SPIRITUALITY, FAIR TRADE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
24
September
2013

Sept 24th: What Money Can't Buy

-In “What Money Can’t Buy,” there are a few pages that talk about gift giving, and the value of the gifts that a person is receiving. The author states “economists don’t like gifts.” They believe it is always better to give cash than an actual present bought for someone else. The reasoning behind this is because another person buying a gift will most likely not choose as good of an item as a person buying for him/herself. The author then goes on to state that giving cash can make the person look indifferent and seem as though they are being thoughtless.
-This examination of the gift giving process is something that seemed obvious to me before reading the economist view. I can see the point being made that it is more efficient to just give money, but also do not agree with the idea. I liked how the author uses utilitarianism to give another way to look at the issue. He says, “to monetize all forms of giving among friends can corrupt friendship by suffusing it with utilitarian norms.” This sentence, I think, makes a good point that there is no need to do what is better for everyone as a whole. There should be more individual thought for the person you are buying the gift for, and not just about technically what would be better.

-A second part of this chapter is about the market, buy and selling in it. It gives examples of children, admissions into schools, organs, and prostitution to give perspective on this topic. The example about prostitution talks about fairness and corruption of being bought. The author gives two arguments about the topic being fair or not. He states that people in prostitution usually have some motive behind it, so it is not really a voluntary act. The second objection is that people feel prostitution is degrading no matter what, demeaning, and that it should never happen. He then further talks about the corruption in this case.
-The topic of prostitution is always an interesting one, especially when talking about if it is something that should be allowed or not. I think the author is correct in the fact that he is basically saying you cannot put a money value on a human being, and I agree with the second opinion that it is something that should just not happen at all. The first thought of why it is not fair, a person never voluntarily does it, I don’t agree with. Although there might be other factors that might make a person want to do a certain thing, the choice is ultimately his/hers. Contributing factors cannot be the sole blame for a person doing something.



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