Got to thinking about Russell Roberts’ comment in The Price of Everything that today poor people have servants.

Realized I have lots and lots of servants in my life. Here are a few:

  • I have a servant that brings clean water to my kitchen.
  • I have another servant who keeps water hot, readily available for bathing and washing dishes. Hot water is always available for another servant who washes our clothes. (When my dad was a child, his mother had to heat the water after grandpa or uncles cut, stacked, and carried into the house enough wood to heat the water.)
  • After thinking about that, I remembered another servant that gets natural gas and brings it to the house for heating and cooking.
  • Ever tour a museum home that is outfitted as it was in the 1800s? Remember those little ceramic jugs in all the bedrooms? Remember what they are for? I have three servant that remove from my home what would otherwise go into chamber pots.
  • I have another servant who carries the contents of the chamber pots to the community sewage lagoon.
  • I have a number of servants, one standing by in every room of my home, that can turn on dozens of candles at the flick of my fingers.
  • I have two servants that turn on just a few candles at dusk and turn them off every dawn.
  • I have a servant that brings water from the community well and pours it on my lawn in the amounts and on the schedule that I provide. Remarkably precise groundskeeper.
  • I have a servant that makes ice for me and makes sure that the ice bucket is always filled. Also defrosts the freezer for my wife.
  • I have a servant that will open and close my garage door on my whim.

I had to replace my previous groundskeeper who was taking care of the lawn.  He up and quit on me about six years ago. Had to pay the new groundskeeper up front for a life-time of service. If said groundskeeper quits today, I will have paid him $0.13 per day for his service. Yes, thirteen cents per day to make sure my lawn is watered.

The rich from a hundred years ago should have been so fortunate.

Not only do I have a lot of servants in my home, I have a lot of servants in my business.

1 Comment

How the price of eggs show we have seen a twentyfold increase in the standard of living in the last 100 years. – 8 « Freedom is Moral · January 22, 2013, 8:40 am at 8:40 am

[…] I’ve been discussing this book in the last several posts starting here and most recently here and […]

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