I am wondering, for example, why do we think that maximum efficiency is a social good?

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    Not everyone thinks that. People who believe in free speech believe that free speech is good even at the expense of harmonious society. – barrycarter Dec 9 '19 at 19:47
  • If we shift perspective from ethics to axiology, then efficiency and objectivity are values and their lexical ordering against other values - moral virtues - is an open question. The question needs improved statement but is capable of it. But I am not going to edit; it would leave me open to the accusation of altering a question in order for it to fit an answer I have in mind. – Geoffrey Thomas Dec 9 '19 at 23:13

We don't. Sometimes such privileging leads to outcomes that are socially, at least to philosophers, probably bad. Consider a city investment policy common in the United States: tax breaks are given to entice developers to build condominiums that only a small percentage of wage earners in City X can afford to live in. Tax revenues may go up in the short-term, but property taxes go up too, forcing a fair percentage of local residents to move out, to lower cost housing. Although the developers and local politicians may see a win for increasing tax revenues, they are ignoring the greater social good that might occur if all wage earners who desire to live in Neighborhood Y in City X could in fact afford to live there. Assume these hypothetical low(er) wage earners mostly work in Neighborhood Y, and the new condominium owners mostly live and work in Neighborhood Y as well. We then see where strange places like Naples, Florida come from, where a huge percentage of service-industry wage earners live outside city limits because low cost housing is quite rare. These sure seems undesirable in the long term.

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