Labour once spent

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Labour once spent has no influence on the future value of any article; it is gone and lost for ever. In commerce bygones are forever bygones; and we are always starting clear at each moment, judging the values of things with a view to future utility.

William Stanley Jevons

2 thoughts on “Labour once spent”

  1. I find that ignoring sunk cost is one of the hardest psychological truths to adhere to — right up there with “you’ll be happier if you don’t eat that dessert/take that drink, you know you will”.

    One gets so focused on the overall anticipated P/L of a transaction or task, that the fact that some of it (the sunk cost) can’t be changed and invalidates the anticipation sends one straight into denial. For me, it’s easier to accept once the disappointing result is realized which entirely undermines rethinking and possibly adjusting (or outright abandoning) the transaction or task as a more intelligent & business-like alternative.

    Clearly I’m not alone. There’s a reason we have the proverb “throwing good money after bad”.

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