Friday, May 6, 2016

The Knowledge Prior in Action

While I've not referred to the knowledge prior recently, it is one of several dual terms I began using some years earlier. This one exists in relation to what could simply be thought of as a monetary prior, for wealth formation. A knowledge prior would allow time value to work in concert with monetary arbitrage, to generate further economic momentum. Through its value in use (alongside the value in exchange of money) function, knowledge can serve as a initial wealth building component, by directly linking time value to local resource use patterns.

Whereas a monetary prior refers to a point of economic origin which generally begins with production of physical product. In turn, these activities gradually progress (at least in relatively complex economies) to non profit activity which culminates in a certain degree of support for knowledge use. Often, the fact that some areas cannot readily support knowledge is obscured by the fact revenue often comes from elsewhere. System structure which incorporates a knowledge prior, could make useful and experiential knowledge use less random - regardless of region.

Through symmetric time coordination, important elements of wealth generation can be turned "inside out", by tapping additional knowledge capacity at the outset. Knowledge use systems would coordinate and - over time - magnify existing resource capacity and time value in small decentralized groups. While the monetary prior is associated with general equilibrium conditions, knowledge prior use would be associated with alternative equilibrium growth capacity, which includes flexible definitions for both time value and environment.

In particular, innovation for flexible physical infrastructure would be key in these settings. When people age in place in their environments, so does their housing and local infrastructure. The ability to replace old components with new components can be vitally important in these circumstance. The object for small wage patterns working in concert is not to seek out "low quality" infrastructure and housing components. Rather, it is to mass produce less costly components which can be readily changed out when it is clearly time to do so. Indeed, the vast majority of tradable product has been created with similar intent for as long as anyone can remember. While some of this process is disparagingly referred to as throwaway product, the changing circumstance by which one makes best use of a given product, cannot be denied.

No fiscal budgets are going to get any real relief, until non tradable sectors are willing to make room for innovation. Non tradable sectors have already benefited from the innovation of tradable sectors for centuries, and now it is their turn to contribute to the process. Consider today's municipal dilemma, in which aggregate time value for populations as a whole, is no longer sufficient to meet today's requirements for infrastructure. Much of the appearance of lost income gains in recent decades, is due to the stubborn nature of non tradable sectors, as they continue to resist innovation in their own ranks. And the fact that policy makers have grown weary of printing more money for what basically amounts to infrastructure rigidity, is now reflected in a growing lack of ability to fund time based service capacity.

Consider also what has happened to aggregate time value, since a subset of the population now holds the majority of economic time value. If one were to roughly surmise, what policy makers imagine aggregate income potential (for all ages) to be in terms of available revenues, basic income for all citizens is a reasonable way to arrive at such a figure.

However: the basic income that governments might actually be able to provide citizens (say, in the event of an automated future), is a far cry from the revenue governments actually need to maintain their already existing building and infrastructure requirements! An apt context for this approximation is the fact municipalities no longer include many new start up homes. From a recent WSJ article, "How City Hall Exacerbates the Entry-level Housing Squeeze", regarding the need for impact fees:
These fees fund the local infrastructure needed to support a growing population - schools, transportation, environmental mitigation and utilities.
Basically, the above article implied that for most municipalities, their hands are tied and it has become difficult to provide (housing) room for those who are just starting out, or have otherwise become marginalized in some capacity for that matter. Knowledge use systems would not only provide a point of economic entry for lower income levels, but coordinate time value so as to allow greater economic and social cohesion. At the outset, knowledge use systems would set up and maintain a lower cost threshold for all local non tradable sector activity, which would be reinforced with symmetric compensation for time value.

A basic tenet for knowledge prior contribution to employment potential, is that general equilibrium conditions aren't capable of providing a given asymmetric wage across entire population sets. Domestic home activity is an excellent example, why asymmetric wage structure does not automatically apply for all who might otherwise just stay home to take advantage of market wages.

For example, how many parents could realistically pay their children for housework at the going rate of home cleaning services? It helps to remember that only so many employers can meet the requirements of an asymmetric wage, and that ability remains dependent on availability of additional revenue at any given moment. This could partly explain why housework did not become a part of the GDP measure, given the fact sufficient revenue did not exist to pay voluntary domestic labor in a routine workplace capacity.

Symmetric wage structure would not be limited by existing revenue in the marketplace, but by the number of participants who are willing to equally coordinate for group time value alongside the option of discretionary income through resource arbitrage. Even so, a small base wage would go far, because knowledge use systems would recreate non tradable sector consumption. By maintaining innovative and flexible infrastructure, knowledge use systems can be built at a fraction of what the costs would be in general equilibrium conditions.

A knowledge prior function can also provide greater social cohesion for knowledge use patterns, which are otherwise difficult for lower income levels to access. One of the most unfortunate instances in this regard has been the ongoing obligation of public school for all citizens. In spite of required attendance for students, not to mention lifetime taxation responsibilities for U.S. homeowners, public schooling provides little if any social or economic cohesion for those who participate, once they graduate from high school. Knowledge use systems would take care to ensure that local responsibilities for education include economic results for time value, so that all participants can take part in knowledge based activity.

As Buckminster Fuller said, "We are called to be the architects of the future, not its victims." While one often imagines the infrastructure possibilities for general equilibrium conditions, imagination also holds promise for environment definition at all income levels. The knowledge prior could provide a much needed point of origin, for new economic communities. Even though symmetric monetary compensation may not appear equivalent to the rewards of asymmetric compensation, aggregate time value could finally gain the respect it deserves, through better links to potential resource capacity.

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