March 13, 2007

INCOME REQUIRES WORK:

The Theory of the Leisure Class: An economic mystery: Why do the poor seem to have more free time than the rich? (Steven E. Landsburg, March 9, 2007, Slate)

As you've probably heard, there's been an explosion of inequality in the United States over the past four decades. The gap between high-skilled and low-skilled workers is bigger than ever before, and it continues to grow.

How can we close the gap? Well, I suppose we could round up a bunch of assembly-line workers and force them to mow the lawns of corporate vice presidents. Because the gap I'm talking about is the gap in leisure time, and it's the least educated who are pulling ahead.

In 1965, leisure was pretty much equally distributed across classes. People of the same age, sex, and family size tended to have about the same amount of leisure, regardless of their socioeconomic status. But since then, two things have happened. First, leisure (like income) has increased dramatically across the board. Second, though everyone's a winner, the biggest winners are at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 13, 2007 12:00 AM
Comments

Where your heart is, there will your treasure be also.

Posted by: Lou Gots at March 13, 2007 2:21 PM
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