Commentary

Does Walmart Really Erode Our Values?


     
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Do we sacrifice our values at the altar of commerce?

The poet William Wordsworth once said, “In getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.” In this time of economic crisis, some people are re-evaluating capitalism as an economic system, suggesting that we need to recognize the tradeoff between materialism and higher values. I’m very sympathetic to the idea that non-material values are important, but does capitalism really crowd out these values? Does it truly erode our ethics?

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Art Carden is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute in Oakland, California, and Assistant Professor of Economics at Samford University.