Thursday, 11 July 2013

Mary's Car - A Zero-Sum Game?

I started work in my current job at the same time as my colleague Mary. After a while she decided to buy a car so that she could drive to work. Not long after doing so she came to the realisation that it took all the money she earned at work to pay for the car that she had bought to get her to and from work. It seems that everything had evened out into some 'zero-sum game' - and in so doing become quite ridiculous in the process. Why work when all your money goes on getting to and from work and there is no net benefit? However, I wonder if there really was a 'zero-sum' and that her losses didn't, in fact, outweigh her gains.
By driving to work instead of taking the train, she had to spend her time concentrating on the road, so as to arrive safely. She had lost all the time she would have had available to her on the train; time that could have been spent reading or thinking about things other than the road. Indeed, there was no point in going to work at all. For no extra cash she might as well have stayed at home. Yes, she now had a car but they depreciate rapidly and rush almost as fast.
Eventually, she sold her car and married another colleague and they now come to work together another car.