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Markets "erode moral values"


feargach

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Economist's View: 'Markets Erode Moral Values'

Apparently some German scientists have proven this with some carefully-designed behavioural experiments. The comments in the link above also mention some more obvious points: you would probably never buy anything from the shop of a man you knew to be a child abuser. But you are probably wearing clothes stitched by an asian child slave.

Perhaps also related to the following phenomenon: What Is Diffusion of Responsibility
 

Lonewolfe

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Too right they do. Look what we in the West did and/or tacitly supported for oil.
 

feargach

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Too right they do. Look what we in the West did and/or tacitly supported for oil.
At least we got oil.

Look at us now. We're ripping ourselves apart with non-productive austerity and getting precisely nothing in return. Essentially we're causing harm for the pure joy of it.
 

Andycap

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Economist's View: 'Markets Erode Moral Values'

Apparently some German scientists have proven this with some carefully-designed behavioural experiments. The comments in the link above also mention some more obvious points: you would probably never buy anything from the shop of a man you knew to be a child abuser. But you are probably wearing clothes stitched by an asian child slave.

Perhaps also related to the following phenomenon: What Is Diffusion of Responsibility
And what a fine job they do!
 

Lonewolfe

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At least we got oil.

Look at us now. We're ripping ourselves apart with non-productive austerity and getting precisely nothing in return. Essentially we're causing harm for the pure joy of it.
Well the markets are God to the EU apparently. Silly really when the EU has the power to print money. If only the Germans weren't calling the shots.
 
R

Ramps

Economist's View: 'Markets Erode Moral Values'

Apparently some German scientists have proven this with some carefully-designed behavioural experiments. The comments in the link above also mention some more obvious points: you would probably never buy anything from the shop of a man you knew to be a child abuser. But you are probably wearing clothes stitched by an asian child slave.
Why is buying from a man who works shop any less of a "market"?
 

feargach

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Why is buying from a man who works shop any less of a "market"?
I don't think "shop" and "market" are synonyms. I think that "market" implies a way to easily check against a competitor's prices before buying, like a bazaar where you can check a bunch of different stalls before taking the plunge. Not sure this is a hair worth splitting actually.
 

Analyzer

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Feb 14, 2011
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There was a prevalent cult in the middle of the last decade, called the "cult of the property market".

Followers could be seen admiring the price tags of houses in their own estates, and the listings in the Oyrich Toymes Propurrrty Supppppppelment, every weekend.

Whatever happen to that fad ?
 

feargach

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Dec 11, 2006
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There was a prevalent cult in the middle of the last decade, called the "cult of the property market".

Followers could be seen admiring the price tags of houses in their own estates, and the listings in the Oyrich Toymes Propurrrty Supppppppelment, every weekend.

Whatever happen to that fad ?
What's the moral dimension of that? Did admiring the price tags of houses in their own estates make them more likely to be dishonest or steal?
 

patslatt

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Economist's View: 'Markets Erode Moral Values'

Apparently some German scientists have proven this with some carefully-designed behavioural experiments. The comments in the link above also mention some more obvious points: you would probably never buy anything from the shop of a man you knew to be a child abuser. But you are probably wearing clothes stitched by an asian child slave.

Perhaps also related to the following phenomenon: What Is Diffusion of Responsibility
Before the industrial revolution,populations were kept low,starvation and disease being the main constraints on population. Many of the children working in the 19th century factories,often sleeping by their machines,would not have survived in the preindustrial economy. The same applies to third world children working in today's factories. That's not to say that abusive working conditions should not be regulated.

With regard to long hours of work,research in UK munitions factories in WW2 when their workforces were willing to work whatever hours were asked of them showed that a 40 hour week was optimal for production.
 

Fr. Hank Tree

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The market erodes moral values? Hmmm...first thought was that a Marxist couldn't make that claim becuase morality for Marx was just an extension of capitalism. So the market and morality would always be on the same side.

But of course, as insightful as Marx was, he got things wrong. Morality is not just a social construct but something that is to a large extent natural. But that would mean that no social system including capitalism could erode it either.

So I think the most correct thing to say would be that markets erode virtue, that is, moral excellence or consistent practice of moral behavior.
 

seabhcan

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Sep 3, 2007
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The market erodes moral values? Hmmm...first thought was that a Marxist couldn't make that claim becuase morality for Marx was just an extension of capitalism. So the market and morality would always be on the same side.

But of course, as insightful as Marx was, he got things wrong. Morality is not just a social construct but something that is to a large extent natural. But that would mean that no social system including capitalism could erode it either.

So I think the most correct thing to say would be that markets erode virtue, that is, moral excellence.
Some social systems can and certainly do erode morality. They do this by empowering those who are immoral, and silencing others. Examples abound - from Ireland's theocracy of the 1950's-90's to Nazism to Stalinism. In fact, most societies throughout history suppressed morality to some extent and rewarded the immoral. Think of Wall street and the City of London. Think Bangladesh.
 

Fr. Hank Tree

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Some social systems can and certainly do erode morality. They do this by empowering those who are immoral, and silencing others. Examples abound - from Ireland's theocracy of the 1950's-90's to Nazism to Stalinism. In fact, most societies throughout history suppressed morality to some extent and rewarded the immoral. Think of Wall street and the City of London. Think Bangladesh.
But no social system can dictate what is moral, ultimately. Yes, they can certainly suppress and discourage moral action and practice, but they cannot change human nature which for the most part is empathetic. Capitalism doesn't make us lack empathy per se, but makes us objectify everything to the point that there is nothing to empathise outside of certain networks. The flipside of this is that empathy often is put to bad use, e.g. sensational news and moral panics.
 
R

Ramps

I don't think "shop" and "market" are synonyms. I think that "market" implies a way to easily check against a competitor's prices before buying, like a bazaar where you can check a bunch of different stalls before taking the plunge. Not sure this is a hair worth splitting actually.
I'm not saying they are synonyms. The shop is just the name for the building in which that particular
market, i.e. the way the buyer and seller carry out their business, happens to be visible.

Make no mistake, though; the market between a newsagent and customer who buys his milk and newspaper every day is just as real as any other.
 

james5001

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I'm not saying they are synonyms. The shop is just the name for the building in which that particular
market, i.e. the way the buyer and seller carry out their business, happens to be visible.

Make no mistake, though; the market between a newsagent and customer who buys his milk and newspaper every day is just as real as any other.
Oh yes, that reminds me, you know we were arguing before about tariffs and how I thought that they were instrumental in the growth of countries economies? (And you thought the opposite). Well, I have a lovely little book which details my assertions through numerous examples.
 

Amnesiac

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Oct 27, 2011
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The idea is reasonable. The anecdotle evidence seems intuitive. Markets might distance you from morally-questionable decisions. I can buy clothes without looking the Vietnamese kid in the eye.

Some issues with the study:
1. The mouse isn't gassed in front participants. Someone may it to be an empty threat and take the money. (Aside: Does allowing the mouse to be killed show that science erodes our morality?).
2. Define morality. What if I let the mouse die so that I could give the money to poor human orphans?
 

The Old Woman

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Aug 27, 2012
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The market erodes moral values? Hmmm...first thought was that a Marxist couldn't make that claim becuase morality for Marx was just an extension of capitalism. So the market and morality would always be on the same side.

But of course, as insightful as Marx was, he got things wrong. Morality is not just a social construct but something that is to a large extent natural. But that would mean that no social system including capitalism could erode it either.

So I think the most correct thing to say would be that markets erode virtue, that is, moral excellence or consistent practice of moral behavior.
Morality is not just a social construct but something that is to a large extent natural.
Not sure natural is the right word. Prehaps that is just the cynic in me.
 
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