Wouldn't it be better to generate growth through new means, instead of further subsidizing the populations which are already playing active roles in the economy? Tonight, President Obama speaks of his high hopes for the middle class. While this sentiment is understandable, it's a continuation of the same old twentieth century consumption patterns - patterns which can only go so far, in today's world.
Even though Republican complaints to Obama's speech will sound familiar, the Democrat's approach isn't all that different from their own. In the meantime, one still hears some lingering debates in the background, regarding basic income for those supposedly "not needed" in the marketplace at all. Since the latter issue is a more difficult conversation starter than the middle out approach, that might explain why it's so easy to forget where inequality actually lies...
These political arguments continue to miss the slow building changes in the economic landscape. Hence they are not on the right track, to recover the kind of growth which could boost marketplace confidence well into the future. What is really needed in order for this to happen, is to turn time use into a viable commodity in its own right. New communities could rediscover meaning through the compensated efforts of time arbitrage. It's an approach which would not only lead to more broad based consumption patterns, but much needed services production as well.
Matched time is capable of generating new commodity wealth, in part because it leaves no residual debt. Another reason time arbitrage would qualify as direct wealth, is the fact it takes place in investment patterns which combine asset formation and services into complete systems. These local frameworks coordinate individual time use preferences among groups which live and work in close enough proximity to one another.
One of the more useful aspects of matched time, is the fact it turns what would normally be operational expenses, into sustainable ongoing activities. In other words, services become possible which do not make demands on other budgets or monetary needs. Even better, the result is newly created wealth which serves as a point of origination for new communities.
Only consider the work of so many non profits, which can be limited by the fact donors prefer to back capital expenses, rather than operational expenses. A similar problem now exists for Washington, as the added burdens of ongoing expenses of all kinds rule out the flexibility which once existed for infrastructure projects. When knowledge use and needed services become an actual point of wealth creation, it becomes easier for all concerned to preserve needed resources for new and important projects.
Possibly the best thing about time arbitrage, is that it could make possible so many new options in the economic landscape. Indeed, far too much invested potential has lain dormant till now, just waiting for a chance to come to life.