Market Norms are Crowding out Social Norms

Imagine you are going over to a friend’s house for a nice dinner. You want to show appreciation for the lovely meal they’ve prepared for you, and you have a few options. You can offer to have them over for dinner in the future. You can bring a bottle of wine or a six pack of beer. You can simply say thank you and tell them what a lovely evening you have had.

Bible and Public Policy

I am frequently asked what Jesus has to do with public policy. It is a difficult question to answer, because Jesus didn’t live in a participatory democracy in which he could clearly let us know his stand on the political controversies of the day. He lived in an occupied land where ultimate political power rested with the Roman empire and the proximate political power was the Sanhedrin (the Jewish court) that ruled over Israel.

Moral Limits of Markets

Michael Sandel’s new book What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets is a well-timed critique not of capitalist economics, but of the spread of economic thinking well beyond the boundaries of traditional economic issues like trading, inflation, prices, wages, etc. I just started a microeconomics course in preparation for graduate school in the fall and the textbook simply defined economics as “the study of choice.” Sandel’s thesis is relatively simple: “…we drifted from having a market economy to being a market society.