We have examples of markets crowding out morality. But what about the reverse?

Your Gran lives in your hometown. Your hometown has no decent jobs and is small for your large ambitions. You want to leave. But old Gran is a bit frail. She needs to go the doctor weekly and sometimes there are emergencies. Gran’s neighbor is a nurse, now a stay-at-home mom with kids in high school. You ask the neighbor if, in return for a weekly wage, she would be willing to take Gran to the doctor every week and respond to emergency calls. She agrees. You think this is a great solution. The neighbor is much better qualified than you to look after Gran in emergencies. Gran is going to get excellent care. And now you get to explore broader horizons and make use of your Executive MBA to work in private equity just like Mitt Romney.

But when you propose the plan to Gran she looks a bit sad. She knows many other Grans. All of them have dutiful grandsons who drive them to the doctor every week. She’s not going to be able to hold her head up high at the daily Granny meetings. You feel guilty.  You stay in your hometown to help out your Gran.The deal with your neighbor is off. She takes a job cleaning houses. You get a job at a local steel mill doing their accounts. You lose your job when a private equity firm takes it over.

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