Essay: The privelege of free time

Dries Buytaert from Drupal recently posted this essay about “free time” and how it factors into development of FLOSS projects:

In Open Source, there is a long-held belief in meritocracy, or the idea that the best work rises to the top, regardless of who contributes it. The problem is that a meritocracy assumes an equal distribution of time for everyone in a community.

What do you think? Have you noticed the same issues both for individual “freelance volunteers” and for folks paid to contribute to your projects? For those of you that participate in mentorship programs like Outreachy or GSoC, have you noticed that focusing some energy on welcoming newcomers changes the overall feel of your community?