Un précédent post parlait du dernier livre de Michael Sandel, What Money Can’t Buy – the Moral limits of Markets, auquel la Boston Review avait consacré un dossier. Le livre s’inscrit dans une réflexion très contemporaine sur la morale, le sens et le marché. L’économiste de Chicago Raghuram Rajan (souvent cité ici, et ) le commente dans un papier récent dont on retiendra ici la conclusion, qui insiste sur l’importance de la manière dont la fortune est acquise pour la légitimer :

« In both examples – congressional tickets and organ sales – Sandel suggests reducing money’s role. But money has many virtues in facilitating transactions – hence its ubiquitous use. So, perhaps the more important message is that society’s tolerance for monetization is proportional to the legitimacy accorded to the distribution of money.

The more people believe that it is the hardworking and the deserving who have money, the more they are willing to tolerate transactions for money (though some transactions remain beyond the pale). But if people believe that the moneyed are primarily those who are well connected or crooked, their tolerance for monetary transactions falls.

Rather than focusing on prohibiting monetary transactions, perhaps a more important lesson imparted by Sandel’s examples is that we should work continuously to improve the perceived legitimacy of money’s distribution ».