IMCA Annual Conference General Session: What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets (ethics)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 -
9:30am to 10:30am

Session type:

Harvard University professor and author of What Money Can’t Buy, Michael Sandel examines one of the biggest ethical questions of our time:  Is something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale? If so, how can we prevent market values from reaching into spheres of life where they don’t belong? What are the moral limits of markets? Should we pay children to read books or to get good grades? Should we put a price on human life to decide how much pollution to allow? What about hiring mercenaries to fight our wars, outsourcing inmates to for-profit prisons, or auctioning admission to elite universities? In recent decades, market values have crowded out nonmarket norms in almost every aspect of life – medicine, education, government, law, art, sports, even family life and personal relations. Without quite realizing it, we have drifted from being a market economy to a market society. During this session, Professor Sandel will explore the question, “What is the proper role of markets in a democratic society, and how can we protect the moral and civic goods that markets do not honor – and money cannot buy?”