Consumers Instead of Citizens

May 19, 2012

New York Life Insurance Company has a deal with 10 baseball teams that triggers a promotional plug every time a player slides safely on home base; the umpire calls the runner safe, a corporate logo appears on the television screen, and the play-by-play announcer must say, 'Safe at home. Safe and secure. New York Life.'  In "What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets", Michael Sandel show how market values are crowding out civic practices. Of his book, Tom Friedman said: "When public schools are plastered with commercial advertising, they teach students to be consumers rather than citizens. When we outsource war to private military contractors, and when we have separate, shorter lines for airport security for those who can afford them, the result is that the affluent and those of modest means live increasingly separate lives, and the class-mixing institutions and public spaces that forge a sense of common experience and shared citizenship get eroded." 

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