Monday, December 14, 2015

Time Value: The "Use It or Lose It" Problem

Why has it proven so difficult for markets to coordinate between time based resource sets, versus other forms of resource utilization? Put simply, there is an imbalance in this regard, which continues to accumulate. Time based products have time and location specific characteristics, that set them apart from other forms of resource capacity which theoretically can be traded within any time frame. Even so, monetary representation presently treats all forms of product as though they are viable through the same mechanisms.

So long as economies maintain sufficient growth trajectories, balance between time based product and other resource capacity is possible under the same "umbrella" (of monetary transmission) for populations as a whole. But consider what may happen, otherwise. As governments gained power in recent centuries, they granted exclusive knowledge based rights for skills production to certain groups.

As it turns out, too much of the knowledge that was subjected to strict limitation, was also a central component of expected consumption. After special interests gained these privileges from governments, other groups in their turn were granted initial claims for consumption of this knowledge based product - particularly in the form of government pensions. Today, even though pensions can bankrupt municipalities at state and local levels, the staked claims for time/knowledge product that are contained in pensions, are where many budgetary problems originate.

Consider the situation, in terms of overall time aggregate potential. Unlike other consumption possibilities, everyone's time based product options exist in a single continuum of time use potential. When time/location slots in that continuum are missed for any reason, it may not be possible to make up time "cancellations" elsewhere, for participants who lost their position in the present round. The result is not just individual loss for production and consumption, but also aggregate losses. This is true not just in the sense of healthcare as potential (immediate) time match by provider and recipient, but also in terms of deteriorating health conditions, when such needs go unaddressed for years or even decades at a time.

The problem for money as representative of a single marketplace for all goods - whether time based or no, is that it cannot readily coordinate accumulating imbalances when they occur, without a specially designated marketplace for time value. Without a parallel (money represented) marketplace for symmetrical time coordination, money has no "choice" but to purchase all resource capacity as if it can be traded at any given point in time. However, time based product occurs along a single ongoing continuum. This holds true in the sense of time value which is sought at personal levels and is generally location specific.

While bestowed favors from governments in skills based production are understandable, that does not mean it is realistic to assume a full marketplace for healthcare options can exist under these conditions. However, instead of simply reacting to this unfortunate circumstance, it would be reasonable for governments and healthcare providers to share knowledge, with those who otherwise can't expect access to healthcare over the full course of their lives.

Time value is a "use it or lose it" form of resource capacity, in both production and consumption terms. Time specialty gains on the part of the few, have slowly but surely undermined other forms of time value at aggregate levels. These losses - while also monetary in nature - are nonetheless personal, because they represent potential which might not gain the chance for representation. Only consider the cumulative effects, in terms of social devaluation and lowered expectations. Perhaps this helps to explain why governments are becoming more reactive to those who are marginalized - whether native born population or immigrant. In the process, populations are being compelled to judge who does not "measure" up.

What a shame, that governments and special interests inadvertently encouraged their own populations to become judges as to who is "deserving" of anything, and who is not. It's time to take a closer look at potential time value, and find better ways to put it to use, for populations as a whole. With a bit of luck, there is still time to back out of this psychological quagmire.

No comments:

Post a Comment