Monday, March 12, 2007

Man, the poor get all the breaks

I don't know if I've ever seen a dumber question posed:
If you think it's OK to redistribute income but repellent to redistribute leisure, you might want to ask yourself what—if anything—is the fundamental difference.
While I agree that "leisure time" can be an important measure of quality of life, there are qualifiers that are important, too. For example, if you're in a high-money-earning position, you're a lot more likely to enjoy your job than someone who isn't. Working the counter at a dry cleaner's is not as interesting or rewarding as researching new vaccine possibilities or running a groundbreaking company. And then there's the quality of the "leisure time" (which apparently includes childcare), which I think would be affected by things like your health, or the environment in which you spend it, or the possible ways you can spend it - all things that almost always are affected by income.

I would define the fundamental difference between the way leisure time and income affect quality of life in terms of power. Increased income generally means increased power over how you spend your time and how you live your life. Increased time that one might spend sitting in front of the TV does not.

In related news, The Onion has an article about Slate this week.
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