Magazine December 21, 2009, Issue

Priceless Is Worthless

(Thomas White/Reuters)
In health care, education, or bonds, the price is (metaphysically) right

MasterCard is right: Some things in life are priceless. Those are the things that don’t work. If you care about something — health care, education, a clean environment — put a price on it.

Prices are, or should be, objects of awe and wonder, a mystery to be meditated upon. They are not mere intersections of supply and demand curves, the predictable $19.99 of late-night infomercials: Prices are the Paraclete of the market economy, the mystical intercessor between producers and consumers, making possible miracles of information management and economic coordination that could not otherwise be accomplished. Prices are the epistemological movers

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A review of Going Rogue: An American Life, by Sarah Palin, and The Persecution of Sarah Palin, by Matthew Continetti.

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