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“She Saw a Market Opening”

Cathy Gallagher, who has worked in marketing and advertising for car dealerships, utility companies, and Lasik eye-surgery centers, is starting a line of greeting cards for adulterers. According to Stephen Kiehl writing in the Baltimore Sun (July 12), Ms. Gallagher has 24 cards in her Secret Lover Collection. A sampling of the lines are: “My soul has been searching for you since I came into the world,” and “Now I can’t imagine my life without you…. Even if I have to share you.”

According to Kiehl: “She has already printed 100,000 of her cards and is filling orders for retailers across North America…. The cards can be bought from her website…. The site went up in May and has already received 60,000 hits.”

Ms. Gallagher says, “This is an entrepreneurial venture…. an untapped market.” Kiehl says that Gallagher, “like any good capitalist, when she saw a market opening, she went for it.” Well, yes, capitalism is amoral. Kiehl reports that Gallagher “says consumers, not the morality police, will decide if her business succeeds or fails.” Going by the story, it looks like it’ll be a success.

Kiehl says Ms. Gallagher “doesn’t take a position on whether affairs are good or bad.” Gallagher herself says: “People make choices. I’m not making a choice for them…. And by the time they buy this greeting card, they’re already involved deeply in the affair.” Does this get her off the hook?

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