More on Time Banking

July 5th, 2010

Currency?  Currency, you say?

What is currency, if not a representational icon, depicting a specific value, agreed upon between two individuals, making a voluntary exchange of values?

If you and I agree to make a trade of corn for bananas, then both the corn and the bananas are currency, each representing a value in terms of another commodity: a half sack of corn is worth twenty-five bananas.  And twenty-five bananas are worth a half sack of corn.  Of course, this value of the currency assumes that both individuals sought out the most personally advantageous deal in free markets.

Yes, people tend to be happy with the  representational icon that is gold.  Yet, if you ask anyone the worth of gold, they will need to make reference to another representational icon to provide a comparison as to the worth of the gold.  Because, how does one define the intrinsic value of anything?  Is gold worth more or less than twenty-five bananas or half a sack of corn?  How much gold is equal in value to a banana? To a handful of corn?  You see, value is an individual assessment.  A kite is worth nothing to you if you want bananas.  But to the person who wants a kite, its worth might be a whole sack of corn.  Only a free individual, operating in free markets, can decide what objects have how much value for that individual.  “Market regulation” is a fallacy: only individuals, by their choices, can “regulate” free markets by their voluntary choices.

Human hours.   Yes, as with any other commodity, there will be the floor-swabbing and politician-talking sort of hours, not worth much at all in trade.  Then there will be the doing brain surgery sort of hours, where—if the neurosurgeon has good credentials and an impeccable reputation in the community—the hour trade rate might be 500 politician-talking hours for a half hour of brain surgery.  Sound about right?

What I hope to impress upon you, just in case you did not arrive at this page already knowing this fact; is that when currency is reduced to the hours of your life, you will trade very carefully, seek to make the utility—and therefore the value—of your hours as profitable as possible, and strive for leisure as much as possible, perhaps, or for more time for learning.  Learning might also increase the value of your personal hours on the open free market, right?

When hours are your currency—when your life is what you pay, directly, for what you want—I think you will trade with much more careful attention to the value given and received.

This concept of life as currency differs from all other currencies in one regard: it has no relationship to any bank, government, economic council, political inclinations, or other commodity.

It is an unused market, this market with the currency of time. Government has no ownership of your life, and so, they have no ownership of your time.  Yes, it is true that a draft or community service by force is certainly government owning your life for a fixed period of time.  Once you understand that all you have to trade are the minutes and hours of your life, you will probably begin to spend those time-bits far more carefully. If you think about it


1 July, 2010

Response to person comparing gold market to time market:

I discuss the mechanisms of individual value of an hour being a free market-based concept: you negotiate for how many hours of the other’s life is your product/service worth.  It is an individual valuation of the moment: your hour inventory is fairly constant; that of another human is also.  The variability in an hour’s worth will be value added by individual attributes such as education, expertise, strength, beauty, handsomeness, and also availability and timeliness, to name a few attributes which could reasonably affect the value of the individual human hour.   An ounce of gold holds not nearly as many market-worthy variables, you see. Nor does gold have such a vast possible market of traders as does time.
I hope that helps.  Did you read the earlier essay on the site as well?

More to the same chap:

On local and global markets:  I am sure you are familiar with (market) matrix theory: growth of unit-interstices through linked structures.

Most of our time trading will be accomplished locally.  As we develop more far-flung systems, there is nothing wrong with a variety of currencies being deployed by various communities or families or clans.  Reputation is then added as a marketable characteristic of time value when it is symbolized by some other currency.

Ah, I have enjoyed that we also have the present technology of the pen and paper, and I have done some amazing, complicated, and value-burgeoning deals—some international, although none as of yet off-planet—with those two simple and elegantly-accessible forms of technology, often trading my time for many excellent things. Using a trusted ph34r private courier, of course.  And my personal cool seal .

I cannot think of anything that cannot be done for each individual to enjoy the necessary markets using time as a basis of currency, but there can be many currencies, with suitable exchanges, and individuals will do what they want and recognize as of the highest value to them, individually.


August 25, 2010

You might also enjoy reading Monetary Freedom, Monetary Magic by Richard C.B. Johnsson.

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