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The more things money can buy, the harder it is to be poor.
In almost every society around the world today, there is tremendous frustration with politics,
with politicians, with political parties.
What passes for political discourse these days consists largely of partisan shouting
matches, where people aren't really listening to one another but shouting past one another,
or narrow, technocratic, managerial talk, which inspires no-one.
I think one of the reasons for the emptiness of public discourse is that we've outsourced
our moral argument to markets. Over the last few decades we've drifted, almost without
realising it, from having market economies to becoming market societies.
The difference is this: a market economy is a tool, a valuable and effective tool for
organising productive activity, but a market society is a place where almost everything
is up for sale.
There was a proposal to increase attention by GPs to the diagnosis of dementia by offering
fifty-five pounds for every dementia diagnosis that she or he made.
Or, consider the use of cash incentives in schools, offering teachers bonuses if the
test scores of their students increase.
Why not allow a free market in votes so that people who don't much care about the outcome
of elections get some value, if they choose, and sell their votes to the highest bidder?
[If] the only thing money could buy were cars, vacations and luxury yachts, inequality
wouldn't matter very much.
But, where money determines access to the fundamental necessities and good things in
life - health, education, living in a safe neighbourhood, political voice and influence
- inequality matters a lot more than it otherwise would.
We sometimes shrink from engaging with big ethical questions in politics because we know
that in pluralist societies, like ours, we will disagree.
I think we need to overcome this hesitation. I think people want,
politics to be about big things.
The reason we should aim for a more ethically engaged kind of public discourse is not that
it will produce unanimous agreement, but because it will make us better democratic citizens.


The more things money can buy, the harder it is to be poor - Michael Sandel | Comment is Free

2981 タグ追加 保存
Rain 2016 年 3 月 9 日 に公開
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