ijuin wrote:On the value of leisure thing, the fundamental problem as I see it is that for any but the most selfless of people, a stranger's leisure time is much less valuable than their own.--there is no uniformity or interchangeability as there is for commodities or products. I might labor to increase your leisure time in exchange for payment, but in the end I care more for the payment than for your leisure, unless you happen to be somebody in whom I am emotionally invested such as a friend or relative. In short, when push comes to shove, we care little for the benefit of others, except insofar as benefit comes to us from doing so.
What I'm still finding strange about this complaint though is that it applies to everything, not just leisure. Most people won't work just to feed or house a stranger either. We all mostly look out for ourselves and those closest to us, and get whatever we can from strangers we don't care about to provide for those ends. So when the question is "why don't we have more leisure time" specifically, and not "why do some people have more of everything than other people" (which is a far bigger question), then it is a question of why we
each value our own
leisure time less than other things that we trade it for.
It's dead easy for anyone to get all the leisure time they want: you can quit your job and go for a leisurely walk around the world for the rest of your days if you want. The question is why don't you want to
, and the answer is that, for some reason(s), the only way to get things that you value even more than that leisure time is to sacrifice that leisure time in exchange for the money you need to get those other things. Perhaps you, and we all, as the market, are overvaluing those other things, or perhaps the market is undervaluing our time, there's a whole complex of issues there, but the reason we don't all have leisure time is we've all decided that it's not worth what we'd have to sacrifice to get it; the only questions remaining are "must we really sacrifice it?" (are we making the wrong decision?) and if so, "why must we sacrifice so much to get it?", and the answer to those questions is complex.
But it seems highly unusual to expect that others should value our
leisure specifically, when they don't also value us
being fed and sheltered and so on. We
value those things ourselves. We just value some more than others. And when forced to choose between leisure and other things, we are choosing others things. We can ask why we are forced to choose (why can't we have both?), and why we make the choice we do when we are forced to choose (are we really better off with the things we trade our leisure for?), but asking why others don't value our leisure specifically
seems strange, because why not ask the much bigger question in the first place of why others don't value our wellbeing in general and all take care of us and each other out of the goodness of our own hearts?