Continuing with the idea that today we have lots and lots of servants –
I’m a CPA. That involves working with lots of numbers and doing thousands of calculations. I print lots of documents and send them to my clients. I’ve hired a lot of servants for my business.
- I hired a servant from Mr. Gates that can do tens of thousands of calculations a second. (You would call that Office Excel. Thank you Mr. Gates, the staff person you sent over is quite efficient.) I very rarely use a 10-key calculator.
- I have a servant that answers my phone and takes messages. Tells me who is calling before I take the call, too.
- I have another servant that takes dictation and types my comments almost as fast as I can speak. Sometimes I have to wait for all of a few seconds for my servant to catch up typing what I’ve dictated. Unfortunately, I have to keep a close eye on this servant. Accuracy isn’t quite what I’d like.
- I have 4 servants in my CPA firm that can print documents at a speed that would make Mr. Guttenberg green with envy. (Thank you Mr. Hewitt and Mr. Packard)
- I have several servants that working together can deliver a critical document to a client across town or across the country in 20 seconds. Takes ‘em 90 seconds if they are lethargic.
- I have a file clerk that can retrieve any one of thousands of documents from my filing cabinet and bring it to me in just moments. (Some of my colleagues call that paperless. I call it an efficient staff.)
Don’t tell the state wage and hour department, but I pay those servants a few pennies an hour. Some far less. And I don’t give any of them a morning or afternoon coffee break.
As a small businessman I have a very large volume of servants hard at work. Can’t even count the size of my staff. Nary a complaint from any of them. Once in a while, one of them resigns, but that is quite rare. Can’t really beat the price either.
Yes, people have many servants today. I have a larger staff of servants than even the most filthy rich people from 100 years ago.
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
[…] Found an incredibly helpful explanation of the radical change in the standard of living over the last 100 years. It is an explanation of the change in the price of eggs provided by Prof. Russell Roberts in his book The Price of Everything. I’ve been discussing this book in the last several posts starting here and most recently here and here. […]