Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Some Notes on Time Value

How does time value matter in the marketplace? We rely on what time we actually have, in order to get things done, and to fulfill our responsibilities. Unfortunately, without a marketplace specifically designated for time value, it's not always possible to meet personal challenges and obligations. A smoothly functioning economy depends on full participation. However, time aggregate imbalances have resulted from differences in the monetary values of knowledge and skills sets. Worse, most interpersonal coordination lies in workplace settings, which leaves insufficient time coordination everywhere else. Even those who have sufficient income to compensate others for needed services, still have little time left for meaningful activity.

Much has changed, in terms of both production and resource capacity. But the time that was freed up by the productive capacity of traditional manufacture, remains bound by unrealistic supply side circumstance. What hasn't changed, are the hours in a day that most income levels need, to maintain unwieldy consumption demands. Time - as a basic resource - remains as finite and limited as ever. Is it possible to bring time value back into balance with other forms of resource capacity?

Yes, but in order to do so, time value needs to be recognized as a separately existing marketplace in order to function. More specifically, knowledge and skills sets - while important - cannot be approached in the same context as personal time value. Otherwise, the integrity of time aggregate potential becomes quickly distorted. It isn't possible to smoothly negotiate coordinated work patterns with others, when time values become influenced by external definitions or valuations. In fact, individuals - like firms - stay on the sidelines waiting for the "right" knowledge and skills which may or may not materialize. This is why a time based marketplace needs proactive education which is internally organized and responsive to changing demand.

Whereas time aggregates are finite and non random, knowledge and skill sets have been randomly apportioned, much as other resources and commodities which exist separately from time. And any time a given quantity is recognized as random in nature, it necessarily relies on the same external pricing mechanism as any other goods. Time value could be locally arbitraged through groups, because as a non random element, it is the one resource which provides understandable means for internal management.

Time arbitrage is not possible, where anyone prefers to compensate knowledge and skills based on externally defined value. When time value is compensated according to particular knowledge and skill, this is of course the marketplace which already exists. Unfortunately, it is becoming a limited marketplace, which does not have room for full labor force participation in the foreseeable future.

When time value becomes associated with specific knowledge or skill, time value also aligns with factors which do not have direct relation with one another. If it is necessary to compensate time at different levels of skill, one also has to accept that mutual time coordination no longer provides a new source of wealth, because of the asymmetry. While time value will continue to be compensated asymmetrically, this form of compensation does not lend itself to further economic growth quite so easily as before.

One can think of time value as a (potential) nested non random component, within a given equilibrium of otherwise random components. Knowledge use systems can monetarily compensate time value, and do so while generating new wealth. The difference is that compensation would exist for units of time as they are arbitraged, rather than specific qualities as represented within the time components. "Nested" time value is possible, because it exists in direct relation to other time value. Time arbitrage would not otherwise change the relation of money to goods. It simply provides means of compensation, according to the commonality which individuals actually share.

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