There is a new argument out there by political philosophy professor Michael Sandel questioning the all pervasiveness of market values these days. Maybe, he suggests, that mercenary motives have limitations. We live in an era of market triumphalism and seem to be making a transition from a market economy to a market society where the structures and motivations of the market shape moral decisions.
He talks about this in the wake of the Citizens United decision that equated money with free speech.
Michael Sandel asks, where do we draw the line? If the profit motive is always good, if public enterprise is always bad and private enterprise is always good (according to the conventional wisdom), then why not buy and sell votes? Since so few people vote regularly, then why shouldn't a non-voter be able to sell her vote? Why not buy and sell public office? Why not a kind of shareholder democracy where people could buy votes and influence like company shares? Why have a citizen military when we could have an entirely mercenary "privatized" military? We already have a privatized prison system in many states, and there are those who want to do away with public education entirely. Why not privatize all the public functions of government?
So, all you free marketeers out there (and I know you're out there), where do you draw the line? Or do you draw a line?