-1

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

  • 1
    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
1

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.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.