Monday, September 19, 2005

Owning Your Time

A dusk-to-dawn curfew is in effect in New Orleans, in an attempt to make up for the law and order that government did not provide earlier.

It might seem like a minor issue on the surface, but instituting a curfew has some strong implications. If someone else has the ability to tell you how to spend your time (or how not to spend your time), your time is no longer yours.

When you go to work, you sell rights to restricted amounts of your time. Given that most employment is 'at will,' meaning it can be terminated by either party at any time for any reason, one has the right to end the ongoing sale of his time as well. If an employee enters a contract promising a year of service to his company, he has agreed to sell at least a year of his time. In exchange for your time, your employer gives you money at an agreed upon rate.

Curfews are not contracts. There is no compensation for the lost time, the time when your duty is to remain in your home when you may have assessed that a better use of your time existed elsewhere. Regardless of the reasoning, a curfew is simply a measure that steals your right to your time.

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