Saturday, December 3, 2016

Are Economists to Blame for Economic Stagnation?

A definite "yes" or "no", is not so simple. And any answer, depends on where one's point of reference actually lies. Economists can hardly bear the entire burden of responsibility, given the societal shifts which now affect economic access. One problem in this regard, however, is little societal agreement as to the "legitimacy" of average (non credentialed) individuals who attempt to solve problems in their stead. Meanwhile, regarding the travails of the working class, Dr. David Ruccio recently wrote, in "Why Mainstream Economists are Responsible for Electing Donald Trump":
...mainstream economists, in their zeal to push globalization forward, ignored those problems and concerns. They thus paved the way and deserve a large share of the blame for Trump.
Granted, I've expressed concerns about mainstream economic thought and how it could contribute to populism, in previous posts. Nonetheless, there are dangers in carrying this rationale too far, since it encourages voters all along the political spectrum, to reject more mainstream agendas than actually warrant abandonment. Only stop to consider where broad attacks on neoliberalism can gradually lead, for instance. Hence it's discouraging to find more rational, balanced arguments about globalization such as Dani Rodrik has presented, used as attacks against capitalism and the like. No one gains if useful economic concepts are destroyed, just because it becomes politically possible to do so. Why not look closer instead, to discover where common ground exists between the old and the new.

It may be that little structural progress was made during the Great Recession, because the economist role in developed nations is mostly that of a passive observer. Thankfully, economists are not free to impose top down blanket "solutions" on populations. But that doesn't mean they couldn't begin the process of lending support to populations at a grassroots level. After all, there's a world of difference between decentralized and exploratory local economies, and the kinds of economic planning which caused such widespread harm in the twentieth century.

One public conversation which has yet to even occur at a political level, is of a high tech future which leaves too little room for people to participate. The fact that everyone needs to have a valid role in this economic vision of the future, has been difficult for economists and policy makers alike. No one is prepared, for the fact it's past time to address the reality of our own destinies. When will populations finally get a go ahead from their governments, to begin the discussion? According to Stephen Hawking:
If communities and economies cannot cope with current levels of migration, we must do more to encourage global development, as that is the only way that the migratory millions will be persuaded to seek their future at home.
While some think of migration problems as other's problems, local migration is now increasingly limited in developed nations, due to structural problems with similar causes. The same evolution in economic development, deserves a chance to proceed at home in our own developed nations as well. Interestingly enough, prior to the Great Recession, private industry was already trying to get the message out, that "business as usual" would no longer be able to fulfill the employment roles which many would be workers still hoped for. If it seemed difficult back then to make such an important message heard, even those who speak of structural unemployment today, note how few are willing to approach the subject on these terms.

Economists aren't to blame for the massive structural shifts of our times. And fortunately, they still have a chance to regain their respect in the eyes of the public. After all, there should still be time for everyone to take part in a grassroots effort, to rebuild a better economic future. What sort of work do people wish to participate in? How do those of limited means, wish to build better, more respectful lives among one another? These questions might not be as difficult to answer, as many presently imagine.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Getting Beyond General Equilibrium Restraints

Grassroots reform, such as I have touched on in numerous posts, could allow those who often appear to need help, a chance to eventually learn how to help themselves in meaningful ways. Such an approach would also make it possible to recreate economic complexity, in many forgotten regions of the country.

Most important, grassroots reform would create much needed growth and output for the economy. How might one think about greater economic vitality at a grassroots level, versus the "preservation" of existing jobs? According to Justin Wolfers in a recent NYT article ("Trump and Carrier: How a Modern Economy is Like a Parking Garage"):
A parking garage stays full, and an economy stays healthy only if it is constantly refreshed.
Part of the problem for mature general equilibrium conditions, is the fact too many special interests are now at work, to prevent the "refreshing" that normally takes place for further economic inclusion. For instance, our most prosperous regions now have a "closed" sign, in the form of high real estate costs. When economies become dominated by secondary market formation, it becomes increasingly difficult for individuals with middle range skills to work among others with high skill levels.

Hence further growth and output now depends on extending the range of economic complexity, instead of "forcing" more economic inclusion into places where productive complexity already exists, as Adam Ozimek (HT Steve Randy Waldman) noted in recent posts. Again, Justin Wolfers, utilizing the parking garage example in which Trump sought to make certain parked cars "stay longer":
Rather the long-term strategy of such business is to try to attract a larger clintele by offering a more convenient experience. They understand that there are many more potential customers outside than inside the garage. In this analogy, the government's best hope for creating jobs is to create a positive business climate.
However, something needs to be considered about his otherwise apt explanation. He's right that when tradable sector formation exists in a competitive state, it benefits from the fact there are "many more potential customers outside than inside the garage". The problem in this regard is non tradable sector activity. Today's prosperous regions - because of their dependence on existing revenue via secondary market formation - serve as a prime example of not wanting additional producers and consumers from elsewhere, due to how their resource utilization is already structured.

This results in a form of non tradable sector wealth capture which crowds the very primary marketplace it relies on, instead of contributing to (further) growth and output. Since tradable sector activity obviously contributes to growth and output, not to mention the revenue that sustains today's secondary market formation, it appears more and more as though the goose which lays the golden egg.

Here's the problem. Many assume that presently existing tradable sector activity can produce both greater employment and output as desired, wherever such activity may happen to be. However, the internal organizational capacity of tradable sectors now requires fewer employees, relative to output in general. This results in a lower labor force participation level, which in turn limits the amount of tradable sector output that is needed, due to the smaller customer base which results from low labor force participation. Since today's non tradable sector activity remains in a dependent secondary market formation, it too is forced to limit labor force participation. This further limits the potential customer base which is able to engage in primary market activity.

Yet it is completely possible for non tradable sector activity to organize in a non dependent primary market formation, by recognizing time value as a product in its own right. This form of institutional structure would eventually restore labor force participation and consumer base levels, which in turn would allow tradable sector activity to increase output levels along with the relative level of employment capacity they remain able to offer, given present day automation. In the meantime however, the dependence of non tradable sector activity on tradable sector wealth, means less ability to contribute to the employment that nations increasingly seek for their citizens.

In other words: one could say that today's extensive (secondary market) non tradable sector organizational capacity, is not yet positioned to "attract a larger clientele by offering a more convenient experience", either in terms of time based services product or building component asset formation. Yet these are precisely the areas which could generate new economic vitality, beyond the present day "parking garage" of general equilibrium.

Best, the alternative equilibrium of local services production, could function as a primary marketplace which - because it is not dependent on the revenue or employment of tradable sector activity, can actually contribute to both, by generating new growth and marketplace output. Even though deregulation always disrupts the sticky markets of a mature general equilibrium, there can be new zones for minimal sets of regulation which not only make sense for all involved, but are less of a threat to established interests. This would be a critical step, for the inclusion of population that is now needed to contribute to a broader level of employment, than what is now capable of supporting the economic activity of the present.

Before wrapping up this post, there's something else that deserves to be said about Trump's efforts, whatever one may think of either the individual, or what he now seeks to make happen. It's too easy to point out the fact anything he attempts, likely won't work. Oddly, that is the same response most everyone else has received as well in recent decades, regardless of their level of skill, intelligence or job description. The blogosphere could have been a place - after the Great Recession - where productive structural adaptations had a recognizable beginning point, especially in those initial years of online engagement. Unfortunately, little changed, and the political retreat back into tribal positions is most unhelpful. We still have a long way to go, before we gain secure means to hope for a better economic future.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Economic Stagnation: Build a "Fire" That Will Last

Even though there are multiple structural factors, today's economic stagnation has a strong monetary policy component (the Great Recession as beginning point) with a continuing residual effect, due to tight monetary reasoning. Central bankers never fully honored aggregate spending capacity when it was most needed, during the negative shock of rising oil prices. In all of this, the financial fallout was an effect, not a direct cause. Nevertheless, what would likely have been a garden variety recession, consequently turned into the Great Recession. What, however, are also some real economy contributions to this unfortunate circumstance?

There is a lack of understanding about the organizational capacity which contributes to direct wealth creation, as opposed to economic activity which presently "piggybacks" earlier wealth in order to take place. Consequently, there are problems for overall output in relation to debt structures. While a certain degree of secondary marketplace activity is a positive in terms of economic complexity and income levels, it is dangerous to rely on this mechanism without sufficient first market activity, for too long. First market activity might also be thought of as the kindling for a sturdy fire, along with the application of logs which burn for the longest periods.

Today's economy is reminiscent of a fire which is blazing brightly, but not enough sturdy hardwood has been contributed to make the process long lasting. Suddenly, such a fire, while appearing quite substantial at the time, could quickly die down. Indeed, the secondary market wealth of nations is vulnerable to these conditions, if and when primary market organizational patterns are not sufficient to maintain economic "warmth". What about the "filler" responses that policy makers are resorting to, for a quick blaze?

1) The mercantile response is one of the more unfortunate, given the fact Adam Smith explained how protectionism could reverse wealth creation processes, before the United States was recognized as a nation. What could explain a reversion to this antiquated reasoning? Again, think of the fire. Even though what is sought is sturdy hardwood (primary market activity) tradable sector activity that is reduced at an international level can be likened to a fire in which the damper has been shut, so the fire does not have sufficient oxygen, to burn. In particular, present day general equilibrium needs a tremendous amount of "oxygen" in order to work properly.

It has proven easier thus far, for politicians to take the short sighted and backward mercantile approach, than to initiate a serious public dialogue regarding growing automation in today's basic employment structures. Automation ultimately affects every job description, if and when a public does not work together to redefine employment on new sets of terms. And it's the response to automation which nations and their citizens need to fully address now. There is a simple way of doing so. Acknowledge the importance of time value as valuable as any other product in existence. Do so, before time value is essentially done away with in more aspects of productive organizational capacity, than is already the case. Turn time value into a local hardwood well suited for burning, so that policy makers back away from the idea of "reclaiming" hardwood from other nations.

2) A low interest rate environment as a "bonus" for government spending, response. Both private and public debt become problematic, when secondary market formation threatens to overwhelm primary market activity. This secondary market dependence can also quickly dampen what appears as though a sturdy fire, should populations find reason to doubt their nation's ability to fulfill collective fiscal obligations. The low interest rates of the present are not an economic positive. Not only does this low interest rate environment contribute to confusion regarding monetary policy theory, it lends false hope to fiscal responses and financial reform as structural means for problem solving.

Too much of the marketplace has become structured along secondary market lines, which greatly contributes to the initial investment problem, and (in this instance) the low interest rate environment. Again, planting more hardwoods (organizational capacity for knowledge use) for a sturdy fire, would contribute the needed real economy response which could eventually lead to more investment, and a higher natural rate of interest.

3) The negation of the importance of supply and demand in a changed economic environment, is also wishful thinking writ large. Whereas the wrongheaded response of mercantilism at least recognizes the reality of primary market activity for fiscal transmission, this supply and demand reasoning ("money doesn't matter"), misses the importance of supply side organizational capacity. In fact, public and private organizational capacity can both be problematic, when they take advantage of resource constructs that are not their own to rightfully assume.

Negation of the importance of supply and demand, also goes hand in hand with the wishful thinking that governments are able to tend to long term growth and output via their own means, when real market actors prove recalcitrant to do so. One reason it can be easy for progressives to bash supply and demand, is the fact too few free market advocates on the right have highlighted the lack of free market supply, for knowledge based wealth creation. And the size of the fire (an economic environment) will ultimately be limited by the good hardwoods which are planted for this purpose. Let's plant more hardwoods for the fire.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wrap Up for November 2016

There were two really good quotes this month I'd like to note, first. Lars Christensen tweeted this:
Republicans are Austrians when they are in opposition and Keynesian when they are in power. They are never monetarists.
Yes, apparently being a monetarist, would be too logical and sensible about the actual nature of monetary representation for the public! Yet central bankers presently appear keen to maintain the same discretion factor, which allows special interests to take excessive advantage of money when it is in their favor to do so, while denying sufficient money representation to all, when it is not.

Also, from a Vox interview with Jonathan Haidt:
We haven't talked about social media, but I really believe it's one of our biggest problems. So long as we are all immersed in a constant stream of unbelievable outrages perpetuated by the other side, I don't see how we can ever trust each other and work together again.
Of course one problem in this regard, is when we explain to others that we also see the other side's point of view, we may come across as not tribal enough, for those who know us. A word of warning about the personal isolation this approach may engender: apparently it can worsen as one grows older! Nevertheless, I tried Facebook for a year or so, before finally closing the account last June. From the start, the political "warfare" was unsettling, so I sought out beautiful pictures around the world, which made the social media experience more enjoyable. Not long afterward, I noticed that most of the odd (to me) things that Trump emphasized in his campaign, had also been highlighted in Facebook.

Miles Kimball highlights an important book, on societal permissions:

From Vox:
"The one thing Trump and Clinton agree on is infrastructure. This economist thinks they're both wrong."

Interesting pictures of a walkable city. Another take on walkable cities, this time along the border between Texas and Mexico

"The Low-Skilled Labor Market from 2002 to 2014" Measurement and Mechanisms

"Does Technology Substitute for Nurses?"

David Ader explains, how vastly fewer people today are eligible for unemployment benefits.

As George Selgin noted, unfortunately there was no good political outcome this presidential election, for monetary freedom.

JP Koning puts India's (somewhat unusual) aggressive demonetization into perspective.

"To be fair, the pretrial settlement of a legal dispute is often a desirable result, and state court judges with their heavy dockets actively encourage settlement. But the fact that civil cases are being settled at an ever greater rate suggest that something else is bringing pressure to settle, and it is probably the great expense of litigation."

No U.S. recession expected. If only that were good news. From Lars Christensen:
"Make America Keynesian Again"
"Make America Keynesian Again" part 2

This is the economic reality that is so difficult for presidential candidates - whether winners or losers - to address.

Automation does not have to destroy jobs. But people need to begin what will be an ongoing dialogue about the work that feels worthwhile for the future, today. Otherwise, presidential elections will continue to be full of false promises.

Good argument from Tim Haab:
We can't make arguments about the popular vote outcome of this election because both campaigns would have acted differently if the system (and the inherent incentives) were different.
Robin Hanson explains how bottlenecks inhibit institutional innovation:

For most of my life, the costs of owning, insuring and maintaining an automobile were within the reach of any income level. That is no longer true. I noticed that (almost hour long) commutes with older cars, started to become a problem for workers, around the beginning of the new century. That's also when computerized systems made it more difficult for rural mechanics to make auto repairs, hence auto owners needed to adjust their schedules to have this work done in cities. I suspect the gradual transition away from what was once practically automatic auto ownership, is part of the problem for what some have labeled the skills gap, especially when many jobs require long commutes. Which is why - while higher income levels often appreciate walkable communities, for lower income levels they could become a practical necessity in some instances.

From the San Francisco Fed:
"Job-to-Job Transitions in an Evolving Labor Market"

Timothy Taylor:
"It seems to me that the possibility of a dramatic expansion of active labor market policies through aggressive experimentation deserves more attention in the current US economy."

The Online Platform Economy: Has Growth Peaked?

While I understand this assertion of "getting rid of all school subjects" has been challenged, it sounds like an interesting start.

There are reasons why those with low income levels may think twice about purchasing today's healthcare options, unless they already have chronic conditions.

Diane Coyle: Is there a category mismatch?

Where automation is headed:
"Lots of tasks will be reframed as prediction problems."

For Peter Turchin, Trump's win is simply a part of the bigger picture.

Also a Bloomberg article by Peter Turchin from 2013 was "recycled", HT Arnold Kling

A thoughtful article from Mark Lilla (NYT), "The End of Identity Liberalism":
If you are going to mention groups in America, you had better mention all of them. If you don't, those left out will notice and feel excluded...Liberals should bear in mind that the first identity movement in American politics was the Ku Klux Klan, which still exists. Those who play the identity game should be prepared to lose it. We need a post-identity liberalism, and it should draw from the past successes of pre-identity liberalism. Such a liberalism would concentrate on widening its base by appealing to Americans as Americans and emphasizing the issues which affect a vast majority of them. It would speak to the nation as a nation of citizens who are in this together and must help one another.
John Cochrane connects the dots between housing issues and inequality.

In "The Reality of Rural Resentment", Sommer Mathis writes:
The main thing I heard was this feeling of not getting their fair share of power or attention. They feel like the important decisions, whether in government or industry, were made in cities. And then they had to deal with those decisions, and no one was listening to their concerns. It's partly about resenting that lack of power. People really do say "Look at how much the city people have driven us in the ground"...People in cities look down on us, they think we're stupid, they think we're racist, they think we're voting against our own interests.
When does collective action matter most?

An interesting "confession": Janet Yellen Doesn't Know What Determines Inflation
Also from Timothy Taylor, what no one can afford to forget: The Plague of Long-Term Unemployment in Europe

One of my biggest concerns about arbitrary divisions of knowledge use in society, is the loss of adaptability which humanity as a species, experiences from this division.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Finally, a Glossary

Sure enough, there was a lot more reworking of the terms than I had expected, and then a series of local internet connectivity problems over the holiday weekend, slowed things down as well. Here's the link, which is also located at the top of the sidebar in the Pages section:

An "Uncommon" Glossary

The only reasoning I've got, as to why the glossary took so long to complete over the course of the year: often when these terms came to mind, I'd still be caught up with some specific example associated with the term, instead of a core definition which could help the reader. Indeed there will still be a few problem areas in that regard, which will need some light editing from time to time. Occasionally I'll provide further explanations as well, since some descriptions are actually a bit too brief.

Of course the best part, is now I have a chance to move further ahead, in bringing this project to completion. That's not to say I wouldn't want to continue posting online, only that 2017 will mark the 14th year since the project began, and I've grown anxious to have all this work in a form that someone can understand without needing to "wade" through multiple blog posts.

Fortunately, as I was putting the glossary together, some overall aspects of this work were also beginning to take shape. As far as I can tell, there will be five books in one, three of which should be more accessible for a general audience, and two that will be more specific in terms of technical issues. That will hopefully make a difference for my occasional readers, who are not "economically inclined". So in the months ahead I'll be further organizing book outlines and of course, blogging as normal. I'm anticipating the outlining processes should not "steal" so much time away from blogging, as has been the situation of late.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Liberty For All, Regardless of Income

Is it possible that lack of freedom in the marketplace for those with limited incomes, negatively affects the freedoms of those who have more? I believe this is a fair question. However, my framing in this matter, could possibly account for the fact some right leaning folk likely question whether my "claims" to a libertarian point of view, are valid.

Meanwhile, others on the left are just as likely to question my defense of a free market approach. I believe that market dynamism is central to well being. But how can markets be considered truly dynamic, if they don't function well for a wide range of income levels? Further: how can individuals expect to reciprocate for societal responsibility - for anyone - if they have little valid purpose in the economic constructs that define their lives?

Some say they wish progressives knew what it was like, to be responsible for running their own business. Fair enough. Sometimes I also wish more people on the left understood how scary the process of survival can become, when there are too few remaining economic options, by which to actively take part in life. Granted, plenty of folk on the right totally get this, but find the matter too frustrating to actively contemplate. And many who are not needed by other individuals or institutions, are living on borrowed time. Chances are, they are keenly aware of that fact.

Consequently, I advocate for free markets not just for the rich, but also for the poor in spirit, along with anyone else who may also have a limited amount of money to spend. For these individuals, both their income potential and time value deserve more respect than they have received thus far. Even though I disagree with constant minimum wage increases, it is quite pointless to react to them, if non tradable sector representatives are constantly seeking higher prices for terms of economic engagement across the board. In all likelihood, the lack of free marketplace options - especially in terms of time based services creation - now contributes to a growing vulnerability for the personal liberties of all citizens.

Sandy Ikeda has spoken of the fragility of liberty, and the fact it can too easily be lost for centuries at a time. In "The Urban Origins of Liberty", he wrote:
The idea of liberty emerged in the struggle between the forces of collectivism and individualism. It is the idea that each of us has a rightful sphere of autonomy in which we may be free from aggression. In politics this manifested itself as liberal democracy, in economics as market competition and in the broader social realm as scientific advance, artistic expression and religious tolerance.
Most important, liberty is not so much about anyone's right to consume specific forms of goods, as it is one's right to produce for - and actively engage - in the marketplace. How can anyone expect to consume, what is purposely prohibited from production? And the fact that too many rights of production have been lost, accounts for the fact that policy makers are anxious to be rid of programs which became excessive burdens because the rights of production were too limited, to begin with.

Indeed, for Obamacare, there is presently no rational "replace", other than a reversion to the twentieth century form of healthcare, which supplanted all other previously existing options available to most income levels. The twentieth century health care of the U.S. created investment incentives and provisions which were primarily, and understandably, aimed at middle to upper class levels. But consequently, it is pointless to expect "healthcare for all" from this system. Meanwhile, the coming years are likely to be filled with the struggles of the "not so poor" to retain their own, increasingly fragile healthcare access.

More than anything, my aversion to government redistribution for the poor, can be attributed to the initial mistakes of granting too much marketplace responsibility to too few individuals, for some of the most basic time based product of our lives. There are simply too many places where government largess needs to reach, before it ever gets to the small wage levels so many will experience in the years ahead.

Which is why I believe much more would be gained, if the forgotten, the frustrated, the "redundant", the misunderstood, the "supposedly" untrustworthy, the ones with health based challenges, the socially inept, in short, all those who are poor in spirit, at least be given a chance to recreate economic life on their own terms. There is simply too little room for these groups in the near future, as politics is more likely to become a battle among competing special interest groups for the spoils of the economy that exists, now.

There's little liberty to be had for those who are unemployed or are on a small income, too little freedom to live by one's identity and purpose, if one is without the "appropriate" college credentials or the career that gives the green light to do so. Liberty is also hard to come by for those who are "freed" from prison, only to find themselves in a different prison of society's making.

Where for millennia there were value in use knowledge networks which people from all walks of life could tap into, these have been mostly reoriented into the channels which those with the "right" credentials can use. If redistribution were an actual possibility for all, perhaps this limited knowledge use framework might be understandable. But there is not sufficient redistribution for everyone who wants it, nor is such imaginary redistribution likely to occur in the near future. Therefore, it is time to define wealth on broader terms, than what currently exist.

Those without credentials, and indeed some who can't put credentials to good use, need to be able to create alternate knowledge use networks. It is too difficult for many, who - even though they are diligent and prepared - to make the necessary connections with others in the knowledge based networks that already exist. Practical and useful knowledge once again needs to be freed. Liberty for all, regardless of income, starts with a knowledge use network that is not limited to those with college degrees and the "appropriate" jobs. Otherwise, there is too little means to heal the divide between rural and city life, even as rural voters recently sided with the political party which at least appeared more willing to take their personal concerns into account.

At least some Republicans would like to face cronyism head on, but doing so is not easy. Too much government redistribution, much of which is initially intended to assist lower income levels, only ends up parked at higher income levels. Hence the very act of redistribution, quickly goes out of control and out of reach of any logic. This raises the bar of economic entry for all concerned, along the entire spectrum. Presently, it's impossible to assist the poor, because of the massive government obligations that are already "baked into the cake" for everyone else. Hence a suggestion: before anyone loses their cool at the enormity of the task, please give the disenfranchised a new chance to recreate their own economic realities. Doing so might actually be easier, than making sense of the subsidies tangle in Washington.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Time Enhanced Technological Change

It struck me upon reading the intro in a paper from Elisa Giannone, " Skills-Biased Technical Change and Regional Convergence", that "time enhanced technological change" could differentiate the dynamic between (future) time arbitrage, versus today's skills arbitrage realities. A long term focus on coordinated time value in continuous (and replicable) group settings, would mean greater dispersal of knowledge use with less internal cost inflation and (consequent) inequality. However, I'm getting ahead of myself, for in her paper, Giannone highlighted the problems which today's skills arbitrage poses: not just in terms of growing levels of inequality, but the polarization of regions as well.

What is different about today's skills dependent inequality, as contrast with the wide range of skills once required by tradable sector organization? Multiple skills levels for the latter, continue to contribute to both marketplace output and growth, translating into real gains for income capacity as well. Whereas the organization of today's non tradable sector skills capacity, not only limits the potential of knowledge use in the marketplace, it demolishes the discretionary potential of small wages.

Further, the skills arbitrage of non tradable sector activity, has not only limited the marketplace reach of imminently practical time based product, this product is actually perceived as a societal burden, of use primarily to give over to automation or be fought over by competing power bases. Non tradable sector inequality is far more problematic than tradable sector inequality ever was, because the skills divisions it continues to designate, only further divides the mental capacity of populations for the long term, all the while in settings of gradually decreasing marketplace supply of time based services, in relation to population levels.

How might one think about the potential of "time enhanced technological change", for greater marketplace production of time based services? Perhaps the very term "labour", could be said to belong to externally defined concepts of a person's time value. Initially (i.e. the Industrial Revolution), in terms of whether one had the physical capacity or soundness of mind to perform basic functions in externally defined workplaces; and more recently, for the more specific and often knowledge/skill based workplace functions.

Indeed, it may be useful to completely dissociate the term of labour, with what people actually desire from mutual self employment with others, in a time arbitrage environment. After all, the employment potential of time enhanced technological change is more closely associated with the entrepreneurial offerings of experiential and useful time, than with the boss/employee dynamic or arbitrary institutional knowledge use requirements. The personal incentives for work options are also more closely related to what people have willingly provided for others all along, on their own preferential and occasionally non economic terms.