I will start by saying that yes, markets could undermine morality. It is imposible not to think
of many people who have been corrupted by the market and that are driven by the self-interest and rationality. How not to think about Bernard Madoff and his Ponzi Scheme that stole more than 64 billion dollars or Jordan Belfort the so-called Wolf of Wallstreet and his penny stocks. Nevertheless, for some people (myself included) there seems to be no coherent alternative to capitalism.
No doubt it is unfair to blame the market for bad moral choices. But the market system relies on a particular motive for action which tends to undermine traditional moral teaching. In the books we saw that in a competitive market, all the factors of production receive rewards equal to their marginal products, which is the same to say that everyone is paid what they are worth. The competition and full information requirements ensure that expectations and needs are fulfilled and by trade all people get what they want. We can say that the distribution is fair for all agents.
While the market as we know it has no serious challenger, it is morally unstable and vulnerable. It has become dangerously dependent on economic success, so that any large-scale economic failure will expose the shallowness of its moral claims. The solution is not to abolish markets, but to figure where to draw a line that will limit the role of markets. We should ensure equal opportunity for all its participants and call for correction when needed.
“Do we want a society where everything is up for sale? Or are there certain moral and civic goods that markets do not honor and money cannot buy?”