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Before the financial crash sounded a high-decibel wakeup call, Americans had gone decades without serious public discussion about the intersection of markets and morals. Sold on Reagan-era market worship and frenzied deregulation, we looked more and more to markets to solve our problems and enhance our lives. But that’s slowly starting to change. We're beginning to ask the question: When everything is for sale, how much does it really cost us?
Economists, religious leaders and philosophers are getting into the conversation. The Institute for New Economic Thinking and Union Theological Seminary are conducting a series of panelsexploring questions about markets and their ability to give us the things we want and need in life. Political philosopher Michael J. Sandel, author of What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, discussed the implications of a price-tag driven society in a recent issue of the Altantic. “Today, the logic of buying and selling no longer applies to material goods alone,” writes Sandel. “It increasingly governs the whole of life.”
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