“Everybody here sells his time for money. It’s like taking a mortgage against your life.” – Dr Dick Solomon (3rd Rock from the Sun, “I Enjoy Being A Dick”)
Although the quote “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” is an oft-malighed, often quoted Biblical “New Testament” passage which is used by quite a few bible-thumping born-agains, I started thinking about the reason why money would be such a powerful motivating force.
A quick search on “money” comes up with a history on how money is to be exchanged for goods and services. Chris Martenson’s “Crash Course” says that money is a claim on human labor. We can then infer that human labor is indirectly exchanged for goods and services, but know from experience that the value of peoples’ labor varies greatly, even among the people in a single country. It can then be deduced that the value of all peoples’ labor, and therefore time, is not equal.
Is it not exceedingly possible that money is an indicator that your time is more valuable than your neighbor’s time? Is it not also possible that it implies that your *life* is more valuable?
This is the prevailing sentiment in our Capitalist society, which places a greater emphasis on the acquisition of money than the health and welfare of its own people, usually by arguing that the government *they* elected can’t work properly because it’s full of the incompetant people *they* elected, and that in the face of every feasability and critical analysis, that the “free market will solve everything”. And I quote: “Just because Americans are uninsured doesn’t mean they can’t receive health care; nonprofits and government-run hospitals provide services to those who don’t have insurance, and it is illegal to refuse emergency medical service because of a lack of insurance.” (from the previous link) Apparently people who have less money than you are perfectly entitled … to clog up emergency services rather than being able to seek preventative medicine, which is far more of a solution than creating clusterfucks in emergency rooms, not strictly for saving money, but for keeping people off gurneys.
Getting back to the point… is one person more valuable than another based solely on their earning potential? I seriously doubt that the CEO of Bear Stearns, who destroyed the equivalent of millions of hours of human labor, is somehow a more valuable human being than a bricklayer who works for an hourly paycheck, yet we place far more importance on the CEO by compensating his time with more equivalent labor.
And “European Socialism” is *so* horrible…