With summer growing season in full swing and Father’s Day right around the corner, I’ve been tweeting about one of my new, very dad-ish hobbies—gardening. This has motivated several witty responders to ask why I—an outspoken fan of trade and specialization—am wasting my time growing my own food when there are better, more efficient producers only a few minutes (or clicks) away. Comparative advantage, they quip, would dictate that I leave the food-growing to the pros and spend my time doing more productive things like, umm, think-tanking (or is it tank-thinking?).
Anyway, this snark mostly misses the point. Gardening for me isn’t “work”; it’s an enjoyable leisure activity—one enabled by good ol’ free market capitalism and the ridiculous prosperity that it’s fomented here in America. As I tweeted the other day: