the manner of a devil is pure nonsense.

What's next? The immorality of cell phones?
Phillip Woodard May 14, 2012 at 7:31 AM
Yes, this what I've always said. There are two products in the world. The one main product(whatever that is?) and the secondary access to that product. That's why people can sell tickets to get in line. Also once we have a society that places profits above just about everything else we can expect more a sociopathic society.
Alena Hrom√°dkov√°,Prague May 13, 2012 at 5:24 AM
Very interesting examples of victory of utilitarian liberalism in the field of human/public relations, indeed. How to react and avoid attitudes perceived as a sort of rigid moralism? Without religion everything is possible...
Now that Obama is so sweet on gay marriage, it might do to discuss how Sandel's ideas relate to the subject. Marriage exists as an economic institution, to incentivize the availability of labor to raise children, and avoid the territoriality and rivalry of economic relationships in a traditional marketplace. A house and other personal property are owned by the entirety; control of it is informed to the extent that some of it should be available to children for their security. Even grandparents and other relatives have more fealty to children when they are legitimized as relations out of ritualized expectations -- socially conformed, consensual, and purposeful love.

Beyond providing a few niceties which are addressed by domestic partnership laws, such as hospital visitation rights (which are a bureaucratic nonissue with little guidance under common law), or personal bank accounts (which should be put under personal rather than joint control under any circumstances), there is no reason why gay marriage will succeed as a social institution or benefit society.

Consider that those who militate most for gay marriage will militate most for any excuse for spousal retirement and other benefits. Those benefits are most meaningful when framed as compensation for the tough work of raising a family or caring for a sick parent or guardian. This is not what the nomenclatura are interested in. Nor is there any liberal interest in reforming divorce proceedings. It is good work for lawyers to criminalize men and turn women into social charges. And adoption? It isn't enough to ask an adoption agency to abide by its own religious or social views, or ask clients to do the same. This suggests quotaism will enter the adoption industry on behalf of manufactured gay couples, but no similar restrictions will be allowed as a basis to restrict abortions within an identifiable social class of procreative abusers.

Look hard at gay marriage and you will find very little libertarian enthusiasm. It is never enough to say "If your church won't marry you, go find one that will!" Which is the ultimate argument on behalf of gay marriage. Instead, the progressive lobby insists on being the church.
Three observations: 1. The word "venal" exists for a reason, but appears nowhere in the book or in this article. It certainly applied to he administration of Bill Clinton.

2. As has been well-documented in such books as Gretchen Morgenstern's "Reckless Endangerment", government regulators enabled the most recent financial crisis in a number of ways, including granting oligopoly status to the rating agencies, dumping sound underwriting to accomplish widespread but fiscally unsound home ownership, and requiring banks to purchase AAA-rated mortgage-backed securities that weren't really AAA.

3. There's a market for everything, including prostitution and illegal drugs. Not all incentives are monetary: some are social. That's a point Mr. Sandel and President Obama seem to have missed.
Larry Summers was one of the smart guy Obama appointments.
Note that he's gone.
Only Education (seems smart) and Clinton (is smart) remain.
The most prescient group of economists to predict the financial crisis were those of an Austrian persuasion. To say the crisis was the result of too much market faith would fly in the face of their plausible thesis that money itself has a monopoly pricer who kept the price too low. The outcome of which would be less saving than otherwise and more borrowing which in a fiat money and fractional reserva banking system can (and did happen). I yet have to find a good logical objection to their theory and am grateful for their advice on my portfolio.