[Book Review] What Money Can’t Buy

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Hello readers, I am back with a new exciting book!

moneyIn the midst of capitalism the value of money is rising as ever. In time like this, it is crucial to go over the definition of money and learn about how people’s mentality can form special type of norms in society. Our daily lives consist of repeated exchanges of money and value. The book ‘What money can’t buy’ written by a renowned Harvard philosophy professor, Michael Sandel introduces the limitation of money and what money should not buy rather than cannot. In his books, there are various scenarios. Those cases start with simple events such as, paying to cut lines in airport, paying kids for good grades, to events that seem morally problematic such as companies secretly buying insurance betting on the death of their employees.

When looking around, everything has price. It is as if every product, service, experience, event and a person has invisible price tag that follows along. According to the book, pricing is the most efficient way of measuring values. Economists urge to price everything everywhere for they become the rewards for those who want them the most. Not to mention, pricing has enormous effect on altering the way people act as intended. However, Sandel also talks about exceptional cases when money can cause opposite behavior as it becomes the biggest source of stress.

According to Sandel, market is taking place of our lives. Everything we do can be calculated as economic activities and be measured in numbers. The author suggests such trends in life bring numerous dilemma regarding bargaining moral values with money. Before the concept of market oriented mentality was widely introduced, ideas regarding health, education, procreation, refugee policy and environmental protection stood strong and solid. Now, little by little money is replacing the place where those valued ideas used to stand. To exemplify, the author talks about increase in killing African endangered animal, black rhino in return for money.

Micheal Sandel suggests that there are certain things that cannot put on sale. He points out that there exist moral limits in the market. For instance, it is the horrible feeling that people get when they were put to do something unjust and corrupted. The main argument that the author presents in the book is that while money can also be the greatest motivation, it can also have corrosive effect on value.

It is a book that definitely helps us examine where we are at and our way of thinking. It covers until what extent money can exercise its power. People often say they want to earn a lot of money. What do they need to pay in return? Find out by checking out this marvelous book that will trigger you to challenge the most widespread thoughts about money.

By Jiae Choung (sammy7953@naver.com)

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