Is there something inherent in the free exchange of goods and services that make it uniquely vulnerable to degradation of our souls? Apparently this is a common outlook on commerce. It’s easy to deride the pursuit of profit, but at the end of the day, the capitalist system enables us to pursue our own ends in ways that honor our agency and dignify our humanity. Profit is an indicator for individuals making choices. That’s an easy enough claim to make for Christian libertarians.
But it’s one thing to argue from principled grounds that capitalism doesn’t destroy our souls. It’s quite another to produce data that show empirically that people who claim capitalism robs us of a valuable intangible simply don’t know what they’re talking about.
But that’s exactly what Walker Wright has done in his article, “Is Commerce Good for The Soul? An Empirical Assessment”, which was published in The Institutde for Economic Affairs in 2018.