Without realizing it, societies around the world have drifted from market economies into market societies. Market-based thinking has permeated all aspects of society, affect­ing societal norms in areas of life not traditionally influenced by markets.

The problem: When a society decides that a market is ac­ceptable in a particular area—that certain goods/services may be bought and sold—it is decidmg that the goods/services can be valued as commodities. But some aspects of life are damaged, degraded, or corrupted if they are commoditized.
Missing in today's market societies is attention to the moral limits of markets. Societies need to decide which social norms are worth preserving and should not be part of a market.

Michael Sandel


The problem for education is:

  • to develop arguments for maintaining the utilitarian aspects of market economies as systems for creating jobs and producing goods and services from natural resources, whilst not taking more than the planet can continue to provide;
  • and to define the moral limits of markets operating between people within society.