A Translation

I've lost the original train of thought, but I suppose the train is rarely the interesting part. The meaty part.

This may be life changing. I haven't experimented with it yet, so there's no telling. However, there's that feeling; the one that tells you, "you're on to something."

I'm returning to economics. I posted a somewhat related post two months ago. That one was theoretic, of no consequence. This one, I'll let you guys decide.

||Concept 1:

Money: a bill, a coin, is a form of value. A dollar bill, a twenty is but a piece of paper. A coin is but...a coin. Remember Pogs? The game revolved around trades. A game of barter, a game of economics and values, it taught you what individuals valued, and what that meant for your game, your strategy. Slammers are worth more than your average pog. Some people took liking to particular styles, colors, pictures, themes.

Specific items hold varying values for each individual, because each individual's sense of value and worth is not inherent; it's learned, and everyone's experiences are different.

||Concept 2:

This part may be per opinion, so I think: for the average human being, the world's most limited resource is time. And almost everyone has a concept of how much their time is worth. You weigh it by deciding what to do with your time; you weigh it by deciding how much you're to be paid for a profession: a set of skill(s) and time utilized for the operations of another entity's gain.

||The Why Question:

If the ultimate limited resource is time, and as a consumer, currency is the translation of that resource for purchases in return for a good or service, then why is time not the primary metric for value instead of money? A dollar amount is but the translation of what you're actually expending for your purchase.

||The What Question:

Is time a better method of measuring how much something costs than money? Currency is but a translation of the time spent to earn the money. If the time spent to earn money was the primary metric used to understand what a good or service is actually costing a person, would people have a better understanding of how much something is costing him/her?

||The Example:

The consumer, Average Suzy, is paid $10/hour. She works 40 hours a week (for this example, we'll simplify and ignore taxes). Average Suzy pays $100 a month for her cable plan. She can't live without her programming. With her wage, Average Suzy must work 10 hours a month in order to pay for her cable. Of course, since the utilization of cable tv can be measured in time spent watching television; it's easy to say that Average Suzy gets her money's worth if she watches more than 10 hours of programming each month. That doesn't sound too hard, but what if it was something else like a pair of jeans? How do you compare the worth of an article of clothing to the worth of the time you spent working for that equivalent dollar amount?

Let's do some more math: For this example, there are 4 weeks in a month. In a month, Average Suzy works 160 hours total. Out of all that, 10 hours are spent purely for the reason of being able to watch cable television. In other words, 6.25% of her work month is utilized to pay for this good. This number may seem inconsequential, and it'll come down to your sense of value of 10 hours as compared to the value of a month's worth of televised programming.

Consider how much time it would cost to buy a car. When measured using time instead of currency, would the valued difference between a decent car and a luxury car be worth it? If the difference is priced at $5,000.00. That's 500 hours of work for Average Suzy. That difference calculates to a little over three months time at work for Average Suzy. By the way, that's not the cost of the car, that's just the hypothetical price difference between two cars. Of course, people usually take years to pay off a car, but time is time. It's the world's scarcest, most limited resource. You don't get any more of it than you do. The worst part is that no one knows how much of it you get.

So does it make a difference? This translation.

If anyone can answer my questions, please do.

1 comment:

  1. One critical difference between time and money is that money is a store of value, whereas time is transient. If I convert my time to money, then I can save it and spend it later on some good that maybe I don't know that I need right now. If I don't, then the time is wasted and cannot be regained (unless I'm doing something else that gives me value).

    Another difference is that money can be exchanged for many things. While the local fruit stand will definitely take my money exchange for fruit (they just started carrying mangoes), they probably don't have much use for my time.