Time Banking in Free markets

April 29th, 2010

Time Banking in Free Markets

I like this entire concept.  When my children were small, we belonged to a sitting cooperative, where you simply earned hours and spent hours of sitting with people who were in the cooperative.  Worked wonderfully. And the time bank could be used in other places with other cooperative time banks as well.  Points earned in Peoria could be used in Utica, if there were sitter cooperatives in both places.  Charming.  The time-keepers got a credit every month for doing all the time-keeping records, by the way: you lost about a quarter hour a month in fees, but it was well worth it.

I like that people are continuing this cooperative concept and extending it to hours of trade for all sorts of stuff from plumbing to particle acceleration (okay, so maybe we aren’t quite there yet) and trading on an hour-for-hour basis.  Or on any basis that is agreeable to both parties involved.

When we are trading the actual minutes and hours of our lives for what we want, with no symbolic medium of exchange such as fake paper money in the mix, priorities certainly become much more significant in making decisions of how to allocate one’s time.  I like this.  People are all free to trade their hours in any way they please, but the human hour of effort holds the same worth across the market.  And if people don’t want to trade straight across, I guess they will work out a bargaining system. Say, trade one hour of curative medical care, with all those years of medical training amortized over the hours to be traded, for maybe three hours of garden hoeing or lawyer work.

Trading hours means a much closer scrutiny of the actual worth of what one is getting in trade, for aren’t the hours of our lives the most valuable commodity we have to trade?  That being so, begin to ponder:

How many hours will you trade to the grower of your food?; to the bringer of your firewood to heat your house?; to the maker of the cloth for your clothes?; to the officer who gives you a ticket for going five miles over the posted speed limit on an empty road in dry daylight; to the politician who passes laws to limit your human rights?; to the dentist who fixes your broken tooth?; to the tax collector?; to the chap who plows away the snow?; to the county assessor?

Removing phony money made of paper from the equation reveals a reformation in how we prioritize where we spend our lives, doesn’t it?

I am going to think more about this.


April 29, 2010

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