Inequity, Wealth Disparities and Free Time

FRI, FEB 24, 2017 (44:53)

All citizens are entitled to, in the words of early labor reformers, time “for what we will.” Recent debates about inequality have focused almost exclusively on the distribution of wealth and disparities in income, but little notice has been paid to the distribution of free time. Free time is commonly assumed to be a matter of personal preference, a good that one chooses to have more or less of. Even if there is unequal access to free time, the cause and solution are presumed to lie with the resources of income and wealth. In her book Free Time, Julie Rose argues that these views are fundamentally mistaken. First, Rose contends that free time is a resource, like money, that one needs in order to pursue chosen ends. Further, realizing a just distribution of income and wealth is not sufficient to ensure a fair distribution of free time. Because of this, anyone concerned with distributive justice must attend to the distribution of free time. (Photo:

+ BIO: Julie Rose

Julie L. Rose, a political philosopher whose work addresses issues of economic justice, is Assistant Professor of Government at Dartmouth College. She earned her Ph.D. from Princeton University, her B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, and has held fellowships at Stanford University and Brown University.

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