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Money is Time

You’ve heard the phrase – time is money.

Well, money can also be thought of as time. More specifically, money is a way to represent people’s time.

  • $20 can buy you an hour of cheap labor on a building site
  • $30 can buy you an hour of someone’s time to clean your house
  • $200 can buy you an hour of an expensive programmers time
  • Etc etc

Life in modern society without money is near impossible. So if you don’t have money, you need to spend your time getting hold of it.

Once you have it, you can avoid spending time procuring it, and instead control to a greater degree what you spend your time doing.

Kudos to Zach Macey for the cool book cover illustration.

Hopefully that’s fairly easy to conceptualize.

If money is time, then we also need a way to price our time. But this is difficult in a society that has a monetary system where the quantity of money is constantly changing (typically increasing).

Let’s say you were an electrician in USA, and you priced your time at $70 per hour.

But then the US government create a $2.2 Trillion CARES Act stimulus package in 2020, and a $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan Act in 2021.

These stimulus packages increase the price of stocks you were planning to buy – which were going to form part of your retirement plan.

Now, in retrospect, maybe you should have been charging $75 per hour – but the size of the pie (monetary supply) changed beneath your feet.

Money pie increase *not* to scale – but just meant as an illustration

How could this mis-pricing of time be avoided?

If there was a money pie with a fixed size, that couldn’t be expanded at the whim of bureaucrats, then this mis-pricing scenario could be avoided.

Cryptocurrency offers this possibility.

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