The profit motive has been a catalyst to great improvements in the world, with many believing it to be a main driver of innovation and development. In fact, it is a foundational principle of economist Adam Smith’s metaphorical concept of the “invisible hand,” which postulates that profit seekers are beneficial to society in general.
But the profit motive can and does sometimes conflict with aspirations of a higher nature, such as the notion that all life is of equal value.
This conflict appears to be playing out in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. It is a shameful display of self-interest at the real-time expense of others, a display that shines a bright light on the darker side of humanity.