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The Costs of Living: How Market Freedom Erodes the Best Things in Life

The Costs of Living: How Market Freedom Erodes the Best Things in Life

by Barry Schwartz

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Schwartz (psychology, Swarthmore) here applies the Socratic maxim that the unexamined life is not worth living. For him, the contemporary inquiry is personal, encompassing education, business, sports, and religion. The illusion in vogue is that we can ``have it all.'' ``I would like'' becomes ``I want,'' which becomes ``I need.'' Inevitably, reality and illusion crash. Such is the stuff of moral philosophy and the substance of Schwartz's book, which concludes that the ``continued spread of economic objectives and tactics into domains of life that people have traditionally regarded as governed by other goals and rules are turning social life into a jungle.'' Perhaps so. Among the phenomena Schwartz points to is the ``guilding'' of the white-collar professions, which has not always been for the better. Whether one agrees with Schwartz or not, his book bears reading because it addresses key issues of today and asks questions seldom raised.-Steven Silkunas, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia

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Xlibris Corporation
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