Thursday, August 6, 2015

Buying "Time In A Bottle"

How might financial instruments be thought of as "time in a bottle"? Given the right economic conditions, there's a "magical" aspect to the stored resource capacity which provides more life options at a future date. Longer life spans, combined with widespread representation of resource capacity in the marketplace, has meant more "time in a bottle" for many a retirement. However, risks are becoming more substantial as growth slows in the marketplace. When financial instruments serve as the primary monetary backing, even negative interest rates become a possibility, in order to maintain monetary liquidity.

Why store "time in a bottle" on financial terms? When individuals are actively involved in the economy, they do not need to utilize all the resources at once which they are able to engage with. It is when one's roles in the marketplace start to change, that stored resource capacity may need to be tapped. Stored savings can purchase additional time use options on one's behalf. But this is only one aspect of stored resource capacity. Even though personal savings buys further time use options, one becomes more likely to purchase the time of others as well - both directly and indirectly. In later years, the spending of stored income tends to diverge along two very different services paths - one pragmatic, and the other, experiential.

For all intents and purposes, one of these paths is what everyone looks forward to - the life experiences which one may not have sufficient time for, while working. Experiential environments come in many different forms, and represent widespread coordination on the part of groups in for profit and not for profit endeavor. These include - but are by no means limited to - retail settings, lifelong learning, traveling, gardening, sporting activities, entertainment complexes, managed wilderness and historical sites.

However for some, pragmatic services may come to take precedence over one's resource capacity in later life. Various forms of healthcare settings - at least in the U.S. - can claim much of the savings for anyone who has ongoing health concerns. As a result, the services marketplace of healthcare, might override the experiential environments which individuals would otherwise seek out.

In terms of services provision, many investments attempt to compensate for a missing marketplace in time value. Except everyone is expected to be able to do the same, and there are not enough means in aggregate to smooth production and consumption patterns through the course of a lifetime. Financial investments are consequently expected to provide a very large role - one which actually needs to extend beyond their boundaries, in terms of wealth creation. Much of services wealth is presently connected to financial services, in part because the wealth potential of healthcare has ended up on the budget side of government ledgers.

Consequently, economies of scale are not really needed to sell financial product, since this form of services has largely substituted - at least where possible - for a time based marketplace. One way to think about this consumption smoothing pattern is the fact financial instruments are the default access for skills value, as opposed to time value. The problem in this regard is that even though skills value is embedded in a nation's medium of account, it is not representative of actual time use aggregates. A marketplace for time value could eventually help to overcome this problem, and restore important aspects of consumption smoothing in the process.

Granted, a marketplace for time value would work somewhat differently from the stored consumption smoothing which financial instruments offer. Individuals would still need to arbitrage time value through the course of their lifetime, so long as they are physically able. However, many individuals would be perfectly capable of doing so, given the fact that they would be able to choose circumstance to assist one another which are not too taxing on their own systems as they age.

Both the knowledge use aspects of pragmatic services offerings, and the challenges of experiential goods, are easier on mind and body, than the physical forms of labor which can become difficult as one ages. These are the kinds of work options which would vastly reduce the need for disability compensation, which treats recipients as though they are not at all capable of further engaging in any more economy activity. Unlike skills value, time value is relative to the circumstance of those who take part - a factor which restores time value to the marketplace which would otherwise be lost. For some, a marketplace for time could be the "time in a bottle" which might otherwise be difficult to store.

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