"What Money Can't Buy" Blog Post

The article mentions the distinction between two kinds of goods: The things that money cannot buy such as friends or the Nobel Peace Prize, and the things that money can buy, but should not, such as kidneys and children. The article goes on to mention the apologies and wedding toasts that are also available for purchase, which is an entirely new concept for me.

This distinction points to money as the root of many problems. However, I believe the problem to lie in the holder of the money, rather than the actual wealth. If a person purchases a wedding toast, this person is not a great friend because they cannot personally articulate their friendship. If I ever received an apology that was paid for, I would be more insulted than the original offense. I disagree with the distinction that money can buy, but should not buy kidneys. This is extremely necessary at times, especially when a person’s life is on the life. Additionally, purchasing children for adoption is a wonderful thing that shows a wise use of money for the betterment of society.

The second point that I found interesting was regarding the nuclear waste proposal in Switzerland. I was surprised to find out that when the people were offered money to have the plant built, they were less willing to accept it.

Typically, when people are offered money to accept something that is not ideal, it increases their willingness to agree with it. However, I agree that this is a blatant bribe. The people of Switzerland felt that the money incentives crowded out their civic duty, and that they were more likely to accept the deal if a public good such as a new school, park, or a community center was given to them instead of cash. I completely agree that in some cases, monetary incentives and diminish the nature and value of a deed. The concept that “cash is king” has always been engrained in our minds and sometimes, cash is not always necessary for an exchange to occur, especially when the exchange holds the nature of a bribe.

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