Prior to the main work on this post, my local walking path offered up its usual thought tidbits! While some posts here at least make an attempt at "reading from sheet music" (after all, "sight reading" was the way I used to approach life), clearly these thoughts would be free form, instead. So today is an improvisation in the key of C major, shall we say.
Core wealth is our unrestrained ability to make an impact on the world: not only through our perceptions of it, but also through individual and collective challenges which inspire us. In the process our environments are transformed through our insights, our modifications, adaptations, imaginings and desires. The components we create from resources, the products that result from the components, the ways we experience product, the environment which holds the product and in turn the ways we experience the environments which hold the product of our minds...
And in a fully functioning economy, this process occurs along the entire continuum of income and resource availability, not just on specific points on the continuum itself. For when such limitation occurs, the very wealth of all creation is still expected to also support the life that it may insist is not also free, to create and participate. We end up with near slavery conditions when this is forgotten.
The most basic wealth we know, is about applying the knowledge and skill of the world, to our own immediate concerns and interactions with others. Do we continue to have common templates which we in fact can gather similar associations from? If not, who has templates that could readily work with our own income and resource capacity, let alone unique challenge? Is knowledge something that our institutions actually allow us to improve our own sets of circumstances, or do our institutions jealously guard it, so that our only access to knowledge is in the event that one of them hires us?
We are in a unique position of core wealth potential, if the window does not close before it is recognized. Indeed, the riches of more than a century of dedicated educational efforts across the world, have resulted in thick layers which are just waiting to be tapped into. The possibility of wealth capture today, is no less than the moment when society first took to agriculture, or when guilds focused skills use and capacity, hundreds of years earlier. There are only two things holding us back: Local community needs to take over the old roles of guilds and cartels so as to coordinate knowledge use and resource transformation amongst all. Plus we need to return to time, as the field where each can till the soil of knowledge use.
In the present, local communities and individuals are held back. Our institutions still insist on the right to create the products that both need, with no input from those who need to adapt the product for sustainable local use. It's as though each gardener of knowledge use has became a sharecropper because of institutional holdings. These knowledge use sharecroppers may or may not have enough resources left from the institutional harvest, to even contribute to the infrastructural needs of the institutions themselves. And yet increasingly, all of the institutions are demanding more from both community and individual, even though the actual core of wealth had previously been claimed by institutions already. Each of us needs ground (representative lateral knowledge use time) that we can till from, if we are able to contribute and not be a drag on the rest.
But before individual and community can reclaim this core wealth, they need to recognize wealth for what it actually consists of. Once money becomes capable of representing core wealth, each individual will once again have the chance to find meaning, in their journey through possessions and responsibility. When this process is finally allowed to happen, central bankers will not be so likely to obscure the primary purpose of money as they are today. So far, those who speak of money as representative of true spending capacity, have hardly been heard.
Presently, it is entirely too easy for central bankers to be distracted by financial tools, credit use and the growth trajectories of vital resources. However, without adequate representation on the part of the human mind, all the financial tools and resources of the world only bite the dust, time and again. When skills use capacity falls out of the equation, many people start to believe that money is the source of societal ills. However, money is not the problem: the problem is one of individuals who desire to bend money representation toward their own ends. Money has incredible capacity to assist people in their desire for freedom, if and when it is given the chance to do so.
What do people perceive as possible? Or, what do we perceive ourselves as capable of creating both individually and collectively? Are those visions capable of including the fruits of our imagination, or is this vital element something that has been reserved for minds other than our own? Even though we may be able to reach for and achieve the vision that someone else had, we only add on what appears as wealth. After all, it cannot have the same meaning to us, if we are not somehow connected to the transformative process.
Here are just some of the benefits of time arbitrage in lateral use terms, as a key part of core wealth. For one, people would have the ability to provide experiential settings for one another which could add considerable dimension to their lives. A part of this could exist as a kind of quality preservation which might not otherwise be possible in exogenous (global) production settings. However, these settings would exist alongside the benefits of exogenous wealth that allows people to choose the most important "slow economy" experiences, given fixed time scarcity. Another added element would be freed up time for numerous negotiation processes: processes which many governmental institutions no longer have time or resources to provide, that are still vitally important.
However, one of the more important elements of core wealth is the capacity for time arbitrage to create full employment along the entire knowledge use spectrum. By no means would full employment exist only in a low skill capacity. And, the time arbitrage which entrepreneurs and others already take for granted amongst one another, could take the place of what has become "missing labor". While this employment would not exist in the same sense as "ordinary" income, one's ability to create product designed to income capacity is what could make the difference. What's more, the green light for personal innovation would allow many to resume economic growth without resorting to the use of credit. What's more, this integrated aspect of production and consumption could allow the process to happen without added inflation effects.
By embracing core wealth, no one would have to worry about economic inclusion, for time arbitrage could be utilized as the missing link between fixed scarcities and random scarcities. Utilizing core wealth would not only allow societies to reintegrate local endogenous efforts with global exogenous activities, it would make every economic place of activity important in its own right.
Update: A link from Daren Acemoglu and James Robinson includes this quote, "...there is curiously very little work on how politics affect endogenous technology, which seems a clearly under-researched area."