We generally understand how specialization and competitive advantage make us all richer. Lawyers particularly, and I imagine other highly paid hourly workers, understand that the best use of their time is spent lawyering. For this reason, these professionals have an easy time seeing the benefits of paying other service providers for their time. After all, if I get paid $500 an hour, I’ll happily pay my accountant $200 an hour to do my taxes. Even if we’re equally skilled at tax preparation, if it takes either of us 10 hours, I come out $3000 richer if I pay him to do it and lawyer for 10 hours instead.
The fascinating part, explained by Dan Ariely, is that this thinking, applied broadly, might not maximize happiness. The reason is, we enjoy things done with our own hands more than we enjoy things done by others. The video is definitely worth 5 minutes of your time: