Can Time Make ‘Change’?
Tuesday, October 4
By Lou Tyrrell
The upcoming Global Economic Forum, to be held here in Newport next
week, may answer that question. That is, if one John Kantos, PhD has his
way. The name may not ring a bell for you, but take it from me, in the world
of economic eggheads, he is right up there.
The question itself may strike you as odd. Just what do I mean by ‘making
change’ from time? You ‘make change’ when you break down one unit of
money into its smaller components, right? Well what if you replaced money
with time or Work Units?
That is what ‘Dr. K.’ (as his students often refer to him) wants you to
consider. He asks those kinds of questions; ones that most of us would never
consider. He has made his career in economics by looking at the same facts
and figures as his colleagues and coming up with an entirely different point
of view, as to cause and effect.
What is most remarkable is that over the past thirty-five years, his alternative
viewpoints have held up over time, though he often had to endure harsh
criticism by his peers. There were times he was passed over for plum
positions, because he was viewed as too controversial. Yet he endured. And
today he is being rediscovered by many in the field of economics because of
his latest theory called Humanomics. The recent invitation by the G.E. F. to
present this novel theory to their members is an indication of the turnaround
by his peers.
I was granted the rare opportunity to sit down with Dr. K. and discuss some
of what he will present at the forum. I began by asking him to describe the
new theory, (which is based on a Work Unit or WU, instead of paper
currency), in layman’s terms.
“Accounting for the time a person labors and not the ‘price’ that someone
puts on that time, is at the core of my theory. This removes the major
inequality that divides all peoples: what price does society put on your labor?
Think of it! Within the same company, people can be paid wildly different
amounts for the exact same job! Within the same profession salaries can vary
greatly across geographic areas. Is that fair?
Is the same lifesaving surgical procedure performed in Africa any less
‘valuable’ than when it is performed in France? No, of course not! Then
shouldn’t the surgical team be paid the same?”
I asked how this could be done as the value of money varies so much from
country to country.
“Precisely, the ‘value’ of money varies. But a ‘Work Unit’ will not. An hour is
an hour from the North Pole to the South Pole and every place in between.
When someone has accumulated a month’s worth of Work Units, (or ‘WU’), it
will be valued the same, anywhere in the world. And the purchasing power
will be the same too.”
I asked for an example of how WU would be accounted.
“A base ten system would be used. So one hour would equate to 100 WU. 50
WU would be half an hour and so forth. That would give a person 800 WU
after an eight hour work day, 4000 WU a week.”
I asked if he was suggesting that people be paid the same rate, per unit of
time, irrespective of the type of work they did or how proficiently they
performed that work.
“To the latter, if someone is not performing up to snuff, their employer lets
them go—just as they do today. As to the former, I am not just ‘suggesting’ it,
the whole concept of Humanomics centers on everyone receiving the same
value for their time worked. Only by removing subjective pay rates, a
remnant from our past, can we go forward with a new economy based on
capital from people, not monetary based capital.
That will also result in less boom and bust cycles. These are debt based
swings, that wreak havoc with traditional economies and their supporting or
more accurately—enabling—financial markets. These cycles always impact
the workers much more than those who are asset holders and speculators.
During the ‘boom’ the workers are squeezed by inflation, while the
speculator’s profits rise. During the ‘bust’ they are laid off, while the asset
owners sell off holdings or get help from the government in the form of tax
write-off’s or outright bailouts. Humanomics can eliminate such things.”
I then asked if he really thought that money could be replaced with WU.
“Initially, supplanted not replaced. In the beginning the two will coexist, but
eventually all debt based currencies will become so underutilized that the
institutions that deal in them will move away from that line of business.”
I asked which institutions he was referring too.
“The banks, which today have a monopoly on the distribution of a man-made
substance—money. And like other man made substances, such as addictive
drugs, money rewards the distributor or dealer and brings pain and suffering
to those dependent on it.
Once WU is adopted universally, only truly valuable and rare materials like
gold, silver, precious stones will be used in trade alongside WU. Paper
money will be swept into the dustbin of history as so much trash.”
But why WU, why not just scrap paper money and return to gold or silver
“Because such things limit the size of an economy. A country only has so
much gold reserves. So when the size of a country’s economy needs to grow
greater than their reserves, they resort to borrowing, (or helping themselves
to their neighbor’s reserves like the NAZI’s did). This debt burden is what
has caused so much trouble for every nation down through history.
Whereas WU has no such limitations. A country can have unlimited growth
from a human based economy. Only its people’s work ethic and population
are the limiting factors.”
But that would promote overpopulation, right?
“That is a fallacy. Overpopulation itself is a fallacy. Mother Nature works for
people just as it does all other living things. The population rises to the level
that is sustainable by the food supply, that’s it. In study after study it is clear
that people have only the number of children that they can feed and house,
comfortably. All peoples desire the same thing: a sustainable quality of life,
the highest that they can achieve for their family.
No, that would not be an issue. But it would do something very remarkable
in the area of population. It would remove the profit motive from those selfappointed
population controllers. The ones who wage wars to ‘cull the herd’,
as they like to put it.
That term always bothered me, when used by them. In the wild, that term
means the weak or sickly die. But in wars it is often the best and brightest
that are culled—on both sides—while these parasites that promote wars take
a profit from it.”
Sound too good? Well, come next Friday, at the G.E.F. meeting, the world’s
leading economists will hear even more detail on WU from Dr. Kantos. Then
we will learn what they think of this groundbreaking theory.
Will it resonate with them? Will it have ‘legs’? Or will it be seen as another
idealized scheme, like communism, socialism and even fascism, which all
promised to help the worker.
But there is one major difference between Humanomics and all of those
‘ism’s from the past, a difference that the G.E.F. attendees might find very
significant. Currency or more precisely debt based paper currency—which
was common to all of those systems—goes away under Humanomics.
Could replacing paper money with the Work Units of the labor force, on a
country’s balance sheet, be the thing that will finally make good on the
broken promises of those past ‘ism’s and truly help us all?
It is an intriguing concept to ponder. It may prove to be just the concept that
this bedraggled world needs. More examination of this concept needs to be
And that is precisely why Dr. Kantos has chosen to address the G.E.F. He
needs to first persuade his peers to take a close look at his theory. Only then
would it have any chance for universal adoption and implementation.
The attendees, some might say, have a vested interest in retaining paper
currencies. It is what they know, what they were taught to use as a metric of
an economy. Removing it may be viewed, by some, the same as when
Galileo removed the Earth from the center of our solar system.
Hopefully Dr. Kantos will not meet the same fate, at the hands of the
establishment, as Galileo. I would also hope, that his theory of Humanomics
will not take two hundred years to gain acceptance.