One Reply to “Episode 32: In Time”

  1. There are several things you’re missing in the economic analysis.

    Where does the time come from? Wealth is something produced and generated. Labor turns something of no value into something of value. In any culture, from our current one to a basic hunter/gatherer culture, work produces something of value.

    In this culture, where is time produced? If a farmer grows an apple, that apple does not create time. If someone creates a piece of farming equipment, that does not create time. If someone repairs a piece of farm equipment, if someone stocks the apple on a store shelf, if someone sells the apple at a checkout… None of these produce time. The person who buys it transfers their time for it. But where is it generated? It comes from their one year.

    If I buy an apple seed for 15 cents, I grow it into an apple tree, and I sell the apples for 45 cents apiece, that is something generated. The time and labor that went into that is worth something to other people. Labor can generate value. But it cannot generate time.

    The only way time is produced is with new life. Or, more accurately, when a new child reaches 25. Which is probably why the 25-year limit is in place. Otherwise people would be abusing fertility drugs and in vitro fertilization to have octuplets or more, just to drain them dry and get more time. It would be a massive life harvesting scheme. And if couples are only having one kid… 9 months of that one year is spent just raising the kid. Because time keeps moving on.

    That’s right, not only is time not generated, it is constantly sucked OUT of the economy. Everyone has a bank account of 365 dollars and losing one dollar per day. The only time new wealth is generated is when someone new enters the system. So wealth cannot be produced, only consumed. A cup of coffee does not just cost 4 minutes, it also costs another 4 minutes or so to drink it.

    Demand for everything would plummet. Markets would crash. Factory jobs would be worthless, because anything but bare essentials would be worthless. How can you pawn jewelry? Who would give their life for earrings? A dedicated pawn broker would waste his year on the junk he’s getting from people in the first DAY, and then they’d just walk in and take the stuff back.

    People who produce shelter and food would be the only ones who could gain additional time, because people would only be willing to waste their life on things that were actually necessary. But it wouldn’t last long. As people run out, life and society collapses further, and pretty soon, there is no one left.

    This system could not even begin to work. Everyone would be dead well within the first year.

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