What Money Can't Buy

The Moral Limits of Markets

Sandel, Michael J.

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
What Money Can't Buy
Sandel argues that we have drifted from having a market economy to being a market society and examines one of the biggest ethical questions of our time: 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?

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780374203030
Branch Call Number: 174 SANDEL
Characteristics: viii, 244 p. ; 24 cm


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Sep 05, 2014
  • HujeBohoc rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

When you're dealing with a subject that has deep moral and personal ramifications, such as how our societies and economies should be organized, it is helpful to have someone explaining the fundamentals. This is what Michael Sandel does here. A thought-provoking book.

Jul 11, 2014

I like mony :)

Sep 24, 2013
  • stewstealth rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Very underwhelming. A qualitative look at the limits of markets and how their expansion affects morality. Unfortunately this book is at best a large essay and does not quantify any of the issues that it introduces. Neither does it truly offer any conclusions or recommendations. As the author clearly knows morality is not a static sense through time or the population. Very quick read if you are interested.

May 31, 2013
  • StarGladiator rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

With the possible exceptions of Elizabeth Warren and Richard Parker, I have a major problem with everything coming out of that criminal factory called Harvard! This book deals with the tiny details, when all the author need have said was that the greatest entitlement program in history, the "right" to create money, which the overclass (the banksters) enjoy, both the overt act of money creation (via the Federal Reserve) and their shadow financial system ("shadow banking") affords them the greatest power in history - - the power to own and control almost everything!

Jul 15, 2012
  • eastvanbookfan rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Lots of creepy stories throughout the book. For example, the company claims it can't afford to give you a raise but it can afford to take out a life insurance policy on you without even telling you. Not only that when you die the company gets paid out because of all the time/money they spent 'training' you and how thats going to impact their bottom line.... Well worth the read....

Jun 04, 2012
  • emkeller rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

An accessible, thought-provoking application of philosophy to aspects of our daily lives that we may accept uncritically. It's not a screed against capitalism, rather, it's a logically measured approach to questions about the role of values in markets.


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Jul 11, 2014

indigo_snake_32 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 99 and 99


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May 30, 2013
  • SusanOP rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Michael Sandel puts forth the argument that there are many aspects of our lives where the free market does not belong. He argues that "efficient markets" are not virtues in themselves, and that as a society it is imperetive that we question whether are not introducting market values into an activity, a good or an institution will improve it or diminish it. The free-market it not value-neutral, or ethically neutral. We need to recognize that the commercialization of many good things (some examples he gives are sports, universities and schools, medicine, public parks) degrades and corrupts those good things.

It was a relief to have my feelings about commercialization and the virtue of the free market put into words. I felt that Sandel did not dig deeply enough into his thesis, however.


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