In The Free Market, A Man’s Income Is Proportional To His Contribution

“When I die, is anyone going to care that I earned an extra percentage point of return? My work feels totally meaningless.” He recognized the incredible privilege of his pay and status, but his anguish seemed genuine. “If you spend 12 hours a day doing work you hate, at some point it doesn’t matter what your paycheck says,” he told me.

Source: America’s Professional Elite: Wealthy, Successful and Miserable

If this moron knew anything at all about economics, he would know that that one % point is the difference between some people living or dying. Perhaps, between finding the cure for cancer in 10 years or in 50 years, with lots of loss of precious human life. What he is doing for his high pay is allocating resources to their most productive ends. He is greatly contributing to the society, to the social good, but he is too economically illiterate to realize this. He is like the main character in the novel, the Bonfire of the Vanities who couldn’t explain to his daughter the social value of his job (something on wall street, stocks, bonds, something like that). Murray Rothbard once wrote (paraphrase): “In the free market, a man’s income is proportional to his contribution. This is an excellent insight of Murray’s that the NYTimes writer totally misses. If this high income earner realized the importance of his job, he might not be so miserable.


2:57 pm on February 23, 2019