Michael Sandel

  • Aired:  04/25/12
  •  | Views: 12,157

Harvard University's Michael Sandel illustrates the ethical and moral concerns regarding the growing role of money and market values in society. (7:02)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,

EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE MORAL LIMITS OF THE MARKET.

PERFECT.

I'VE BEEN SHORTING INTEGRITY FOR YEARS.

PLEASE WELCOME MICHAEL SANDELL.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) DR. SANDELL THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING BACK, GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

>> GOOD TO BE HERE.

>> Stephen: SIR, FOR THE PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW YOU ARE THE ROBERT M. BASH GOVERNMENT

PROFESSOR AT HARVARD WHERE YOU TEACH A VERY POPULAR CLASS CALLED JUSTICE.

>> CORRECT.

>> Stephen: NOW YOU'VE GOT A NEW BOOK HERE.

IT'S CALLED "WHAT MONEY CAN'T BUY.

: THE MORAL LIMITS OF THE MARKET (CLEARS THROAT) (LAUGHTER) WHAT DO YOU MEAN THE MORAL

LIMITS OF THE MARKET?

YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN THE FREE MARKET?

I MEAN, YOUR BOOK IS ON THE MARKET, RIGHT?

YOUR BOOK'S ON THE MARKET.

SO IS IT FREEDOM YOU DON'T LIKE?

WHICH ONE IS IT?

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

WHAT ARE THE MORAL LIMITS OF THE MARKET?

>> WELL, IT'S REALLY ABOUT THE GROWING ROLE OF MONEY AND MARKETS IN OUR SOCIETY.

>> Stephen: IT'S A FREE MARKET SOCIETY.

WHY WOULD THANT BE GROWING?

>> IT'S FREE MARKET SOCIETY FOR TALKING ABOUT FLAT SCREEN TELEVISIONS, MATERIAL GOODS.

BUT MOVING UP THE LADDER, THE AMERICAN DREAM,.

>> Stephen: THE FREE MARKET DOES THAT.

FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE.

>> WELL, LET'S EXPLORE THAT A LITTLE BIT.

>> Stephen: WHY NOT?

>> MONEY, MARKETS, AND MARKET VALUES HAVE BEEN REACHING INTO ALMOST EVERY SPHERE OF LIFE:

PERSONAL RELATIONS, EVERYCATION,

HEALTH, CIVIC LIFE.

>> Stephen: ABSOLUTELY.

>> NATIONAL SECURITY.

>> Stephen: EDUCATION,

ABSOLUTELY.

IT HAS TO.

PAY YOUR KIDS FOR GOOD GRADES.

(LAUGHTER)

>> WELL, THERE ARE SOME CITIES WHERE THE SCHOOLS ARE PAYING

KIDS FOR GOOD GRADES OR THEY'RE PAYING $2 TO THIRD GRADERS FOR EACH BOOK THEY READ.

>> Stephen: WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT?

IT'S INCENTIVIZING.

>> WELL, ONE QUESTION IS WHETHER IT WORKS BUT THE BIGGER QUESTION

IS WILL THE CASH, THE MARKET VALUES CROWD OUT THE LOVE OF LEARNING?

LEARNING FOR ITS OWN SAKE?

>> Stephen: THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS LEARNING FOR ITS OWN SAKE.

(LAUGHTER) YOU LEARN SO YOU CAN EARN MONEY.

THE ONE WHO KNOWS THE ANSWER GETS THE MONEY.

THAT'S THE RULES OF "JEOPARDY." (LAUGHTER) RIGHT?

>> I HAVE A HUNCH THAT EVEN PASSIONATE FREE MARKET ADVOCATES LIKE YOU DO DRAW CERTAIN MORE

LIMITS TO MARKET.

>> Stephen: I DOUBT IT.

(LAUGHTER) GIVE ME A SCENARIO MR. AMORAL MAN?

>> OKAY.

>> Stephen: WHAT'S THE SCENARIO THAT I COULD NOT INJECT THE FREE MARKET INTO.

>> SUPPOSE YOU WERE SENTENCED TO JAIL IN CALIFORNIA AND YOU

DIDN'T LIKE THE STANDARD JAIL CELL.

YOU CAN BUY A PRISON CELL UPGRADE FOR $82.

DO YOU THINK THAT'S A GOOD IDEA?

>> Stephen: YES.

>> YOU WOULD GO FOR THAT?

>> Stephen: YES, BECAUSE I'VE DONE SOME STUFF IN CALIFORNIA

THAT I HOPE THEY NEVER FOUND OUT ABOUT.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT?

THAT'S PAYING SOCIETY BACK.

THAT'S PAYING YOUR DEBT TO SOCIETY WITH CASH.

THAT INCENTIVIZES PEOPLE TO SAVE SOME OF THEIR GETAWAY MONEY AND GIVE IT TO THE JUSTICES.

WHAT ELSE?

WHAT'S THE NEXT ONE?

>> IMMIGRATION.

IF YOU'VE GOT A LOT OF MONEY YOU'RE MORE LIKELY TO BE ALLOWED

TO STAY IN THE UNITED STATES.

>> ACTUALLY, IF A FOREIGNER INVESTS $500,000 AND CREATES TEN AMERICAN JOBS IT COMES WITH A

GREEN CARD.

>> Stephen: SO YOU ALREADY KNOW I WON THE ARGUMENT.

WHY ARE YOU... YOU GAVE ME THESE THINGS YOU KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO LOSE ON.

IF SOMEONE IS INVESTING IN HOUSES THEN THEY ARE...

CERTAINLY RIGHT NOW WE HAVE A DEPRESSED HOUSING MARKET,

THEY'RE HELPING BUILD THIS COUNTRY INSTEAD OF SPONGING OFF THIS COUNTRY AND RUNNING UP OUR

CARBON FOOTPRINT.

I DON'T KNOW IF YOU WERE LISTENING BEFORE.

(LAUGHTER)

>> WE COULD GO ONE STEP FURTHER AND THEY IF YOU, AS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN, NEEDED THE MONEY...

SUPPOSE THERE WERE A WEALTHY SAUDI WHO REALLY WANTED TO COME SHOULD YOU HAVE YOU HAVE THE

RIGHT TO SELL YOUR CITIZENSHIP,

SWAP PLACES WITH THE WELL SHI SAUDI?

>> Stephen: AND DO I GET TO BE THE WEALTHY SAUD ECONOMY?

THEY LIVE A PRETTY HIGH LIFE, MY FRIEND.

>> YOU GET TO....

>> Stephen: TAKE THE CASH AND BE A WEALTHY SAUD DI.

>> HOW MUCH WOULD YOU CHARGE?

WHAT PRICE WOULD YOU DEMAND TO SELL YOUR CITIZENSHIP?

>> Stephen: I'D... BOY, I WOULD WANT THEM TO HAVE MY FINANCIAL

LEVEL AND I GET THEIR FINANCIAL LEVEL.

WE'VE HAVE TO TRADE OUR FINANCIAL STATUS.

>> BUT THAT'S NOT HOW THE MARKET WORKS.

>> Stephen: NO, IT DOES!

SUPPLY AND DEMAND.

SUPPLY IS ME!

ONE COLBERT.

IT'S A VERY RARE COMMODITY.

BUT I GUESS THE PROBLEM YOU HAVE IT SEEMS TO ME IS YOU THINK PEOPLE ARE USING MONEY AS A

VALUE SYSTEM?

>> RIGHT.

>> Stephen: WHAT'S THAT?

MONEY ITSELF HAS ITS OWN VALUE.

THE NUMBERS ARE RIGHT ON THE BILL.

IT MAKES IT VERY SIMPLE.

AND YOU DON'T LIKE SOMETHING CALLED THE SPY BOXFYCATION OF AMERICA.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

>> THE MORE MONEY CAN BUY THE GREATER THE TENDENCY FOR THE AFFLUENT TO LIVE SEPARATE LIVES.

>> YES, I HAVE A GATED COMMUNITY.

(LAUGHTER)

>> WELL, THAT'S NOT SO GOOD FOR DEMOCRACY IN WHY?

WE HAVE LITTLE MEETINGS WHERE WE VOTE WHO CAN LIVE WITH US.

(LAUGHTER)

>> LET ME TEST YOU ON ONE OTHER TEST OF YOUR MARKET SPACE.

>> YES.

>> HALF THE PEOPLE DON'T USE THEIR VOTE IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: WHY LET IT GO TO WASTE?

WHY SHOULDN'T WE HAVE A FREE MARKET, ALLOW THEM TO SELL THEIR VOTES TO PEOPLE WHO REALLY WANT

THAT VOTE.

WOULD YOU BE IN FAVOR OF THAT?

>> Stephen: I'M LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO DO WE MY SUPER PAC NEXT.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> HOW MUCH WOULD I HAVE TO PAY YOU TO BUY YOUR VOTE IN THE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN?

>> Stephen: HOW MUCH?

UM, I'M GOING... I'M USING IT THOUGH THIS TIME.

I CARE THIS TIME.

SO I WOULDN'T SELL IT THIS TIME.

>> IT'S PRICELESS?

>> THIS TIME IT'S PRICELESS.

>> SO THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT MONEY CAN'T BUY.

>> Stephen: NOT RIGHT NOW.

(APPLAUSE) NOT RIGHT NOW.

BUT ONCE I TRADE PLACES WITH THAT SAUDI PRINCE, YOU CAN HAVE IT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

MICHAEL SANDELL, THE BOOK IS "WHAT MONEY CAN'T BUY." BUT YOU CAN BUY THE BOOK.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)