Leisure Time Is Valuable

by Don Boudreaux on July 28, 2008

in Myths and Fallacies

A Cafe visitor e-mails me with the following comment on this post — the post in which I argue that time spent waiting in line to buy gasoline is part of the cost of acquiring gasoline:

The only time this would make sense is if you were taking time away from earning time.  On your own time, it means nothing.

I disagree.  It might be difficult to put a precise monetary figure on the value of the time spent waiting in line, but the fact that even leisure time is valuable is beyond question.

If the person who wrote the above-quoted words disagrees with me, then that person must attach zero value to the time that he or she spends not earning income.  I hope, under these circumstances, that he or she lives in the DC area.  If so, that person will not mind baby-sitting my son for an hourly wage of $0.00.  (Or, to ensure that this person gains something for sitting for my son, I’ll reimburse all of his or her travel expenses to and from my home and pay an hourly wage of $0.01.)

If this person would refuse to sit with my son for $0.01 per hour (when he or she isn’t otherwise earning income at his or her job), then this person doesn’t really believe what he or she wrote above.


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