Costs of Living

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Barry Schwartz. The Costs of Living: How Market Freedom Erodes the Best Things in Life. Norton, 1994

(republished in 2000 with XLibris)


"Americans have come to view more and more of their lives in free-market, economic terms. Market thinking has permeated education, the professions, sports, family and friendship, and politics. This book presents a criticism of this market view of life, arguing that most of what is good about education, medicine, law, sports, love, friendship, and democratic politics is undermined if the market gets too close to them. Indeed, even the market stops working if people behave in it in the way that economists say people always behave. Thus, the book argues, the market erodes the best things in life, and must be restrained, not encouraged, in its movement into places where it doesn't belong. The book is aimed at a non-professional audience."