Monday, June 27, 2016

Considering Time Value

Why is it so helpful to think about time value, as both product and concept? What we perceive as time value exists in various dimensions - not all of which are economic in nature. However, money has become such an important part of life, that more of what we presently consider personal time value, would benefit from a clearly understood economic approach. Time value need not solely represent that which is assigned to individuals via their institutions, but also that which individuals are capable of assigning to one other as well.

Providing new economic frameworks for time value is not so difficult as it may seem. One of the best ways to think about this process, is the added value it would make possible in contrast to the UBI approach of paying individuals not to work or otherwise assist one another. In the near future, prosperous regions will provide less compensation for physical labor and/or repetitive work, in relation to work requiring non routine thought processes. Might a similar economic future also hold true for communities in general? A positive answer to this question, depends on whether time based knowledge product is encouraged more broadly, and whether average citizens are invited to take part in the process.

Economic time value is about more than just skill capacity. Think for a moment. How often, when we seek out time based product from others, do we appreciate most their focused attention on our circumstantial efforts, even more than specific skill sets they may have? A marketplace for time value would more readily account for differences between subjective product quality, versus "not always necessary" skill sets or objective outcomes (i.e. "I mostly just wanted him or her to listen"). Subjective time based product is more closely associated with the interactions of both participants as well - such as peer to peer learning, for instance.

One of the biggest problems for those who lack economic access in the present, is the way they are categorized, in spite of widely varying circumstance. In particular, there is a real need to get beyond the "low skill" mindset - a coarse brush which paints the vast majority of those not presently engaged in the workplace. Low skilled on whose or what terms? Without a marketplace for time value, there's a tremendous range of activities, interests and challenges that neither individuals or institutions are able to even represent, as available economic options. "Low skill" as a term, mostly indicates that societies have given excessive attention to specific forms of time value, knowledge and skill, instead of increasing market capacity for time value and knowledge use as a whole.

Also important, is the fact that those with limited economic access, have difficulty contributing to important public discourse - especially anyone who is not, or has not been previously employed in a professional capacity. Knowledge use systems could eventually provide a middle ground for the average citizen, between the separation of discussion at academic levels, versus the watered down media versions which are now adding instability in the political arena. Recent world events, of which Brexit is only the latest, highlight the need for all citizens to be a part of the economic arena which daily affects their lives.

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