What Money Can’t Buy
Market values and market reasoning have invaded certain aspects of life that were not governed by money forty years ago. Education, criminal justice system, environmental protection, health, public safety, procreation and civic duties were domain of social and civic life that were not considered as goods that can be sold and bought in the marketplace. However, nowadays they are considered as commodities. One might ask, what is wrong with living in a society where everything is up for sale? Allowing market and market thinking governing some aspects of our life is letting the inequality gap widen between the rich and the poor. It is also allowing market reasoning altering our attitudes toward certain goods and domains of our social and civic life.
As Michael Sandel points out, if a person does not want to wait in line, he can pay extra cash to jump the queue. Jumping the queue has been an emerging practice in airports, recreational parks, US congress, and touristic sites. At the airport, an impatient person at the security checkpoint has a right to avoid the long line if he pays for first-class or business-class tickets, which is also called a fast-track. Some might argue that there is nothing wrong with paying to jump the queue. Libertarians believe that nobody must complain to a person buying a first-class ticket because he wants to avoid the long line. Libertarians also support the idea of tickets scalping. Tickets scalpers are people who make a profit by reselling appointment tickets at a higher price to buyers who cannot support a long queue. While others might favor a punishment for ticket scalpers, libertarians oppose laws against tickets scaling. Libertarians think that punishing the ticket scalpers or an airline business-class customer is violating their individual liberty. As long as ticket scalpers or a person who pays extra money to jump the queue are not harming others, nobody must interfere with their choice of reselling scalping tickets or buying first-class ticket. The other argument about jumping the queue is the utilitarian argument. Utilitarian argue that paying extra money to jump the queue or buying a scalping ticket increases utility or happiness between the seller and the buyer. However, not everyone can afford to pay a first-class or a scalping ticket in order to avoid the queue. Those who cannot afford this type of tickets will see their utility decreasing. I strongly believe that paying extra money to cut the line is not compatible with equality and fairness. Jumping the queue is not fair to those who cannot afford paying extra money to cut the line. It does not as well treat people equally when it comes to board on a plane or to make an appointment with a doctor. In other words, wealthy people are treated better than the poor.
Some believe that the financial incentive is an efficient tool to motivate children to read books and have good grades. Nowadays T.V shows or health organizations pay extra cash...