Price changes value

Money Stuff

Putting prices on things can change how we value them.

Take hobbies for example - things we love doing. Hobbies are an end in themselves. They are valuable for their own sake, for the joy of experience. We’ve all heard the adage; “find something you love to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

If we love our hobbies, and believe in this advice, then it follows that we should try to find a way to make our hobbies into our career.

In doing so, our hobbies become a means to an end. The end being the achievement of external goals, such as wealth, status, or freedom. Monetised hobbies are no longer valuable for their own sake, they are valuable for the income they produce. The phenomenon is described by philosopher and Harvard professor Michael Sandel, in The Moral Limits of Markets as the tendency for market values to crowd out non-market ones:

“...Markets don’t only allocate goods; they express and promote certain attitudes toward the goods being exchanged... When we decide that certain goods may be bought and sold, we decide, at least implicitly, that it is appropriate to treat them as commodities, as instruments of profit and use.”

Market values govern much of our lives, and can change the intrinsic value of things. Evaluate what's worth doing for it's own sake.