Saturday, January 11, 2014

Rhymes of the Leisure Class

Today, WSJ's "Notable and Quotable" column featured a thought experiment from econ prof Don Boudreaux. He compared the life of an anti-capitalist poet named Jones to that of an ER physician named Smith:

'While Dr. Smith earns more money than does poet Jones, poet Jones earns more leisure than does Dr. Smith. Do you believe leisure has value to those who possess it? If so, are you disturbed by the inequality of leisure that separates leisure-rich Jones from leisure-poor Smith? Do you advocate policies to "redistribute" leisure from Jones to Smith—say, by forcing Jones to wash Smith's dinner dishes or to chauffeur Smith to and from work? If not, why not?'

You may hear that a poet's career
is leisurely, but, never fear:
most don't just shirk,
they find other work,
to pay for their butter and beer.

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