Could one's time preferences assume the value in use functions that apply for commodities, in contrast with concentrated forms of value of exchange that contribute to final product? Skills arbitrage - along with its extensive human capital investment requirements and risks for instance - belong to the latter category. This, even though the institutional application of high skill arbitrage is sometimes described as intangible product.
Only recall how resource based commodities serve as a beginning point for all kinds of production cycles. By way of example, recent tariff issues for steel and aluminum remind us how commodity designations affect a wide range of ultimate production possibilities. Time arbitrage as a formal economic commodity, would allow personal time value to be envisioned as a resource which serves as an integral beginning point for other components of economic exchange. Such a conceptualization is all the more important, so that personal time options might form a reliable framework for the production cycles of knowledge based product in the 21st century.
How could time value as a formally defined economic commodity, contribute to societal gains? Among other benefits, it would provide opportunities for all participants in learning processes to generate measurable value in use, via their own personal participation. Most individuals would be able to take part in knowledge focused marketplaces and workplaces from a young age, thereby reducing the high risks and long wait periods for human capital investments to pay off as value in exchange.
Consider how basic commodities provide essential value in use functions, which greatly contrast with what high skill products and services are often designed to provide. Nevertheless, human capital investment intended to sell skills as value in exchange, now has a smaller window of opportunity in the workplace, than was the case in the twentieth century. One always invests in human capital with a certain degree of risk, given the evolving institutional needs for skills arbitrage in many workplaces.
One reason it's important to have time arbitrage as a basic commodity option: Rural areas particularly rely on commodity production for wealth creation, rather than the value in exchange which prosperous regions contribute to value added goods and services. Nevertheless, the technological gains of the 20th century meant fewer employment options for basic commodity production in rural areas. Meanwhile, it is only becoming more difficult for governments to redistribute wealth from other sources to rural areas, hence the latter need new options to create new wealth via their own means. Local services generation - via the basic commodity role of time arbitrage - should be an obvious choice.
Skills arbitrage - desirable though it is - remains mostly available to individuals who live in prosperous regions, since these forms of economic complexity are generally required before local institutions can fully compensate extensive human capital investment. Today's educational institutions in rural areas contribute to this problem, for they mostly prepare motivated students to relocate to more prosperous regions, rather than provide vital skills locally after high school graduation. If time value were designated on formal terms as a useful and basic commodity, rural citizens could finally engage in ongoing education which also enriches the lives of neighbors in their own communities.
Even though meritocratic skills arbitrage became the preferred goal of human capital investment, its potential for widespread use in the 21st century is diminishing, especially as present day corporations revert to an organizational core which minimizes full time employment. By structuring more time use as a basic commodity, it would be feasible to restore the level of employment that most individuals desire. And from here, it would finally be possible for all concerned to seek out new cultural frameworks, in terms of freely shared responsibility.