Today's New York Times has an interesting article on what I call the "Ick" Factor - that deeply ingrained gut feeling that makes you object to something, even if you can't explain why. Economists are trying to figure out why that happens, as in the case of situations where the Ick Factor deploys when money gets involved:
Often introducing money into the exchange — putting it into the marketplace — is what people find repugnant. Mr. Bloom asserted that money is a relatively new invention in human existence and therefore 'unnatural.'For all the mularkey that "the business of America is business," we often get freaked out in certain situations where a profit motive seems inappropriate. That's illogical, in most instances. But it's a hard reflex to get past.* * *
Money is clearly the issue in situations involving the human body. Paying young women for eggs to be fertilized and men for sperm is now common practice — even though they are still regularly referred to as 'donors.' Yet the sale of tissue, cells and eggs for stem-cell research or organs for transplant are still the subject of vehement dispute.