Time Isn’t Money

As long as I’ve worked, I’ve believed the old adage “time is money.” That how you spend your time in inherently valuable. For this reason, I always believed in hourly work. That doing work correctly offered its own rewards. Unfortunately, there are two  problems (and a half) with that.

For one, this system encourages dawdling. As in, if I were to make 3 hour job last 5 hours, I would be paid more. Likewise, if I did good work, and completed a five hour job in three hours, I would be basically cheating myself out of money. In this case, I would either ask for a raise or hope the boss will notice, and give me one. But I’m too shy and too polite to do the former (it’s not a character flaw to be soft-hearted, but it’s troublesome when you need to be assertive), and I can’t count on the boss to be decent enough to always do this. Besides which, they are trying to get a good value too. Which brings to another problem (but not quite the second), either I work hard and rip myself off of money I need for expenses, or the boss feels ripped off and fires me. I would actually prefer steady pay, and to work hard and fast so the job is done quickly, and I can go and do what I want to.

Which is the second problem. We, as humans, are wasting our lives. We are spending it on stuff that has no value. At Walmart, most of what I did was watch an area. I didn’t sell, customer service, or stocking, so much as sit and make sure stuff wasn’t getting stolen from a store. Okay, here’s the thing, in that store hours were a given, since there was no real way to finish early and head home (I mean, you could end maybe five minutes early (and were encouraged to, by the anti-overtime system), so money was basically guaranteed. But I usually wanted to head home. Or go shopping, or anything to actually have money that I could spend. As it was, because of pay by the hour, I was wasting their time and mine, and when my car broke down, and I had not enough money to pay (despite working 40 hours some weeks, I got paid every two weeks, and it averaged poorly), I basically had to quit. Here is the second issue: If time is money, and you work for someone else, this means that if they are wasting your time by making you believe that working longer pays more, you are being stolen from. Not strangely, this actually appears to the prevailing them of use and abuse that I have observed. When people work by time, for others, they pretty much spend their entire lives and are still poor.

On the other hand, my electrologist works by the job, and while time is involved, she gets a flat rate for her work. And I, since I revalued my system, am trying to work more toward a finished job pay. Essentially, I’d rather have a job that is worth $40, if I finish it in 8 hours, I’m ripping myself off, by wasting time. So I should try to get in done correctly in 1 hour. Of course, this system is currently not ideal, because I can’t really judge the value of my work, but here’s the key.

The value of our lives is not defined by the time we spend on it. Money is not, and should not be based around the concept of time. Instead, money is a shorthand for value. How valuable is my work to you? Am I doing something worthwhile? If my quality of work suffers, if I’m wasting my time, don’t give me as much. If I seem to be doing something meaningful, give me feedback through pay. I want to be done with jobs quicker, and have more time to spend with family and friends.There are not enough hours in the day to spend on scheduled time. But there are enough hours to spend on doing something worthwhile. It’s time that work remove time from the equation.

A New Earth

From Revelation 21:

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

3I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.a 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

Look at this world. Things seem okay, right? Well, they’re not. Supposedly the US has more freedom than other countries. Only, behind that claim we have a number of people being imprisoned by the prisons. In fact, we have a prison system designed to quickly coerce people into taking a plea bargain (which by the way, is a guilty plea, meaning even if circumstances later would prove them innocent, the fact that they are innocent until proven guilty, and plead guilty means they are guilty anyway). We have an education system that is set up to teach to tests, and rampant with cheating and plagiarism. We have a welfare system where millions are in poverty, and kept that way, because many of the rules insist that you lose benefits once you work over a certain number of hours. And we have a housing situation that is oppressive and cruel. But I will not talk about any of that, I will talk about what we need for a better world.

The Unite Nations proposed a five year plan in 2012. I will discuss what about it I agree with, what is wrong or insufficient, and then I will discuss my own plan.

I. Sustainable Development

II. Prevention (both of ailments and disasters)

III. Building a safer and more secure world by innovating on our core business.

IV. Supporting nations in transition.

V. Working with and for women and young people.

Unfortunately, this appears to tackle the problems as symptoms, without identifying the fact that countries are different, and have different customs. Let’s start with the last first. Ideally, yes, we would want to set infrastructure in place to prevent women from being abused, support groups to help those battered, and legal action over not just physical abuse, but other types as well. Yes, we want women to have dreams, and be able to achieve them. But what about a country like Ukraine? The country has specific gender roles for each. While our American sensibilities would say outright that this is wrong, the bigger temptation would be to wipe away what makes other cultures unique, and by “supporting nations in transition” effectively be trying to create a lockstep path for all countries to follow. No to spousal abuse, but if some countries believe in tradition, this isn’t our place to tell them how to run their culture only to do it with an eye towards improvement of rights. I admire the idea of a safer world, but there is much below the surface that the UN does not know, even about the United States. Even major companies like Walmart or Amazon do some questionable, and seedy things to their employees, and in small towns, some women need to prostitute themselves to find decent work. I believe prevention of illness and disaster is a worthy goal, so I will skip directly to the first. Let’s talk about sustainable development, shall we? In the US, over the past few dozen years, agriculture has been moving away from sustainable development. We have moved from horse drawn farming, which have done agriculture at least the past thousand years, to pollution spewing machine tractors, to genetically altered crops, pesticides and herbicides, and especially fungicides. Our own soil is dead because crops do not have the symbiosis with mushroom breeds to process clean pollution into proper air, meaning we are slowly choking to death and killing our soil. Our bees are dying because of monoculture, and excessive pesticides. And this is just agriculture, our businesses are all but collapsed, hence the recession. Uhhh, yea, shouldn’t we be sure our own model is decent before passing on our problems to the rest of the world?

Let’s have a better model of what we want from this world, okay?

  1. Replacing “conventional” agriculture as a model. Creating a minimum standard for agriculture, and forbidding the use of certain products that deplete the soil. Doing away with sick practices in food, like making additives such as trans fats (and get rid of the 0g trans fat being allowed to be up to 0.5g, that counts as having added trans fats). Having a better labeling system so people know when seemingly healthy foods have been doctored or altered. Even going back to pre-industrial farming would be a major step in the right direction. I have no issues with breeding plants to be more productive, but gene splicing is an allergen concern, and I have major beef with plants that have been modified to be infertile (yes, that’s a thing). We should NOT have a business monopoly on our crops. Sustainability means dethroning all of these rulers of our fate.
  2. A better housing and job market. We need an end to landlords, which seems to be a relic from feudalism, and to allow people to build their own houses on any land that is not environmentally protected or within city limits. We need job systems that allow people to pursue the jobs they really want, education systems that don’t bankrupt people with debt, and job application process that tests people on what they can actually do, not by their past or their public speaking ability. How does the ability to do well at an interview have any bearing on getting an entry level job waiting tables or lifting boxes? We need less conversation interviews, and more practical skills interviews. We need the basics of live to be taken care of, since right now, not only are people not “independent” as seems to be the goal of our time, but they cannot live without worry. Even if family is a value, one cannot live without worry that when the parents die, one will not be able to pay the taxes and the bills to heat and cool the house.
  3.  Oil and gas free, and pollution free within the next 10 or 20 years. We should be exerting our effort into making electrical, solar, wind, and other natural sources for energy for the houses we heat, and the cars we drive. Part of the problem with the corn “solution” of using ethanol for fuel, is that the big trucks harvesting this stuff typically run on conventional diesel engines, making this just more greenwashing. We need to cut the umbilical cord where we’re sucking oil from the Middle East.
  4. Speaking of which, an end to terrorism. Muslim countries have grown fat and well-supplied from our reliance on their oil. But at the same time, they hate us because we bully them for more oil, at lower prices. Their culture that abuses women, and terrorizes people in general is bad enough, but since they have more power recently, they have moved from a backwards region of the world, to an actual nuisance that has invaded from Europe to Africa to much of Asia, recently even bullying Tibetan monks. We need to stop antagonizing them, stop relying on them, and stop allowing them to invade other countries.
  5. Religious freedom. An end to bullying of all religions, and an end to proselytism. People need to be able to defend their beliefs without any laws preventing them, and violence between religions needs to be criminalized and enforced. Whatever God is out there, I don’t believe he (or she) would be pleased to see people fighting over petty differences in dogma. Prayer in schools needs to be allowed, religious necklaces allowed too. But schools insisting on teaching others religion needs to be disallowed. We can have Lutheran schools, and we can have them teach Lutheran theology. It is their right to be able to teach. It is not their right, however, to force other people to learn. All religious courses should be an elective, except for those majoring in Religion. The fact is, human beings don’t need to be “saved” because salvation is a resource extending to all, and potentially found in any religion.
  6. An end to persecution of others on “religious” grounds. There is nothing religious about hurting other people. Whether it’s abuse of women or minorities, or hurting and killing based on homosexuality or gender status. Pretty much no religion actually advocates hurting others as part of its core teaching. We need an end to fundamentalism, and more moral relativism. The fact that so many religions exist means that God allowed them to exist. An end to treating women, homosexuals, and transgender people as second or third class people. In some countries, we may have strict gender roles, where women can be teachers, men are in military. But regardless of the roles we have in society, all are important. Society couldn’t function without people to grow and harvest crops. Society couldn’t function either without the people who lead and organize. Both the “lowest” and the “highest” positions in society are extremely valuable. Likewise, we downplay people in society who are outcasts, but these people are the very people who can see what this society needs, as they feel the blow of the abuses of others. We shouldn’t be hurting or killing these people.
  7. A world without fear. A world where people can show their true selves to others, where people can live their dreams, and where society grows spiritually from its current situation to a more enlightened culture. A world with other cultures, since monolithic culture would be oppressive, but where each culture has its best solution towards housing, employment, civil freedoms, and cultivating the dreams of each citizen. Whether I live in Saudi Arabia or China or Newfoundland, the fact is, I have the right to live my life with others or alone, as I see fit. All people need to right to be who they wish to be, without fear.

When these are the case, I would like to see the world move from a superstitious one, to a truly spiritual one. One where rather than the horrors of science without conscience, our culture uses science in a way that is cleaner, heightens our understanding of this world, and which let’s the hearts of each of us burn with  passion. Whether in the US or some other country, I’d like to see all children answer “what do you want to do?” and be able to do just that.