How Time is Valued…or Not

I value time more than most. I will always exchange money for time if the amount of time I save by hiring something out looks to be a good deal for me. An example of this just took place a couple of days ago. We have had a lot of snow here in Madison and I basically have two options. After work I can get the shovel out and clear it myself off of my driveway and sidewalk or hire someone to plow it. This time I chose the latter since the snow was pretty heavy and wet to boot. On top of that I have been extremely busy at work and am pulling more hours than usual. Sometimes I just want to come home, see my daughters, have a nice scotch, and kick back.

At times I look at the decisions others make and try to shoehorn them into my life and it just doesn’t work. Square peg into round hole.

A co-worker recently told me about how he just put a new roof on his house. Besides the fact that I don’t have the knowhow to do this job, there is no physical way that I could do it. When I wake up in the morning it is dark. In the summer when I get home there is only about three hours of daylight left. Six months out of the year when I leave work it is dark. At this rate it would take me (if I had the knowhow) a year to finish a roofing job. This is obviously something I would have to pay others to do for me. I am envious at times of others who work a simple 40 hour week, then have all of this extra time. Well, I call it extra since I usually work 70-80 hours. But no regrets, it is the life I chose.

I give you this boring background information because I can’t think of a bigger waste of time than creating an organization that pushes LOCAL branches of government to impeach Bush and Cheney. Yet we have one here in Madison. I won’t link them.

They have been pushing the Madison city council to move forward with legislation to “impeach” Bush and Cheney. For those who don’t know much about Madison, I would say we are the second most “progressive” area in the country besides perhaps Berkeley. The city council is famed for wasting all kinds of time on resolutions against the Iraq War, or whatever else they feel like resolving against. But they laughed the impeachment thing out of the room.

So the organizers of the movement have decided to go to the county level. I can only assume that the Dane County Board will laugh them out of the room as well, as outside of Madison, there are many more conservative voters than inside of the city limits.

I just don’t understand what can possibly be gained by organizing a movement such as this. Even if the resolution was passed by the city and county governing bodies, it has absolutely zero effect on…anything. I understand that there may be some retired persons running the effort who have a lot of time on their hands, but wouldn’t you think that they would try to be more productive? I would think that they would be far better off joining a canasta club and making new friends, or reading another Noam Chomsky book, or sitting in a coffee shop sipping an espresso than investing time into something that will produce utterly nothing of value.

11 thoughts on “How Time is Valued…or Not”

  1. Hard to call it “nothing of value.” It has a significant signalling value. To self (personal narrative): “I’m not just a confused, angry, side-lined loser, I’m making a difference!” To [equally clueless] others, “I’m a political activist for the “right”/Left side.”

    It’s not that unusual for someone to subsidize an office address to have an answer to “what do you do?” They have an opposite problem to yours — how to adequately fill time.

    Of course, the idiocy calling something “making a difference” that can’t in the real world have much if any effect, is a separate issue.

  2. I just don’t understand what can possibly be gained by organizing a movement such as this.

    I think it serves a social function. I’ve come to the conclusion that Presidential Derangement Syndrome serves as a group identifier for extremist of all stripes. Hating the target becomes a kind of ritual that glues a group together. The group members build a collective identity based on their shared hatred.

    In the specific case of the Left, I really believe that politics has taken the social role of religion for the secular intellectual. Political organizations serve the same social function as churches i.e. a place for people to feel part of a community.

    When I first went to college I instantly noted the strange parallels between the behavior of Leftist and the christian fundamentalist I grew up with. Both groups, I think, play out an essential human need to belong to a tight community or tribe.

  3. And instead of quilting bees on Tuesday & Thursday they keep redialing C-span. (I am glad my grandmothers made other choices and my trunks of quilts keep us a lot warmer than BDS.)

  4. I leftists have their identification with “religion of sorts,” then what have conservatives? Libergtarians seem to have no ideitication with anything but their own selfhood, egos, their own needs–and the rest of society can just shrivel up and do whatever…is this that much better? In the end, we all die.

  5. I write about this frequently on my blog. The pro-impeachment crowd argues that it puts pressure on officals (Baldwin, Feingold, etc) to support impeachment. Here’s the problem. Even if that is true, the quantifiable impact is LOWER than what the sheer number of hours they are putting into this project could be translated into if they spent them at a soup kitchen, protesting poverty in Madison, or working on real problems at the city-level. It’s tragic.

  6. Josepdh Hill,

    Libergtarians seem to have no ideitication with anything but their own selfhood, egos, their own needs–and the rest of society can just shrivel up and do whatever

    Interesting, So, you think that only people who resort to violence to solve economic problems are unselfish and compassionate? You think that when I allow you to make a choice that I believe to be foolish that I am being selfish? It’s a strange moral universe you inhabit.

  7. “Libergtarians seem to have no ideitication with anything but their own selfhood, egos, their own needs–and the rest of society can just shrivel up and do whatever…is this that much better?”

    How about you abandon your cartoonish, dishonest view of what libertarians believe and start paying attention to the real world?

    “In the end, we all die.”

    Weren’t you executed 92 years ago for murder, Joe Hill?

  8. Josepdh Hill,

    In the end, we all die.

    Really! I thought if you made over a million dollars a year, you live forever.

    Seriously, lay off the Sartre, I don’t think he good for you.

  9. Srtre was not good for anyone–and his rep as nti_nzai inflated for up. That said, it did not take Jean Paul to “teach me” that all men die–some Greek guy beat him to it.
    One can be a member of a political party without resorting to war and violence. And after all, the Libertarian who ran for president, Browne, in his book How I Found Freedom in an “Unfree world said we ought not involve ourselves in politics as it was a waste of time, as was any group. And that said, he organized a group to be candidate for presidency.

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