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Opinion

No, we don’t all have the same 24 hours

Saying that everyone has the same 24 hours is just another way to normalize the capitalist myth that anyone can be rich if they just work hard.

If you ever hear a rich person tell you that we all have the same 24 hours, tell them they’re wrong. Here’s why.

Some of us have money, a lot of it. So much of it, in fact, that we can pay someone to buy our groceries and make our meals. We can pay someone to do our laundry and clean our house. We can pay someone to mow our lawn and shovel our walks. We can pay someone to fix our washing machine and paint our house. We can pay someone to drive our children to dance class and hockey practice. Heck, we can pay someone to drive us around.

And every time rich people pay someone else to do something they don’t want to, that frees up time for them. Poor people don’t have that luxury.

Poor people have to buy their own groceries and make their own meals. Poor people have to do their own laundry and clean their own house. Poor people have to mow their own lawn and shovel their own walks. Poor people have to fix their own washing machine and paint their own house, if they can afford their own house. Poor people have to drive their own children to dance class and hockey practice, if they can afford such classes. And they have to drive themselves around, if they can afford a car.

Paying someone to do things you don’t want to do is functionally the same thing as buying more time. Say, for example, you pay people to collectively perform 16 hours of labour every day, you basically have doubled your waking hours. You have bought yourself 32 hours of waking time: your own 16 hours of waking time, and the 16 hours of waking time when you would be doing the things you’re paying others to do.

Not all of us can afford to do that. Some of us are forced to use the 24 hours everyone receives by default.

Saying that everyone has the same 24 hours is just another way to normalize the capitalist myth that anyone can be rich if they just work hard.

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By Kim Siever

I live in Lethbridge with my spouse and 5 of our 6 children. I’m a writer, focusing on political news, social issues, and the occasional poem. My politics are radically left. I recently finished writing a book debunking several capitalism myths. My newest book writing project is on the labour history of Lethbridge.

I’m also dichotomally Mormon. And I’m a functional vegetarian: I have a blog post about that somewhere around here. My pronouns are he/him, and I’m queer.

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