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What Money Can't Buy
14-11-2015, 09:18 PM.
Post: #1
What Money Can't Buy
What Money Can't Buy - by Michael J. Sandel

Book review by HyperionTree

Hi value buddies, it has been a long time! So to warm up, I like to do a short review of this good book.

This book is interesting because it takes a jab at common arguments by economist that markets are the best way to distribute goods and services. The common argument is that goods and services should go to the highest bidder and everybody will be better off when the trade occurs, except when there is lack of competition in the market. Thus, most economist agree that, besides competition issues, markets are very efficient. However, the author provides other convincing arguments on why markets are not always good. I will list out the various good arguments he made below for interest:

1. Market price reflects willingness and ability. People who pay for expensive seats for baseball games come late and leave early which does not reflect willingness to see the game. 
2. A good that supposed to be a public good but has limited supply like Free Shakespears Plays or meeting time to meet your senator should not be a free market because it is not fair. However, the reality is that you can exclude some one else from using the service while you use the service, so it becomes a free market due to natural limitations.
3. For people with not much financial ability, financial incentives are more like a coercion which violates the idea that it is a willing party transaction and thus a fair transaction.

4. Markets have an effect on the goods by crowding out good moral values for certain goods. When kindergartens fined parents who picked up their children late, more parents turned up late since they consider as a price. Paying people to donate blood, dilutes the altruistic aspect of saving someone with your blood, and results in a less efficient system in US.
5. Altruism is cultivated and not a fixed economic quantity with limited supply that needs preserving. When markets crowd out altruism, altruism will wither in a particular culture.

The author concludes with a good observation:
"At a time of rising inequality, the marketisation of everything means that people of affluence and people of modest means lead increasingly separate lives. We live and work and shop and play in different places. Our children go to different schools. You might call it the skyboxification of American life. It's not good for democracy, nor is it a satisfying way to live."

Any comments?

HyperionTree

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15-11-2015, 10:26 AM.
Post: #2
RE: What Money Can't Buy
(14-11-2015, 09:18 PM)HyperionTree Wrote: What Money Can't Buy - by Michael J. Sandel

Book review by HyperionTree

Hi value buddies, it has been a long time! So to warm up, I like to do a short review of this good book.

This book is interesting because it takes a jab at common arguments by economist that markets are the best way to distribute goods and services. The common argument is that goods and services should go to the highest bidder and everybody will be better off when the trade occurs, except when there is lack of competition in the market. Thus, most economist agree that, besides competition issues, markets are very efficient. However, the author provides other convincing arguments on why markets are not always good. I will list out the various good arguments he made below for interest:

1. Market price reflects willingness and ability. People who pay for expensive seats for baseball games come late and leave early which does not reflect willingness to see the game. 
2. A good that supposed to be a public good but has limited supply like Free Shakespears Plays or meeting time to meet your senator should not be a free market because it is not fair. However, the reality is that you can exclude some one else from using the service while you use the service, so it becomes a free market due to natural limitations.
3. For people with not much financial ability, financial incentives are more like a coercion which violates the idea that it is a willing party transaction and thus a fair transaction.

4. Markets have an effect on the goods by crowding out good moral values for certain goods. When kindergartens fined parents who picked up their children late, more parents turned up late since they consider as a price. Paying people to donate blood, dilutes the altruistic aspect of saving someone with your blood, and results in a less efficient system in US.
5. Altruism is cultivated and not a fixed economic quantity with limited supply that needs preserving. When markets crowd out altruism, altruism will wither in a particular culture.

The author concludes with a good observation:
"At a time of rising inequality, the marketisation of everything means that people of affluence and people of modest means lead increasingly separate lives. We live and work and shop and play in different places. Our children go to different schools. You might call it the skyboxification of American life. It's not good for democracy, nor is it a satisfying way to live."

Any comments?

HyperionTree

I have not read this book of his, but I definitely agree with his point of view. At the same time, you can take a look at a series of lecture by him on the idea of "Justice" or fairness. He has also written a book on this topic. I will say, these lectures are definitely worth their time. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBdfcR-8hEY

PS: The lectures are free according to my understanding and has been sponsored by Harvard. If it violates the copyright rules of the forum, apologies and the moderator can delete the link.

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16-11-2015, 11:04 AM. (This post was last modified: 16-11-2015, 11:12 AM by SincereKen.)
Post: #3
RE: What Money Can't Buy
Hi Buddies,

This falls under microecons and our govt. cum MTI should digest the content of this book. Since the MTI played an influential role in our economy, it's not about dollars & cents nor is it about status quo but the well-being/welfare of State.

If we're on the same boat, the widening of gini co-efficient model shouldn't materialize. The variance in lifestyle is by far broader than mere lavish indulgence. A closer look at this harmless economy is really killing itself - narrowly missing a technical recession. The fact is we are in a techical recession.

E.g: HR functions had began freezing headcounts & other statistics pulled SG out of the gloom.

I'm not going to deceive myself but the fragility is an absolute killer.

SK

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14-03-2018, 12:54 AM.
Post: #4
RE: What Money Can't Buy
Powerful lessons learnt through personal experience, something money can never buy.

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14-03-2018, 10:56 AM.
Post: #5
RE: What Money Can't Buy
(15-11-2015, 10:26 AM)smalkmus Wrote:
(14-11-2015, 09:18 PM)HyperionTree Wrote: What Money Can't Buy - by Michael J. Sandel

Book review by HyperionTree

Hi value buddies, it has been a long time! So to warm up, I like to do a short review of this good book.

This book is interesting because it takes a jab at common arguments by economist that markets are the best way to distribute goods and services. The common argument is that goods and services should go to the highest bidder and everybody will be better off when the trade occurs, except when there is lack of competition in the market. Thus, most economist agree that, besides competition issues, markets are very efficient. However, the author provides other convincing arguments on why markets are not always good. I will list out the various good arguments he made below for interest:

1. Market price reflects willingness and ability. People who pay for expensive seats for baseball games come late and leave early which does not reflect willingness to see the game. 
2. A good that supposed to be a public good but has limited supply like Free Shakespears Plays or meeting time to meet your senator should not be a free market because it is not fair. However, the reality is that you can exclude some one else from using the service while you use the service, so it becomes a free market due to natural limitations.
3. For people with not much financial ability, financial incentives are more like a coercion which violates the idea that it is a willing party transaction and thus a fair transaction.

4. Markets have an effect on the goods by crowding out good moral values for certain goods. When kindergartens fined parents who picked up their children late, more parents turned up late since they consider as a price. Paying people to donate blood, dilutes the altruistic aspect of saving someone with your blood, and results in a less efficient system in US.
5. Altruism is cultivated and not a fixed economic quantity with limited supply that needs preserving. When markets crowd out altruism, altruism will wither in a particular culture.

The author concludes with a good observation:
"At a time of rising inequality, the marketisation of everything means that people of affluence and people of modest means lead increasingly separate lives. We live and work and shop and play in different places. Our children go to different schools. You might call it the skyboxification of American life. It's not good for democracy, nor is it a satisfying way to live."

Any comments?

HyperionTree

I have not read this book of his, but I definitely agree with his point of view. At the same time, you can take a look at a series of lecture by him on the idea of "Justice" or fairness. He has also written a book on this topic. I will say, these lectures are definitely worth their time. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBdfcR-8hEY

PS: The lectures are free according to my understanding and has been sponsored by Harvard. If it violates the copyright rules of the forum, apologies and the moderator can delete the link.

entertaining lecture! very related to the discussion on autonomous driving on a separate thread and how decisions on morality and justice need to be programmed into the software.

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