Nobody likes to queue. It’s long been known that, in fancy restaurants, a handsome tip to the maître d’ can shorten the wait on a busy night. Such tips are quasi-bribes and handled discreetly. No sign in the window announces immediate seating for slipping the host a bank note. But in recent years, selling the right to jump the queue has come out of the shadows and become a familiar practice.
We are moving towards a world where everything is up for sale, from standing in line to the right to pollute – and that’s bad for all of us, says Michael Sandel in this extract from his new book, What Money Can’t Buy