Saturday, June 21, 2014

Connecting Points Along A Continuum: Time Arbitrage

The title of this post explains how time use can be accessed, for skills capacity. Knowledge use systems would take place along a relatively complete, close density continuum, consisting of diverse local service options. These systems also interact with the world at large (and invite it to join in), but they are monetarily compensated locally. Skills sets would be organized to accommodate anything from short term needs to long term goals, for both community and individual. Voluntary (calendared) coordination within the overarching structure, substitutes for what is generally planned coordination within today's organizational structures. All age groups would be included.

Organizational scale adjusts from institution specific to local specific. This allows for greater total factor productivity, in part because fewer externalities would be left unattended. Should various knowledge use and skills patterns be subjected to algorithms for "complete skills optimization", they would show aggregate possibilities for services connections (choice sets). Of course, a working model would initially do little more than hint at potential outcomes, especially if calendaring and decision sets were approached as the community game they actually represent. It would be a game which includes lifelong education, work projects, investment decision collaboration and experiential product. No "make believe" necessary!

It helps to remember that everyone's time capacity is limited, and time management is essential. Unfortunately in price arbitrage (general) equilibrium, it's not always possible to take limited time capacity into consideration, because money in general equilibrium represents resources which go well beyond time use. Monetarily compensated time arbitrage provides that option. Time arbitrage allows individuals to coordinate through supply side efforts for aggregate services potential. One example would include education curricula for skills set markets. Even when time use and accompanying logistics are aligned to the greatest degree possible, some discrepancies will always remain. However, they do not have to be near as pronounced as they are in the present.

Even though one's ability to match time with others is somewhat limited in the short run, a primary community goal would be to diversity individual connections to the greatest extent possible, in the medium and long run. The connecting points of any given day are our actual possibilities for arbitrage. Who has time available, which makes sense logistically with our own? Local knowledge systems would use this fortuitous circumstance as a vantage point.

At first glance, monetary compensation for knowledge use systems may appear as either income equality arguments or a form of guaranteed income. However that is not the case. Time arbitrage makes equality of opportunity possible, rather than equality of outcome. Equality of time use provides a point of access, into a system which otherwise would not be possible to generate. Once someone's time is compensated differently from that of another, we revert back to to the standard form of price arbitrage, but it is no longer aligned with the use of our time. Which means the possibility of time management at either individual or aggregate levels, can still remain elusive.

What's more, price arbitrage equilibrium which has no time arbitrage option, can unfortunately play a large role in national imbalances. Those imbalances - over time - become constrained by the addition of compensated time use to already existing debt balances. Because some compensated skills sets end up paying for the exclusion of other time use through taxation schemes (Obamacare as latest example), all compensated time use additions become suspect. This can lead to critical junctures, when nations may no longer welcome immigrants or most anything that appears to compete for limited resources.

By recognizing time use limitation and factoring for it in economic circumstance, many social divisions can be overcome. After all, time use experiences limitations which are more significant than any other resource nations utilize. Plus, it helps to remember that money represents all resource capacity, whether it be limited or abundant. This is why we now have a somewhat divided equilibrium, which often does not not align well with lower to middle income capacities.

Thus, time arbitrage allows the choice of a different equilibrium or dual economy, so as to access services and investment formation in unique patterns. The dual economy in this particular context, is different from the dual economy which developing countries continue to evolve away from. It is different in that it seeks new forms of production efficiencies, instead of reverting back to less productive equilibrium whenever economic access remains limited.

Another problem with unequal time use compensation: even though these skills sets are a valuable component of general equilibrium, differentiated time use is not capable of generating new product or wealth on its own terms. Instead, differentiated time value generates a form of debt in a portion of the exchange, which in turn needs to be compensated from preexisting wealth. This forces services formation into the politically charged arena of public and private definition and support. Knowledge use systems would provide some respite from these battles, in that they generate newly created wealth through a "cancelled debt" equal match scenario. It is the equal match which allows our time choices, knowledge use and skills sets to become capital in a real sense.

Time arbitrage is different from price arbitrage, in that price arbitrage is capable of substituting other resources for time use. Whereas time arbitrage would need to incorporate local investment structures in order to gain from additional resource capacity. In a sense, the coordination system becomes a substitute for the additional resource access which lower to middle income levels may not have. The substitution is particularly valuable in that it generates greater GDP and a more complete marketplace than would otherwise be possible.

Few things are more important in our lives, than the ability to manage our time effectively. When time value is capable of arbitrage, other life challenges are easier to keep in perspective. By aligning time value with others along a continuum, other important political and social alignments become possible. Instead of others representing a threat to our own economic access, the time value of others would come to be seen as a greater marketplace of potential. And the human capital which has been denied till now, would become a defining part of economic activity.

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