Exactly. I'm curious about the answer.
And our wealth today, measured in the classic way, in terms of time, is questionable for most lower income earners, who labor a very significant fraction of their waking lives.
That is the definition of wealth F&B. Think of it this way. A slave living in poor conditions is the same as a slave living in great ones! How? Time, specifically, how much of it they have to put to their own purposes.
That measure of time is important when considering whether or not labor is valued too low.
Consider your life in thirds. One third is sleeping, leaving two thirds. So then, if one of those thirds is consumed by labor required to meet basic needs, is that fair? Is that a good labor value, leaving a person free to do as they will for one third of their life?
What if a person only experiences that kind of freedom 10 percent of the time? Is that fair, is that a good value? And assume that is work for basic needs time, no luxury items, goods or services. Live to work, work to live. Family?
And as for your other comment "we [let the] market decide", no. That is actually what is up for discussion right now. That is the core of economic policy. "we" get to do whatever "we" want with labor values and taxes, and that again is the question.
I have to wonder whether or not asking people to labor so much, while we are granting extremely large tax breaks to people who really don't labor much at all is actually "shared sacrifice" or even just. One simple example being where we used to value labor such that one hard working father could provide for a family, retire, and often send a kid to school.
Today, both parents work hard, and doing all those things is increasingly debatable. They are more poor for that lower labor value, in that they cannot invest in their family the same way, again in terms of time, or they must trade that for time to do things that they want to do.
Looking at the up and coming generations of kids, clearly the lack of that investment is having a impact, and that costs something, further reinforcing the value of labor problem.
There are other examples of this. My point being "value" is a holistic thing, not just dollars / time.
Posted on April 25, 2011 - 10:17 PM