Thursday, December 06, 2007

Time is On My Side

All that economics and business and commerce and life is all about is time.

When you exchange $10,000 for a car, that's not $10,000, that's $10,000 of your time.

And I often have half heartedly toyed around with the idea of how one would set up a complete economy based on a currency that was only time. No currency, no credits, just time. "You have deposited 3 hours of time at the time bank." Of course a currency of some sort would have to exist as it's the only way to tell whose time is more valuable than others. Without currency and just my half-baked time idea, doctors would be on par with window washers (which I have done in my past), plus a barter system is basically the most simple form of a currencyless economy. I've been half tempted to offer dance classes in exchange for home cooked meals (another cunning plan).

In any case, I like this chart as it shows you how much time you need to buy a Big Mac in different towns. Bogata it takes 91 minutes, LA it only takes 11 minutes. Playing off the Big Mac Index, this not only show you how much a Big Mac costs, but rather how many minutes one must work to afford a Big Mac.

The true measure of purchasing power parity;


Anonymous said...

Careful, I've heard socialists speak in tongues like this!

Anonymous said...

Economics is behavioral! Great post!

Remember the old saying in business: "Time is money."

Danny L. McDaniel
Lafayette, Indiana

Alfred T. Mahan said...

I was going to ask how Our Genial Host was going to reconcile the phrase "a complete economy based on a currency that was only time" with the notion that "a (presumably separate) currency would have to exist..."(Poster's italics)

It smacks of the system of "non-monetary accounting" set up by one Vladimir Ulyanov in the early part of the 1920's. I believe he's a folk hero of the Captain's.

Carlito said...

Err, it's Bogotá not Bogata. And here in Bogotá a Big Mac is still an expensive meal :(

Captain Capitalism said...

Sorry, my bad.