Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Government and the Secondary Marketplace Factor

Lately, the term "secondary marketplace" seems to have become more prominent in my posts. And - once again - my usage refers to a supply side or "real economy" structure, which in this instance varies widely from the financial definition normally associated with secondary markets. However, a recognition of today's secondary market status is warranted for knowledge and time based product, because of the macroeconomic and microeconomic issues at stake.

Macroeconomic considerations are particularly important, because the government budget dependence which generates a wide range of knowledge use, negatively impacts long term growth capacity. Governments cannot move ahead of private interests in the provision of knowledge/time based product, in part because of the way this good is presently defined. When knowledge use is monetarily compensated by governments in a secondary market position, the redistribution required, means each unit of knowledge based product needs to be paid for twice.

In a sense, this organizational structure limits knowledge based economic participation by half, of what is already the case in a merit based framework of economic possibility. Whereas much of private industry compensation for knowledge/time use on merit based terms, exists via discretionary income (for personal high and low skill services), or by the degree to which asymmetric compensation contributes to the final marketplace product of tradable sectors. Even though today's private industry utilization of knowledge use is incomplete, this form of time value can be accessed more directly.

Unfortunately, in terms of arbitrage, governments nonetheless attempt to treat knowledge based product as though its resource capacity exists much as any other resource category across the spectrum. Too few have truly come to terms, with the fact that time based product exists in relation to other (comparable) time based product. As a result, far too many knowledge based coordination functions, do not have direct relation to the monetary representation that is aggregate resource capacity.

For example: one way to break down this time based product reality in the U.S., are those "neighbor" healthcare emergency clinic commercials, which encourage the random television viewer to believe their "neighbors" are always "there" for them. Yet this form of services product mostly holds in relative income terms, i.e. not those of the resource strapped individual who needs an emergency room which can accept most anyone at some odd hour of the night.

Since knowledge use - as a secondary market - is only partially compensated by discretionary income and government redistribution, increased merit is now mandatory, in order for most individuals to be able to take part in the economy. Decades earlier, merit as a requisite for knowledge use, was less problematic on a number of levels. Today however, efforts to initiate economic access without ("appropriate") merit are rapidly becoming a first mover problem in general equilibrium conditions, even as personal production options other than knowledge use, give way to technology and automation,

These limits on personal economic time value, increasingly pose risks for long term prosperity. Should governments eventually opt for providing basic income to citizens as a budgetary defense, associated efforts to scale back welfare states make the process far too complicated. Too many aspects of welfare states have subsidized the same knowledge use requirements, which now limit economic participation for citizens as a whole. As a result, no amount of basic income - at least in a normally understood supply and demand resource framework - would provide access to earlier knowledge use structures which were built and intended for higher income levels.

This is why knowledge use systems are needed, to provide means for lower income levels to engage in the production and consumption of time and knowledge based product, well into the foreseeable future. Best, this process would allow knowledge use and time value to exist as primary forms of wealth generation. As a primary marketplace, symmetric compensation would allow time value in aggregate to slowly - but surely - restore the growth trajectory which existed until the Great Recession.

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