May 10 — Michael Sandel on the Moral Limits of Markets

Thursday, May 10, 2012
7:45am  Continental Breakfast
8:15-9:15am  Forum

What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets

Michael Sandel,
Harvard Professor, and bestselling author, Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? 

in conversation with Richard Waters,
West Coast Editor, The Financial Times 

The City Club on Bunker Hill
333 S. Grand Avenue, 54th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071

PURCHASE TICKETS: $20 includes breakfast, $40 also includes Sandel’s book

Michael Sandel in the news…
– In the Wall Street Journal (April 20), In Economists We Trust
– In The Huffington Post (April 24):  Does the Invisible Hand Really Know Best
– In Fortune (April 20): One Nation, Ruled by Money
– In Vanity Fair (May 2012): Market Philosopher
– Newsweek (4/16)What Money Can’t Buy: Michael Sandel on Market Moralism Run Amok
– Huffington Post (4/13)Michael J. Sandel Warns Market Society Risks America’s Soul
– The Atlantic (April 2012)What Isn’t for Sale (book excerpt)

Michael Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University. Sandel’s legendary ‘Justice’ course is one of the most popular and influential at Harvard. In 2007, Harvard made Sandel’s course available to alumni around the world through webstreaming and podcasting. Over 5,000 participants signed up, and Harvard Clubs from Mexico to Australia organized local discussion groups in connection with the course. In May 2007, Sandel delivered a series of lectures at major universities in China and he has been a visiting professor at the Sorbonne, Paris. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations. Sandel is the author of many books and has previously written for the Atlantic Monthly, the New Republic and the New York Times. He was the 2009 BBC Reith Lecturer.  His most recent book is the New York Times bestseller Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?

Should we pay children to read books or to get good grades? Should we put a price on human life to decide how much pollution to allow? Is it ethical to pay people to test risky new drugs or to donate their organs?  What about hiring mercenaries to fight our wars, outsourcing inmates to for- profit prisons, auctioning admission to elite universities, or selling citizenship to immigrants willing to pay?

In What Money Can’t Buy, Michael J. Sandel takes up one of the biggest ethical questions of our time: Isn’t there something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale? If so, how can we prevent market values from reaching into spheres of life where they don’t belong? What are the moral limits of markets?

In recent decades, market values have crowded out nonmarket norms in almost every aspect of life—medicine, education, government, law, art, sports, even family life and personal relations. Without quite realizing it, Sandel argues that we have drifted from having a market economy to being a market society.

In Justice, an international bestseller, Sandel showed himself to be a master at illuminating, with clarity and verve, the hard moral questions we confront in our every- day lives. Now, in What Money Can’t Buy, he provokes a debate that’s been missing in our market-driven age: What is the proper role of markets in a democratic society, and how can we protect the moral and civic goods that markets do not honor and money cannot buy?

Richard Waters is the West Coast Editor for the The Financial Times.  Before moving to the West Coast, Waters was based in the FT’s New York office for nine years. His roles there included Wall Street reporter, New York bureau chief, and the FT’s first information industries editor, overseeing global coverage of technology, telecommunications and media.

Waters previously worked at the FT in London where he held a number of positions, including editor of international capital markets, securities industry correspondent and accountancy and taxation correspondent.

Before working for the FT, Waters worked as a reporter and editor for several financial magazines. He also worked for two years at Lloyd’s Bank International and lived in Chile, also working as a teacher.  Waters appears regularly on the BBC, CNBC, MSNBC, CNNfn and NPR.

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