When Money Determines Everything

Without the existence of a rich set of criteria for evaluating the application of time, money quickly becomes the lowest common denominator that defines whether or not time is being spent in a worthwhile manner. Instead of leisure time, people have “down time” or “time off,” just enough that they can rest and get back to work. Even then, leisure pursuits are required to justify themselves in monetary terms: education becomes a means of securing a better job, socialization becomes networking, the arts become a vehicle for advertising. Time at work is measured in the same terms, and people end up valuing their work not in terms of its products or its purposes, but merely in terms of the hourly wage. This causes people to willingly forgo opportunities to do things which they love and which provide them with a sense of deep satisfaction, because they would rather have a better paying position. The fact that things are -beautiful, meaningful, and interesting in and of themselves ceases to be a sufficient reason for pursuing them.
– Melinda Selmys in Slave of Two Masters

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