The efficiency achieved by the market means that it is able to satisfy more needs and preferences than any comparable economic system, but it may not necessarily follow that this will lead to an increase in the sum total of human happiness. Critics of the market have argued that it is an institutional setting that leads people to frame their needs and preferences in terms of self-centred, myopic and hedonistic choices that create a ‘dumbed-down’, ‘lowest common denominator’ culture incongruent with human well-being. For this reason it is argued that the scope of the market should be limited to protect those social and cultural practices that are essential to well-being and that will be under-supplied by the market.
KeywordsMarket Economy Cultural Product Market Process Commercial Society Lower Common Denominator
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