Markets and Morals

When an author of a recent study on the supposed conflict between markets and morality states “market participants violate their own moral standards” when choosing to improve their own life at the expense of other moral considerations, he implicitly contends or takes for granted that the benefit of people’s own life isn’t a valid moral standard.

I think the researchers are missing a further explanation for people’s actions in a market system. Market exchanges allow for people to quantify and thus compare — not ignore or “erode” — their concerns about morally objectionable practices. Maybe people don’t have a proper level of concern for certain moral considerations, but I’d rather they get to make those decisions for themselves.

So it seems that the author’s underlying objection to a market system is that people hold different beliefs — for not being of the same moral complexion as their own.

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