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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hobby Lobby and Karl Polanyi

Interesting that Hobby Lobby, in its Supreme Court case, is merely looking to provide health insurance that excludes abortifacients; the health "insurance" it  already  provides covers the Pill, which is as cheap and available as aspirin.  As Patrick Ledeen argues here, this is merely a rearguard skirmish. The profane world of the market took over a long time ago.  He enlists the Hungarian economic historian Karl Polanyi to make his case about how the profane world of the market economy not only dominates our lives, but has even changed our fundamental nature.  (Polanyi did not believe that market exchanges are part of the natural order of things, and didn't play a big role in until the 19th century or so.  I read his classic "The Great Transformation" too long ago!)  His piece worth reading if only to remind us that not everyone thinks in classical economic terms.
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