Alex Tabarrok nails it:
We would be very much the poorer, if all useful goods were expensive and only useless goods were cheap.
Keep this in mind the next time someone remarks that hamburger flippers should be paid more and lawyers should be paid less.
See more at: Marginal Revolution, where Alex dissects a quasi-Marxist claim that it’s a shame that people who do things that the author defines as important aren’t paid much.
I find it an enduring shame that the Marxist labor theory of value still holds water after over a century of failures, when the marginal revolution (which addressed the failures of the labor theory of value to accurately model human interaction) is still met with derision in some social sciences.
It’s a shame because, to the extent that Marx was a bright guy, he might himself have rejected his own theory in place of the improved version if he’d lived long enough.