Markets for Everything?

We all know the old cliche that everything has a price. Is this true? If it is, does it infer that there is a market for everything? We often take the side of the free market here at Blawgconomics, and have many times advocated for market solutions where they don't currently exist. But even we find two examples from the blogosphere this morning to be, if not extreme, then probably at the margins.

First up is more of a thought than a well-developed post over at Freakonomics on the market for human organs. Despite its (lack of) length an interesting point is made. Then from Greg Mankiw's Blog  we get something a little more substantial; a portion of an advertisement from the group providing what can only be described as 'Rapture insurance for pets targeted at those who believed the radio guy was right that the world was ending over the weekend.' In sum, if the following quote hits close to home, it is probably tailor-made for you:

'You've committed your life to Jesus. You know you're saved. But when the Rapture comes what's to become of your loving pets who are left behind? Eternal Earth-Bound Pets takes that burden off your mind.'

Speaking of the world ending, if you are reading this, it didn't. Or at least you and I weren't among the lucky 200 million who were saved. Therefore, we have some time to think about the market that was created in faith recently. Mr. Harold Camping, the radio preacher who, for a long time, had declared that this past Saturday was the beginning of the end, most certainly created a market in faith leading up to that date with followers sending him many millions of dollars in donations.

We aren't prepared to say anything about honestly-held religious beliefs or faith aside from 'to each their own.' There are some things that just shouldn't be analyzed with the tools of law or economics. On the other hand, if it is found that Mr. Camping perpetrated any fraud on his followers, here's hoping that the law meets his economics forcefully and swiftly...

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