What Money Can't Buy

Text 1: Economizing Love

Response 1:
The idea of economizing love, as introduced by Sandel, struck me the most out of all of the sections in the reading. The idea that love is a scarce resource is very strange to me. I cannot imagine something intangible to be limited, because it is impossible for us to see those limits. I agree with Sandel's point of view that love, altruism, generosity, etc. are not commodities that can be depleted, but rather "they are more like muscles that develop and grow stronger with exercise." After reading this section, I began to question if this economist view point is one of the problems with today's society. Are people afraid to love to their full capacity in fear that their ability to love will diminish? How can one even measure love, or the amount of love one has left? I personally believe that one's ability to love can be infinite, but it is these types of social attitudes that bind the full potential of love. It is actually scary that some people live their lives thinking that their affection is limited and must be used economically. We all know that money can't buy love, but this type of mentality is treating love as if it were money.

Text 2: Crowding Out/ The Commercialization Effect

Response 2:
The notion of 'crowding-out' really interested me. I think it relates well to the idea of economizing love, in that sometimes normal market mechanisms cannot be applied to social or political spheres. It proves that putting a monetary value on something can actually affect its value as perceived by people. When reading through these sections, I assumed that external motivation (money) would have more of an affect than intrinsic motivation. I was surprised to learn that the opposite was true; offering money as motivation depreciates one's moral interest. It was intriguing that the idea of crowding-out goes against "the most fundamental economic 'law,' that raising monetary incentives increases supply. If the crowding-out effect holds, raising monetary incentives reduces, rather than increases, supply." Overall, I found these sections to be uplifting; that a majority of people value their intrinsic motivation and moral guidance over money, and that there are more things money cannot buy than I originally thought.

« "What Money Can't Buy" Blog PostBlog #3: What Money Can't Buy - The Moral Limits of Markets »

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