All too often, those who insist that GDP "ought" to be about happiness, are more concerned with measuring outcomes or destinations, instead of the economic input which could belong to the "journey" of GDP in real time. Just as life is about the journey instead of the destination, the same is true of the economic input which becomes measured activity. Through symmetric (or mutual) compensation, time value could contribute to greater economic stability, as a valuable measure. Wherever it is reasonable or possible for monetary activity to gain a reliable constant, happiness has a greater chance of becoming a relative constant as well.
In the weeks prior to Christmas, I had intended to write a holiday post about time value as a gift. Better late than never! If there were a gift I could choose for the world, it would be that people have the chance to gain productive economies not only where they begin their lives, but also where they ultimately live out their lives.
If economic time value could be created where people already reside, money would become more closely associated with personal effort, personal assistance and positive results. Should people choose to leave the environments where they begin their lives, it wouldn't have to be because they couldn't make a living, but simply because they seek new challenges. As things stand now, too many individuals are compelled to leave loved ones behind in order to build a successful life, or else become stuck in places which hold little economic promise.
Consider the many ways it matters, when overall time value is insufficiently economic. In particular, if someone says they "are" alone or that they "feel" alone, something in that statement is not about victimhood, especially if one rightly perceives this as a need for some form of product which simply isn't available. While "feeling alone" is typically cast in psychological terms, the psychological effect is also a result of a lack of societal coordination for daily life needs, on the part of all income strata. The result is default institutions for various income or age groups which are not capable of reflecting their humanity in a broad sense.
Economic time value is needed for those moments when it was once possible to reach out to friends and neighbors, in order to get feedback on a wide range of personal activities in one's life. Anyone still fortunate enough to have family and friends nearby, knows that seeking assistance isn't always about needing a particular skills capacity, so much as a desire to address concerns regarding one's own perspective on a present matter. It is sometimes said that in terms of knowledge use, what one generally wants is corroboration for their own instincts and prior efforts.
But when time value is asymmetrically compensated, corroboration for one's efforts is not what one normally gains from a time based service product. Whereas symmetric compensation - i.e. that which coordinates time time value on equal terms - would makes this a possibility. Even though people can train themselves to rely solely on their own instincts and skills sets without the help of others, why is this approach necessary? Why should humans - born as social animals who benefit from mutual assistance - resort to the odd economic conclusion of independent service provision as technology proceeds, instead of time based services product?
Even though self reliance is necessary for survival up to a point, people have unnecessarily traveled down this road a bit too far. Oddly, those who are inclined to denigrate self reliance, don't realize how much the insistence on a high bar for knowledge use norms, makes a greater degree of self reliance all too necessary.
Nothing in this post is to suggest that all time value should exist on economic terms. In particular, many activities among one's closest family and friends, can fortunately remain both spontaneous and non economic in the foreseeable future. However, many individuals - particularly among the marginalized - need viable options for services coordination that they are not able to access, otherwise. Indeed, one's non economic time value tends to correlate with the way they are actually compensated in the marketplace. Because of this, many who are successful, have too little time to assist others who do not have sufficient access to resource capacity.
Compensated time value for mutual assistance, is a gift which people now have the option of providing, for themselves. An internet meme puts it well: Sometimes the best present is being present. Anyone who has caring family and friends, can be forgiven for thinking that caring attention should not be attached to money. Just the same, should people be willing to take a chance on monetarily compensating one another for mutual assistance, many among the marginalized would be able to create for themselves, what others tend to take for granted. Knowledge is the flame that a candle burns, yet a candle loses none of its light, by lighting another. As to the times when individuals might seek the time value of others? Another meme explains in terms that are quite simple to understand:
Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.