Civilizations, for good reasons, have an idea of some of the things that are part of nature’s bounty that money ought not be able to buy. Forests, rivers, sanctity of the human body, blood, water, are some of the things that civilizational wisdom recommends that we should protect from monetization. Citizens’ votes should not be bought and sold, for good reasons related to the ideal of self-rule and democracy.
The modern trend to monetize everything ignores civilizational wisdom. This trend has been carried forward the furthest in the United States.
There can be two objections to extending the reach of market valuation and exchange. One is the injustice that can arise when people buy and sell things under conditions of severe inequality or dire economic necessity. According to this objection, market exchanges are not necessarily as voluntary as market enthusiasts suggest. A peasant may agree to sell his kidney or cornea in order to feed his starving family, but his agreement is not truly voluntary. He is coerced, in effect, by the necessities of his situation.