Analysis Of Michael Sandel 's What Money Can 't Buy : The Moral Limits Of Markets

Analysis Of Michael Sandel 's What Money Can 't Buy : The Moral Limits Of Markets

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Morality is an idea that has been long forgotten in our society. As generations come and go, so do the general ideas of what is right and wrong. Actions that would have once been seen as morally wrong are now clouded over by the biggest player in today’s society, the market. The market system has defaced morality in almost every aspect. Whether it has to do with someone buying their way up a transplant list for a kidney or betting on what celebrity will die first on a popular website, morality has been put on the back burner. Of all the facets of life where market has taken over morality, insurance is a prominent one. In Michael Sandel’s “What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets”, Sandel speaks of the reality behind a specific type of insurance, janitor’s insurance, and the price it puts on a human’s life. Sandel questions the distastefulness of janitor’s insurance by focusing on the role that the market plays over morality.
Janitor’s insurance is generally defined as a type of indemnity that an employer takes out on an employee in the case of a possible sudden death or other similar circumstance. In many of these cases, the employee himself has no idea that this insurance has been taken out on him because the company is not always forced to notify their employees. (Sandel 133) In Michael Sandel’s book, he talks about the true story of a man named Michael Rice who unknowingly battled with janitor’s insurance. Rice worked as an assistant manager at Walmart and ended up having a heart attack on the job. Due to his sudden death, a life insurance policy of $300,000 was paid out to Walmart, while his family, his wife and two children, received nothing. (Sandel 131) The idea that Michael Rice’s family, like many other famil...


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...s is extremely disturbing.
In “What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets” by Michael Sandel, Sandel deeply describes the lost roots of morality and the new gained ideas of markets. With the help of Professor Frank Stephenson in “The Real Scandal of “Janitor’s Insurance””, Sandel makes one ponder the idea that humans are now commodities to big companies and that it is almost impossible to escape this system. Proving that the only true way to not be weary of the market system is to be wealthy, shows the loss of morals in today’s society. Rather than investing into making the company the best it can be for all employees and consumers, employers are focusing on only the money they can make in the long run. Morals are beginning to become a thing of the past and I hope to never see the day when markets have taken over everything, but I fear that it is inevitable.

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