Last weekend, I was walking around New York’s Lower East Side when I stumbled upon an interesting restaurant. The counter was serving Thai food, but they didn’t take cash – they only took time.
For a home-cooked lunch (with table service), I was told I’d have to pay with a half-hour of my time. This was an alternative economy staged by artists Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle as part of Creative Time’s Living as Form exhibition, part of a larger community movement of time banks going on nationally.
A time bank is not a barter system. Your good (or service) is not directly exchanged for another good or service. There’s a medium of exchange: it’s time, not money.
We included this in last week’s FREAK-est Links, but thought it was worth a full blog post. A recent study of 1,734 married couples in the U.S. finds that money, indeed, can’t buy you love. According to an article about the study, couples who don’t value money very highly score “10 to 15 percent better on marriage stability and other measures of relationship quality than couples where one or both are materialistic.”
“Couples where both spouses are materialistic were worse off on nearly every measure we looked at,” said Jason Carroll, a professor at BYU, and the lead author of the study. “There is a pervasive pattern in the data of eroding communication, poor conflict resolution and low responsiveness to each other.” Interestingly, materialistic couples’ perception of their finances seems to matter more than their actual financial status: “Though these couples were better off financially, money was often a bigger source of conflict for them.”
I’m back to inviting readers to submit quotations whose origins they want me to try to trace, using my book, The Yale Book of Quotations, and my more recent researches.
Jay K asked:
A friend recently quoted the Washington Post as saying ‘Follow the money’ during the Watergate days. I thought it was just a line from the movie ‘All the President’s Men’. But is the phrase older than that?
This is usually said to have originated in William Goldman‘s screenplay for the 1976 film All the President’s Men, uttered by the source called “Deep Throat.” (It does not appear in the earlier book by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward.) Read More »
The Fed’s second round of monetary stimulus, the $600 billion QE2, ended on June 30. Since then, financial markets have rallied on news of another Greek bailout, and then fallen on weakening jobs and economic news from the U.S. The Dow is basically back to where it was when QE2 ended on June 30. So the world hasn’t ended, and yet there are those who think we need a third round. The minutes of the latest meeting of Federal Reserve officials, released Tuesday, show them divided on whether to implement a third round of monetary stimulus. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s first assess QE2. For that, we turn to two of our regular contributors, Justin Wolfers, and James Altucher. Read More »
At Big Think, Dan Ariely discusses ways to think about money so you splurge less — like equating expensive wine with gallons of milk and making paying hurt a little more. Read More »
A young economist I know, Patrick DeJarnette, believes a much more radical change in currency is warranted. Here is what Patrick writes:
Late one night I was curious how efficient the “penny, nickel, dime, quarter” system was, so I wrote a little script to compare all possible 4-coin systems, with the following stipulations: Read More »
I’m troubled by news reports that Antoine Walker was arrested for writing $1,000,000 in bad checks. The ex N.B.A. star — Employee Number 8 — was forced to do a perp walk as he apparently was led out of Harrah’s Tahoe in handcuffs. The criminal complaint alleges that from July 27 to January 19, he wrote 10 separate $100,000 checks with insufficient funds to Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, and Red Rock Resort. Read More »