~ WBOTCG? ~ What’s Become Of The Common Good?

~ WNTAWTSTOFP-ITLMFB-TPOM-O-TSACGBTSATS ~ We Need To Ask Whether The Solution To Our Fractious Politics – Is To Live More Faithfully By – The Principle Of Merit – Or – To Seek A Common Good Beyond The Sorting And The Striving

~ B-TRORNRH-ITE-IINETR-MWNERTTMC ~ But – The Rhetoric Of Rising Now Rings Hollow – In Today’s Economy – It Is Not Easy To Rise – Most Will Not Even Rise To The Middle Class

~ T-TCWT-HM-TTBTWT-GE-TATR-IS-DLO-TSOP-TOAT=E=HC-A-OR-TEPTSITWOW ~ Today – The Countries With The – Highest Mobility – Tend To Be Those With The – Greatest Equality – The Ability To Rise – It Seems – Depends Less On – The Spur Of Poverty – Than On Access To – Education – Health Care – And – Other Resources – That Equip People To Succeed In The World Of Work

~ ASRTTGBRAPMRDWIOPAW-RT-RCWTPOHPSUALWRGFAFA ~ Any Serous Response To The Gap Between Rich And Poor Must Reckon Directly With Inequalities Of Power And Wealth – Rather Than – Rest Content With The Project Of Helping People Scramble Up A Ladder Whose Rungs Grow Father And Farther Apart

~ M-IIUWTTDTORTM-DSLOTS-TWCTMI-A-MITCOTPP-OTMQ-TAISMPP:TMAATMEP-ATWAAATL-ATW-IGH-ATL-HAR ~ Morally – It Is Unclear Why The Talented Deserve The Outsize Rewards That Market-Driven Societies Lavish On The Successful – Those Who Celebrate The Meritocratic Ideal – And – Make It The Center Of Their Political Project – Overlook This Moral Question – They Also Ignore Something More Politically Potent: The Morally Attractive Attitudes The Meritocratic Ethic Promotes – Among The Winners And Also Among The Losers – Among The Winners – It Generates Hubris – Among The Losers – Humiliation And Resentment

~ TPCIATTOM-A-TCIJ ~ The Populist Complaint Is About The Tyranny Of Merit – And – The Complaint Is Justified

~ TNT-TSR-TAHW-ETW-TCTSTOD-AMOTV-A-TLDUTLFTT-MH-RTTOWTITDOTS-TFT-CAGF-THTOTW-IIT-SC-OT-WLOT-TTDTF-A-T-TOTB-DTT ~ The Notion That – The System Rewards – Talent And Hard Work – Encourages The Winners – To Consider Their Success Their Own Doing – A Measure Of Their Virtue – And – To Look Down Upon Those Less Fortunate Than Themselves – Meritocratic Hubris – Reflects The Tendency Of Winners To Inhale Too Deeply Of Their Success – To Forget The – Luck And Good Fortune – That Helped Them On Their Way – It Is The – Smug Conviction – Of Those – Who Land On Top – That They Deserve Their Fate – And – That – Those On The Bottom – Deserve Theirs Too

~ T- T-CG-IUMI-ET-IILACSODTBOC-TA-SCP-AMBT-GDP-TMFA-IPD ~ Today – The – Common Good – Is Understood Mainly In – Economic Terms – It Is Less About Cultivating Solidarity Or Deepening The Bonds Of Citizenship – Than About – Satisfying Consumer Preferences – As Measured By The – Gross Domestic Product – This Makes For An – Impoverished Public Discourse

~ WPF-PA-TD-CEO-NMTT-WINO-OE-SM-IWPTPOAWRL-C-ATPS-FT-EPD-FAD-TRSTTAO-RPD-DNMTNPABD-ISMTABDE-OOPV-B-AA(OCBTITR)-B-CBABM-B-CL-W-CC-BIWPO ~ What Passes For – Political Argument – These Days – Consists Either Of – Narrow Managerial Technocratic Talk – Which Inspires No One – Or Else – Shouting Matches – In Which Partisans Talk Past One Another Without Really Listening – Citizens – Across The Political Spectrum – Find This – Empty Public Discourse – Frustrating And Disempowering – They Rightly Sense That The Absence Of – Robust Public Debate – Does Not Mean That No Policies Are Being Decided – It Simply Means They Are Being Decided Elsewhere – Out Of Public View – By – Administrative Agencies (Often Captured By The Industries They Regulate) – By – Central Banks And Bond Markets – By – Corporate Lobbyists – Whose – Campaign Contributions – Buy Influence With Public Officials

~ FD-O-M-DG-H-HOPD-DOC-A-PAPB ~ Four Decades – Of – Market-Driven Globalization – Have – Hollowed Out Public Discourse – Disempowered Ordinary Citizens – And – Prompted A Populist Backlash

~ B-IIOTTHPRFAM;IISETATWA-EOU-WRFOLIL ~ But – It Is One Thing To Hold People Responsible For Acting Morally; It Is Something Else To Assume That We Are – Each Of Us – Wholly Responsible For Our Lot In Life

~ TNTOFROM-RDIT-MI-O-WC-IRTBTTMUIAIAWTAPWMASWW-T-MWOT-GRTHATTWSM-TMATS-TGTSTTVHBIOH[H]~ The Notion That Our Fate Reflects Our Merit – Runs Deep In The – Moral Intuitions – Of – Western Culture – It Reflects The Belief That The Moral Universe Is Arranged In A Way That Aligns Prosperity With Merit And Suffering With Wrongdoing – This – Meritocratic Way Of Thinking – Gives Rise To Harsh Attitudes Toward Those Who Suffer Misfortune – The More Acute The Suffering – The Greater The Suspicion That The Victim Has Brought It On Himself[/Herself]

~ MOTF-TS-WFL-AAFAMPOV ~ Many Of The Factors – That Separate – Winners From Losers – Are Arbitrary From A Moral Point Of View

~ TMWVOAS-MAS-S-TLLWATCFTFOTLFTO-IMSIMOD-TFMBTF-TLMMCOC-TSANOPRFOFMIHTIOIOPS ~ The More We View Ourselves As Self-Made And Self-Sufficient – The Less Likely We Are To Care For The Fate Of Those Less Fortunate Than Ourselves – If My Success Is My Own Doing – Their Failure Must Be Their Fault – This Logic Makes Meritocracy Corrosive Of Commonality – Too Strenuous A Notion Of Personal Responsibility For Our Fate Makes It Hard To Imagine Ourselves In Other People’s Shoes

~ TROR ~ The Rhetoric Of Responsibility

~ FD-ME-ITMT-TW-WHAPBTR-CRAFATTWTT-TDNNTFT-SATBOSTSA-T-ROR-WLAPTAT ~ For Decades – Meritocratic Elites – Intoned The Mantra That – Those Who – Work Hard And Play By The Rules – Can Rise As Far As Their Talents Will Take Them – They Did Not Notice That For Those – Stuck At The Bottom Or Struggling To Stay Afloat – The – Rhetoric Of Rising – Was Less A Promise Than A Taunt

~ C:TLAP ~ Credentialism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice

~ ‘SVD’- BTD-EOI-C-L-‘JVU’-O-‘RVW’ ~ “Smart Versus Dumb” – Began To Displace – Ethical Or Ideological – Contrasts – Like – “Just Versus Unjust” – Or – “Right Versus Wrong”

~ T-‘STTD’-A-PTA-POS-IR-TDNDO-MC ~ The – “Smart Thing To Do” – Always – Pointed To A – Prudential Or Self-Interested Reason – That Did Not Depend On – Moral Considerations

~ TNT-‘TBATB’-ABAG-TT-L-C-FC-I-AMBOMH ~ The Notion That – “The Best And The Brightest” – Are – Better At Governing – Than Their – Less-Credentialed – Fellow Citizens – Is – A Myth Born Of Meritocratic Hubris

~ P-TO-RW-I-RME ~ Parties – That Once – Represented Workers – Increasingly – Represented Meritocratic Elites

~ WMFAMITEHAECTCTLOS;IHNTSAHFATROTLSB-T-MI-INA-ROI-IIA-JOI ~ What Matters For A Meritocracy Is That Everyone Has An Equal Chance To Climb The Ladder Of Success; It Has Nothing To Say About How Far Apart The Rungs On The Ladder Should Be – The – Meritocratic Ideal – Is Not A – Remedy Of Inequality – It Is A – Justification Of Inequality

~ AT-AOG-BRWTT-W-C-IDNFMOW-PI-B-WRASASSOWTP-W-EASCALS ~ Although The – Age Of Globalization – Brought Rich Rewards To – The Well-Credentialed – It Did Not Nothing For Most Ordinary Workers – Productivity Increased – But – Workers Reaped A Smaller And Smaller Share Of What They Produced – While – Executives And Shareholders Captured A Larger Share

~ OTLSD-TIT-TMWMRTVOOSC-HBDE ~ Over The Last Several Decades – The Idea That – The Money We Make Reflects The Value Of Our Social Contribution – Has Become Deeply Embedded

~ M-FA-HRTP-EG-TDPATEI-SP-MTDOTWEAL-P-U-GAS-IT-RE ~Much – Financial Activity – Hinders Rather Than Promotes – Economic Growth – The Disproportionate Prestige Accorded Those Engaged In – Speculative Pursuits – Mocks The Dignity Of Those Who Earn A Living – Producing – Useful – Goods And Services – In The – Real Economy

~ A-PA-TRT-DOW-WUT-TS-TRTEOEB-DS-A-HPL ~ A – Political Agenda – That Recognizes The – Dignity Of Work – Would Use The – Tax System – To Reconfigure The Economy Of Esteem By – Discouraging Speculation – And – Honoring Productive Labor


~ TMLOM ~ The Moral Limits Of Markets

~ WLAATWAECBBAS ~ We Live At A Time When Almost Everything Can Be Bought And Sold

TLOBASNLATMGABIGTWOL-IITTAWWWTLTW ~ The Logic Of Buying And Selling No Longer Applies To Material Goods Alone But Increasingly Governs The Whole Of Life – It Is Time To Ask Whether We Want To Live This Way

~ TEOMT ~ The Era Of Market Triumphalism

~ WNAPDAWIMTKMITP-WNTAWTASTMSNB ~ We Need A Public Debate About What It Means To Keep Markets In Their Place – We Need To Ask Whether There Are Some Things Money Should Not Buy

~ EFS ~ Everything For Sale

~ RTROM ~ Rethinking The Role Of Markets

~ JTQ ~ Jumping The Queue

~ LL ~ Lexus Lanes

~ TLSB ~ The Line-Standing Business

~ TSDA ~ Ticket Scalping Doctor Appointments

~ CD ~ Concierge Doctors

~ MR ~ Market Reasoning

~ MVQ ~ Markets Versus Queues

~ TEOTQ ~ The Ethic Of The Queue

~ TEATL ~ The Economic Approach To Live

~ PKFGG ~ Paying Kids For Good Grades

~ HB ~ Health Bribes

~ PI ~ Perverse Incentives

~ EOATMDNTOTTGTR-BTIU-MLTMOSN-O-MIEOCONI ~ Economists Often Assume That Markets Do Not Touch Or Taint The Goods They Regulate – But This Is Untrue – Markets Leave Their Mark On Social Norms – Often – Market Incentives Erode Or Crowd Out Nonmarket Incentives

~ FVF ~ Fines Versus Fees

~ TPP ~ Tradable Procreation Permits

~ TPP ~ Tradable Pollution Permits

~ TSWOPAPOPITTI ~ The Simplest Way Of Putting A Price On Pollution Is To Tax It

~ LRCBTWOOMCITOWHRABA-TNIADGFTWCAI ~ Letting Rich Countries Buy Their Way Out Of Meaningful Changes In Their Own Wasteful Habits Reinforces A Bad Attitude – That Nature Is A Dumping Ground For Those Who Can Afford It

~ CO ~ Carbon Offsets

~ MDPJOTDTS ~ Markets Don’t Pass Judgment On The Desires They Satisfy

~ I&ME ~ Incentives And Moral Entanglements

~ TLOIIARDIET ~ The Language Of Incentives Is A Recent Development In Economic Thought

~ TNTEIAVFSIOMAPPHABQ-BTVAOETMTCEDTD-TMMETRINSOLTMETBWMQ ~ The Notion That Economics Is A Value-Free Science Independent Of Moral And Political Philosophy Has Always Been Questionable – But The Vaunting Ambition Of Economics Today Makes This Claim Especially Difficult To Defend – The More Markets Extend Their Reach Into Noneconomic Spheres Of Life The More Entangled They Become With Moral Questions

~ WMRTBTDOMG-IM-‘TIM’-UIWBTMSUWRFTMWOTPIS ~ When Market Reasoning Travels Beyond The Domain Of Material Goods – It Must – “Traffic In Morality” – Unless It Wants Blindly To Maximize Social Utility Without Regard For The Moral Worth Of The Preferences It Satisfies

~ HMCOM ~ How Markets Crowd Out Morals

~ ATSTTMSNBATB?-IS-HCWDWGAAAPBAS-AWAN? ~ Are There Some Things That Money Should Not Be Able To Buy? – If So – How Can We Decide Which Goods And Activities Are Properly Bought And Sold – And Which Are Not?

~ BA&WT ~ Bought Apologies And Wedding Toasts

~ EDLG-OTBMP-THAHTMSOGGAARSP ~ Economists Don’t Like Gifts – Or To Be More Precise – They Have A Hard Time Making Sense Of Gift Giving As A Rational Social Practice

~ MG ~ Monetizing Gifts

~ BH ~ Bought Honor

~ CONN ~ Crowding Out Nonmarket Norms

~ FIAOMMCBBCONN ~ Financial Incentives And Other Market Mechanisms Can Backfire By Crowding Out Nonmarket Norms

~ S-OPFACBGYLOI-ANM ~ Sometimes – Offering Payment For A Certain Behavior Gets You Less Of It – And Not More

~ TPEISCBMC-IACTTCG ~ The Price Effect Is Sometimes Confounded By Moral Considerations – Including A Commitment To The Common Good

~ FAEPOV-SNSACVAPSAGB-TMSUBTWOCALTB ~ From An Economic Point Of View – Social Norms Such As Civic Virtue And Public-Spiritedness Are Great Bargains – They Motivate Socially Useful Behavior That Would Otherwise Cost A Lot To Buy

~ ‘TCE’ ~ “The Commercialization Effect”

~ BFS ~ Blood For Sale

~ MILAD ~ Markets In Life And Death

~ ‘JI’ ~ “Janitor’s Insurance”

~ ‘DPI’ ~ “Dead Peasants Insurance”

~ ‘COLI’ ~ “Corporate-Owned Life Insurance”

~ V:YBYL ~ Viaticals: You Bet Your Life

~ DP ~ Death Pools

~ ‘II’ ~ “Insurable Interest”

~ MILADHOTSPAMNTOCT ~ Markets In Life And Death Have Outrun The Social Purposes And Moral Norms That Once Constrained Them

~ TFM ~ Terrorism Futures Market

~ BOTLOSINLAIPGBAMI ~ Betting On The Lives Of Strangers Is No Longer An Isolated Parlor Game But A Major Industry

~ T’LS’I ~ The – “Life Settlement” – Industry

~ ‘SLP’ ~ “Spin-Life Policies”

~ ‘STOLI’ ~ “Stranger-Originated Life Insurance”

~ DB ~ Death Bonds

~ NR ~ Naming Rights

~ AFS ~ Autographs For Sale

~ TSIAIS ~ The Surge In Advertising In Schools

~ ITWCLCTM ~ Imprinting Things With Corporate Logos Changes Their Meaning

~ MLTM ~ Markets Leave Their Mark

~ OOHOKMITPITDOAPATMOTGASPWP-WANTAABQ-ATKOSIWWWTL ~ Our Only Hope Of Keeping Markets In Their Place Is To Deliberate Openly And Publicly About The Meaning Of The Goods And Social Practices We Prize – We Also Need To Ask A Bigger Question – About The Kind Of Society In Which We Wish To Live

~ AATORI-TMOEMTPOAAPOMMLISL ~ At A Time Of Rising Inequality – The Marketization Of Everything Means That People Of Affluence And People Of Modest Means Lead Increasingly Separate Lives

~ TSOAL ~ The Skyboxification Of American Life

~ DDNRPE-BIDRTCSIACL ~ Democracy Does Not Require Perfect Equality – But It Does Require That Citizens Share In A Common Life

~ DWWASWEIUFS?-OATCMACGTMDNHAMCB? ~ Do We Want A Society Where Everything Is Up For Sale? – Or Are There Certain Moral And Civic Goods That Markets Do Not Honor And Money Cannot Buy?