Tuesday, May 22, 2012
A MARKET SOCIETY
In his book “What Money Can’t Buy” author Michael J. Sandel observes that “we have drifted from having a market economy to being a market society”. Actually, it doesn’t seem that there isn’t too much that is not for sale in our market-driven age. The airlines have found a revenue stream for just about every little upgrade involved in air travel these days. Of course, if all this action provides lower “gateway pricing” for those who might not be able to afford the product or service, that’s not all bad. Product placement has been seen in the movies for some time and now it’s showing up in contemporary novels. Corporate logos are springing up on all sorts of sports venues and folks are even auctioning off advertising space on their foreheads via the internet. These recessionary times with the accompanying budgetary constraints are driving otherwise reasonable people into selling off the naming rights to just about everything along with placing advertising just about everywhere. Sandel queries whether there are any civic and moral goods left that money can’t buy.
I guess we still haven’t run across the Wells Fargo Presbyterian Church and communion services still don’t advertise Mogen David wines and Wonder Bread in the bulletins. So perhaps there may be hope for a few islands of respite from the barrage of subliminal and down right “in your face” consumer-driven demands on our credit card limits. Let’s hope that at least our Sunday morning services can continue to provide a refuge from all the material world’s chatter, even as we return home to the Sunday newspaper ads that now constitute more pages than the news that we thought we were buying.