Graham Stephens


Published by Green Publications 1994







To:- Isabel Stephens

Shona Wright

June Van Stigt


for their helpful advice and criticism,

without which this book would not have

been possible.


Thought for today


If a fisherman gets his line into an

impossible tangle, does he spend all day

trying to untangle it, and catch no fish; or

does he cut away the "bird's nest", start with

a new line, and catch fish?






In the amusing book the "Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy", a computer was asked to work out the "ultimate answer to Life, the Universe and Everything". After seven and a half million years of calculations the machine came up with the answer "42". Naturally there was some disappointment from those waiting and it was suggested that maybe the incorrect question had been asked.

Many people are searching for the answer to "Life, the Universe and Everything." The following treatise examines the answer, not to life as it began, but more topically life as it is at the present, by examining the present status of human life and suggesting answers to problems which face us today.

There is a better way to run our economy, there is an answer to the financial problems, facing the world today and the misery that these problems bring. Roger Douglas in his book "Rogernomics", stated the :there must be a better way". There is, but time has proven that it was not Rogernomics.

This better way is Timecon. There may be other ways to solve the problems, but to date no-one seems to have found an answer. Timecon, therefore, is submitted as an immediate and straightforward answer to the intricate tangle of our present monetary problems, while also solving many of our other problems overnight. Problems with the monetary system are far from new. We have all heard St. Paul's advice in his epistle to Timothy, (Timothy 6:3) two thousand years ago, that the love of money is the root of all evil. Since money is the root of "the love of money"; then money itself can be said to be the root of all evil.

This treatise promotes the feelings of those who "would love to root out the evil that is money".

In the nineteen century John Stuart Mill wrote: "There cannot, in short, be intrinsically a more insignificant thing, in the economy of society, than money; except in the character of a contrivance for sparing time and labour. It is a machinery for doing quickly and commodiously, what would be done, though less quickly and commodiously without it: and like many other kinds of machinery, it only exerts a distinct and independent influence of its own when it gets out of order."

A twentieth century commentary observes that Mill was perfectly correct, but that there is hardly a contrivance man possess that can do more damage to a society when it goes wrong.(Encylopaedia Britannica).

This book will attempt to show that the monetary system has gone wrong, terribly wrong. It is the direct cause of poverty, unemployment, inflation, crimes of theft and crimes of violence, suicides, narcotics trafficking, and many types of conflict. It is even one cause of the threat of nuclear war, in that it creates one of the world's greatest ideological difference. The difference between capitalism and communism, the difference between west and east, perhaps the difference between freedom and tyranny. But do we have freedom, or are we slaves to the mighty dollar?

An Hungarian philosopher once said that: "In capitalism man exploits man. In communism it's the other way round." Perhaps we aren't so different after all! Perhaps the difference is; that in the west we are free to say we have freedom, and be wrong; whereas in the east they are not free to say they have no freedom, when they would be right!

Since the days of J.S Mill there have been a number of changes which devalue even the advantages which he saw in money:

1. Money is out of control on a national basis in many countries, as evidenced by inflation or underemployment, (or both, creating stagflation), or as evidenced by the need to introduce increasingly complicated and harsh taxation.

2. There are new and more efficient means of recording input to the economy by individuals, such as computers linked to credit cards.

3. The administration of the monetary system is no longer quick or convenient, and it certainly no longer saves time and labour, in fact, it is the greatest user and waster of human and material resources that we have. Sebastien Chamfort, a french playwright, stated that: "to despise money is to dethrone a king". Strangely enough he lived at the time of the French Revolution! It is a pity for mankind that the French chose to dethrone the wrong king! Governments have tried and failed time and again to resolve the monetary problems. Why should we as their guinea-pigs put up with this any longer. We must insist that this archaic and burdensome system be cast aside for ever, to give the human race the freedom enjoyed by other species. Now how to achieve this"-





























The Day is O'er


Phil Johnson looked at his watch. It was ten past five. Looking around the other offices in the accounting practice where he worked he found he was the last to leave. Returning to his office, he looked in despair at the piles of papers requiring attention. As he picked up his jacket he noticed a button hanging from the well worn cuff. "I must remember to sew that on properly. Just shows how I miss a bit of feminine care and attention." He made his way down the old wooden staircase, locked the door behind him and paused to enjoy the beautiful early evening sunshine, not a breath of wind.

He made his way to the bus stop. The bus arrived within a couple of minutes and he climbed aboard, and wandered towards the back sitting down alongside a smart young lady who was reading the evening paper. They both remarked on the beautiful evening and the excellent summer which they had enjoyed up to now. Phil admired the bright and tidy look of her clothing, even after a day's work. The dress clung to her tall slim body. Life was a bit unfair making some people so attractive whereas some, like himself, were near the back of the queue when good looks were handed out, he thought to himself as he surreptitiously covered the offending button. Phil did not often engage in deep conversation on the way home. He usually read the paper and spent the journey resting his mind, forgetting about the various problems that had occurred during the day. However, his companion was particularly friendly and in rather an unusual way wanted to share in a detailed discussion. Phil found it difficult to pinpoint anything in particular, but it seemed that she had something she needed to discuss. Before long they were considering the place of the human race in the world today. "Don't you marvel at the achievements of the human race?" Remarked the young lady.

As he was somewhat of a philosophical person himself Phil agreed. "It all depends on how one looks at our achievements. A cheetah would probably regard the human being as far inferior from its point of view, because, although the human being has achieved a lot, he has not achieved the speed of the cheetah. From the point of view of an albatross the human being's inability to fly might make him inferior. Mankind has increased his population and spread to many parts of the globe, but his efforts of population pale into insignificance when compared with insects. There are more than one million insects for every human being on earth, populating areas from the North Pole to the South. Mankind has not even been here for a very long period compared for instance with the cockroach, which has been on the earth for 124 million years."

"Ah!" Interrupted the young lady triumphantly, "that's just one of the greatest points about mankind. We have been on the earth for a relatively short period. Life began on earth about three thousand million years ago but the first hominid appeared only five million years ago, an ape-like creature about the size of a chimpanzee. These hominids developed into a species called "homoerectus", about one million years ago. These were our ancestors. The cockroach has remained virtually unchanged during its whole period of life on earth, whereas mankind has not only changed physically, but through brain development has become first a tool maker and lastly what we are today; the most superior creature in all the animal kingdom."

"Yes I agree," said Phil. "Don't you find it depressing though when you consider how much mankind has achieved in some areas but how little we have achieved in others?"

"How do you mean?" Phil paused. "Mankind has made tremendous industrial achievements. He has discovered silicon chip. He may not be able to run faster than the cheetah but he has built a vehicle that can travel faster. He may not be able to fly like the albatross, but he has built an aircraft that can do it for him. Over many centuries he has explored the whole of the planet earth and has colonized most of it. He has even been to the moon and back and sent unmanned vehicles farther into space. These are tremendous achievements, yet look at man's failures. We have conquered travel, thousands of miles away in space, but we have not conquered problems a few inches away inside our bodies. We have found a cure for many diseases, but there are others which still mystify us. A lack of finance on research is part of the problem. Poverty is spread world wide. The world has plenty of food and has plenty of shelter; however, there are many millions of people who don't have enough food and nourishment to sustain their basic needs, or a roof over their heads. Crime is a problem very close to home. There's increasing theft and violence. Many people - either unwittingly, unwillingly, or foolishly - alow themselves to become addicted to narcotics. There are also many who encourage others to become addicted, either for their own financial gain or to enable them to feed their addiction. There are large financial rewards for people dealing in the misery of others. They encourage the use of drugs which often, causes death. Police forces of the world have concentrated for many years in reducing drug trafficing, but the problem continues. We have terrible problems trying to get on with others. There are threats of nuclear war which could destroy, not only mankind, but every other creature on earth. We have problems getting on with those around us and in particular marital problems increases. These difficulties cause great stress, pain and suffering during matrimonial breakups. We read in the papers of unnecessary deaths. Some brought about by drinking and driving, but others by sad situations such as suicide. Many of these suicides are brought about by financial worries.

Financial problems, such as inflation and unemployment have troubled us for years, also internal deficits and industrial unrest. We can hardly open the newspaper without reading of one of these problems." The intensity of Phil's argument surprised the young lady, as did the speed of the subjects he was covering, so she butted in: "I believe that our present society is one of confrontation. There is a conflict of interest between the purchaser and the seller, where the purchaser is seeking the lowest price and the seller the highest. A confrontation between the employer and the employee where the employer wants the maximum amount of work for the lowest amount of pay. There is conflict between the taxpayer who wants to pay as little tax as possible and the tax gatherer who wants to extract the maximum. There is also conflict of interest between tenant and landlord. Strangely enough, although a union is meant to support the interests of its members there are conflicts of interest between that very union and its own members where at times strike action is taken to support the union itself rather than supporting the interests of its members."

"Yes, I agree," said Phil. "These are not faults of the various groups you've mentioned, but a fault of the system itself. Wouldn't it be much better if we could have a system where any interests of the whole of the community could match the interest of the individual in that community? A system where we are not all working against one another but where we are working together for the benefit of all?"

Phil was beginning to enjoy expanding his theories. He was on one of his favourite "hobby horses". Deep in conversation he belatedly realized that they had reached his bus stop, so in a flurried state apologized to his new friend, concluding, "I hope we meet again. Perhaps we could carry on this interesting discussion."

"Yes, sure. I'd enjoy that," replied the attractive young woman with a wave.

































The Budget


Phil Johnson ambled into the sitting room, newspaper in one hand, glasses in the other, and eased his rounded frame into his favourite armchair. He opened the paper just as the door bell rang.

"I don't know. A fellow only has to sit down to read the paper and he gets interrupted."

Switching on the radio next to him he ambled to the door.

"Ah gidday Mick, come on in."

Mick coughed and spluttered, cursing his smoking habit; "I hope I'm not disturbing you Phil."

"No, not at all. Move some of those papers off that armchair and take a seat. I was just catching up on the latest news before listening to the budget."

"Ah! That's right. I forgot it was on tonight. Isn't it early this year?"

"Yes it's amazing. It's never been so early. I can't see how they can have a budget on the 31 March; they haven't even had time to work out last year's figures yet."

"Why do you think it's so early Phil?"

"Haven't a clue. The boys at the office - that's the young qualified accountants - were talking about it today. They think there is something fishy going on. I think they'll bring in an assets tax. It's got something to do with last month's census. Remember you had to list your household assets, and the date you bought them? It was a month earlier than usual too. You mark my words that was something to do with tonight's budget."

"How long have you worked for that firm Phil?"

"Ever since my wife left me and dumped me in my present financial mess twelve years ago."

"Gee Phil, you must be the most senior person there. No wonder you're worried about the budget. they'd be after people like you!"

"No show! I might have been at the office for a long time but I'm just a back-room boy and not qualified, so I'll never be a partner. The Tax Department screw a big enough share out of me. Maintenance uses up whatever's left. After that I've nothing."

"Why do you have to pay tax on the money you pay to your wife? Doesn't she pay tax on that?"

"Well that's our system of justice. I pay the tax. She reaps the benefit. It's called "Equality of the Sexes". Same with property, I own half of the house, pay all the mortgage, all the rates, and she lives in it. That's what they call justice!"

"Hey Phil, I'll think twice before I ever move out on my wife if that's the law."

"You don't have to move out on her. She might move out on you, like my missus did, with a fancy man that lasted two minutes."

"But how did she come to get the house?"

"The court said that she had the children. I couldn't look after them while I worked, so she needed a house and I got kicked out and had to find a flat. That's the justice we can expect from our elected leaders, so I'm just waiting to see what bundle of fun this new lot will have in store for me. It's an assets tax I suppose I'll have to pay death duty while I'm still alive, on the house my wife lives in. Anyway sit down and help me drown my sorrows. What will you and have, draught or bottled? We'd better drink it before the tax on this increases."

"Okay a draught please. I don't mind a drink but I wouldn't pretend to understand the budget. What time does it come on?"

"It should be on by now but parliament will be plying their little games first."

Phil turned on the set a little bit louder. "There you are. The Minister of Finances is coming on now."

Silence broke over the two chums as they listened to the new Minister of Finance deliver his first budget.

".................... when declaring this year's budget the government has needed to consider the following problems that are confronting the economy.


1 Unemployment.

2 Productivity.

3 Inflation.

4 The high incidence of taxation.

5 Decreased exports.

6 Increase in the price of imports.

7 The growing number of persons on the poverty level.

8 The need for increased expenditure in the following areas:

a Health

b Education.

c Social Welfare.

d Roading.


This list might sound a bit familiar. It is. These have been the problems facing the economy for many years. The reason for this is that the cure for some of these problems is the cause of some of the others, and, under our present economic system, all that can be done is to strike a balance between the various evils.

1 Unemployment. This is a complete waste of a valuable resource. We are aware of the use made by the Japanese and the Swiss of labour resources, and yet we are wasting the resource that we have.

2 Productivity. We waste much of our productivity on goods that we cannot sell at least not on the markets on which we are concentrating. We try to sell primary produce in the most saturated markets in the world, yet we have not produced goods that we need, and could produce, because it is not attractive economically. Resistance from the fearing redundancy has hampered mechanization, computerization, and, as a result, productivity.

3 Inflation. It is essential that the basis of any type of currency shall be stable. In the past, currency used to be tied to gold holdings, but since the abandonment of the gold standard, currency valuation has fluctuated, and in places such as Argentina and in Israel the fluctuations are violent. The inflation rate in Brazil is even worse; for the year 1987 the inflation rates was one per cent per day, an annual rate of 365%! There is an obvious need for a basis of currency that does not fluctuate.

4 Taxation. The main source of government funding through taxation has either been income tax - which provides a disincentive to produce more - or a type of sales tax, which tends to be regressive tax, that is to say it is a greater burden on the low income earner than it is on the high.

5 Government Expenditure. In the past it has been necessary to restrict government expenditure to a level below that desirable, in order to keep inflation down and restrict the amount to taxation levied.

6 Poverty. Two reasons for poverty are unemployment and those affected by a matrimonial breakup."

"Well, there you are Phil, that was just what you said."

"Yes Mick, at last someone in government has realized this problem. I didn't think it was going to be this government though."

".................... I have said that we cannot solve these problems under our present economic system. That does not mean to say that we can't change to another system to remedy all these problems.

For the past 2700 years mankind has worked under a monetary system. Before that they worked on a barter system. Before that they worked on a barter system, but in about 700 B.C., in what is now Turkey, a system of coinage evolved. The coins were made of something of value such as a precious metal of some type, and the value changed relative to the size of the coin.

This system later changed to a point where today the coin is only a token of its value. When paper money was brought in, it contained a promise to pay the holder an amount equal to the face value of the note, in gold. This promise has long since been abandoned.

The system was developed to a very efficient stage. It promoted trade to a point never possible under the barter system. However this system has started to break down and there are certain areas where it has never performed.

I believe that we can no longer operate under a system developed 2700 years ago, under modern day conditions. We have made a mass of laws to protect the system, artificially preserving it, but the massive cost of administration means it can no longer be acceptable.

The human race is the only one to restrict itself within such a system. An animal born in the bush has the opportunity to use its treasure limited only to its ability to harvest these benefits.

A baby is born into this world with nothing. When he most needs finance, in his early adulthood, he has the least of it. When he comes to retirement he needs less money and yet but this time he has accumulated as much wealth as he will ever have., and may have received legacies from relations. He also receives any pension to which he may have subscribed, or the proceeds of a life insurance policy. Despite the lack of need he will guard these funds jealously until his death, when he loses everything -the sum total of his life efforts. He arrives with nothing and he leaves with nothing.

If during his lifetime he happens to run out of money when he has overspent his available resources, he may have filed in bankruptcy. After a period the balance of his debts are forgiven him and he starts all over again. The monetary system breaks down on death and it breaks down on bankruptcy. Some choose to steal to finance themselves. The monetary system regards the thief, particularly the skilful one who does not get caught. The system again breaks down.

Currency was evolved as a means of exchange, not a commodity, and yet over the years people have gambled currency in the expectation of winning more currency. When the currency becomes a commodity the system breaks down again.

We therefore require a system where the unit of exchange does not fluctuate in value. It must be precious. It must be incapable of theft. It must be of maximum value to a new born child and must be worthless to a person as he dies. It must be cheap to administer and uncomplicated."

"Hey Phil! This is heavy going. What is he talking about? When will he get onto the tax changes?"

"Mick, this is amazing, I think we are going to see some massive changes, but listen, there he goes again."

".................... having therefore tried the barter system to a point where it was no longer workable, and now having to come to a similar point where the monetary system is no longer effective, the human race has to find another system, and someone has to be the first to make the change. There are some countries where vested interests will oppose a change, so it may be many years before a change can be made there. In other countries where inflation or poverty is much worse than our own, they may change almost as soon as we have do. The difficulty is that until the whole world changes, there are going to have to be some interim arrangements during the transition to a new system.

As from tomorrow 1 April therefore, the internal monetary exchange system will cease. The new unit of exchange will be TIME, and the new economic system based on the stable unit of time. This will be the "Timecon System"."

"Mick, this is extraordinary! Here have another drink."

"Thanks Phil, I need it."

"We have designed this system to recognize the value of human input into our economic sector. Rewarding humanity for that human input, and opening the way to change the gearing in such a way that we can utilize, more efficiently, input from other sources, such as materials and mechanization and maximize these in ratio to human input.

There will be no suggestion of exchanging a certain amount of time for a certain amount of goods. If a person is up-to-date with the time input required from him he will receive unlimited spending power, made possible by increased productivity arising from:

1.Harnessing human resources freed from: (a)Administering the monetary system, such as accountants; solicitors, bankers; insurance company employees; manufacturers and suppliers of office equipment, furnishings and building; all sorts of office and retail workers to name a few ............................................................................

(b)Persons previously unemployed................................................................................

(c)Persons freed by mechanization................................................................................

2.Using material resources saved by: (a)Recycling................................................ - . (b)Buildings, furnishing and equipment no longer wasted in the monetary system..... (c)Quality goods with no in built obsolescence. (d)Better planned and fuller use of materials"





The Minister continued: "Let us analyze mankind's total requirements. They fall into four basic categories which are set out in the annex to this budget as follows:





























Set out within the boxes at the top of the chart are certain examples of each category of mankind's requirements. One of these categories includes goods requiring human input to prepare natural resources for human use. These goods, processed with human input, produce all goods and services which we have today, which together represent our total economy. We require nothing else to produce our goods and services, not money, interest, rent, debentures, shares or monetary taxes.

Why then do we use money as an ingredient in goods and services if it is not needed? The answer is that it is a catalyst used to encourage and reward us for providing goods and services. We then take the money paid to us, and use it to purchase further goods and services for our own use.

Why not take out the intermediate step of money and just exchange goods for goods? The answer is that we have already tried this under the barter system, and we know that such a system became outdated and unsuitable for even the most unsophisticated economy in use 2700 years ago. So we cannot contemplate it in today's society. The barter system was bilateral based mainly on goods with only limited services.

Timecon (pronounced Time-econ) will be a multilateral system based on human input only. we will contribute time to a multilateral pool, where those who have contributed, by way of tax on their time, may draw on the pool, by drawing time contributed by others in producing goods and services.

This would not have been possible 2700 years ago. Mechanization has now reduced the proportion of human input required in providing goods and services. An even greater proportion of input can now be provided by machines, by computers, and by computerized machines (robots), and a much greater input will be possible from robots under the Timecon system, because robots no longer present competition to the human race. We can therefore minimize human input releasing a large reservoir of human resource, provided by those who are now employed in the inefficient administration of the monetary system. These represent about one third of those people living in what we know as the civilized portion of the world, such as those working on the financial side of any business.

There is also the other side of the goods and services equation, namely raw material. Money changes hands, not only for human input, but also for raw materials. This government cannot agree with the need to pay for something derived from nature. We can only agree to payment for human input used to extract that new material and convert it for the use of others.

To summarize therefore; the input of a specified amount of time on an approved project, will be exchanged on a multilateral basis for the time of others. There will be no exchange of money, interest or goods.




All persons, from the time when they start school, to the time when they retire will contribute work as follows:

Ages 5 to 15 - 25 hours per week

Ages 15 to 30 - 35 hours per week

Ages 30 to 50 - 28 hours per week

Ages 50 to 60 - 21 hours per week

Ages 60 to 65 - 14 hours per week

Over 65 - Nil

An exception to these rules will be the student over 15 who will only be expected to contribute 25 hours up to an age of 21, however he will only be credited with student hours over the age of 16, if he passes exams. Any person may build up credit by working more hours than those required, using this credit for either overseas travel, as explained late, for additional holidays, or for early retirement. They may also work hours for others. For instance if a husband and wife team wish that one of them shall work shorter hours, then the other partner may work longer hours to make up the short fall.

Although working hours are based on hours per week, a carry over of surplus time is possible into any later week, month or year, or that at any time of his working life a person will know how much credit he has before he needs to contribute more time.

The Labour Department will administer the system. The magnetic strip on the reverse of a credit card shall record hours worked. The time requirements will be kept under review. We hope that time reductions will be possible after the system has settled down.




In order to make a purchase it will be necessary to produce a credit card and, as long as the card shows the work schedule to be up to date, it will be possible to make any purchase with that credit card. If the work schedule falls behind a person shall be required to catch up at a special work centre. The hours may be made up on the credit card - either, by the employer (including school principals), by a doctor in case of sickness, by the customs department, or by a work centre. In order to validate the card it must be presented to a checking machine weekly, so that any stolen card would be detected, or any card fraudulently updated would be invalidated."

"Mick, this man is brilliant! I never thought this government was capable of such a long-sighted approach."

"Any non-resident coming into the country will have his credit card made up on the payment of overseas currency to the customs department. Initially the figure payable shall be $500 per day. This will not entitle him to accommodation, travel, food, fuel and basic needs while in the country. A refund will be made when he leaves the country, if he has worked during his period here, when he will receive an additional amount in external currency for work done in the country.

If residents wish to travel overseas, they will need to build up a credit of time worked to cover the period of absence, and the Customs Department will pay them in overseas currency for any excess time worked. The credit available shall be taken into account, as will any annual holiday entitlement that is held. Alternately they may use currency held overseas for expenditure. Special provision will apply to persons going overseas on working contracts, or for persons leaving for an extended period.


Annual Holidays


Anyone who has left school or university will be entitled to four weeks holiday per calender year, with students getting ten weeks, each payable by a credit of hours on the credit card, on 30th September each year. The time off may be taken when required.


Qualifying Time


In order for any time to qualify for crediting, the type of work to be done during that time shall receive prior approval from the Labour Department and be referred to as "approved labour unit". Where possible piece work shall be allied to an approved labour unit, in order to achieve the expected productivity. The only persons in any work place to use the crediting machine shall be an official timekeeper, and the code or password for the operation of the machine shall be changed weekly.


Interim Provision


As there will be a high demand for consumer goods immediately following this budget, it will be necessary to make some interim restriction which will be removed as soon as possible. At the recent census you supplied details of household furniture and appliances and motor vehicles held. Details of these have been complied and will be recorded on the individual's credit card magnetic strip. No person will be able to purchase any of these items, as an interim measure, if they already have one of these items less than five years old, and if they have an item over five years old, they shall be required to trade that in for recycling on purchase of the new article. In housing,preference will be given to families where the Housing Department considers that their housing is below standard or where there is not one bedroom for each child. These provisions will apply to both new housing, extensions or alteration.




The government will place strong emphasis on the conservation of resources, so ll rubbish or discarded items will be processed, with the help of households using different coloured garbage cans. Included in this scheme will be paper, plastic, glass and metal recycling, while some rubbish will be composted for use on farms or horticulture production. Some rubbish may be burned for electricity generation.




Human labour will be minimized in all phases of production, human resources being concentrated on planning and administration. Human time is recognized as the most valuable commodity and will be strictly budgeted.


Sport and Entertainment


There will be a far greater amount of leisure time available and emphasis will be placed on sport and entertainment, including the provision of continuous radio and television coverage. Any person involved in public sport or entertainment will receive time credits for participation or training.




All public transport including rapid transit systems, both underground and monorail, will be increased significantly. Regular services will run between residential areas and retail warehousing. Congestion will reduce with the reduction of city centre retail type shopping, linked with the increase in large shopping complexes with parking, together with the improvement in public transport systems.

Full use will be made of existing rail facilities, which are at present grossly under-utilized. They will be totally automated, with central supervision for safety monitoring. The whole network being operated by a handful of staff, most of the human input being involved in loading and unloading. New tracks may be established and old one re-established.

Air travel will increase, lined with increased rental car business, with a view to reducing road traffic and saving lives. International passenger and freight flights will be available from more provincial cities, improving exporting efficiencies.


Further Details


Everyone should report to work as usual tomorrow, and until further notice. Unemployed persons will report to the Labour Department. Self-employed persons will be contacted to assess future work requirements.

Credit cards will be issued on Monday 11 April and all credited for one week's time to 8th April. This credit will be given whether a person works or not. Unemployed persons will receive time credits, provided they register before 11th April, even if they do not work, to give the Labour Department time to find a job for them. this will apply up to 30th April only, but not where a person is offered a job and declined it. On 30th April, this year only, a bonus of hours, representing two weeks' work, will be credited to every person, who has complied with the scheme during April. This is to ensure that everyone has a reserve in hand, a type of bank balance, to start with. It will also help those planning a holiday, or due for a holiday before 30th September. If a holiday was planned and due during April this year, the two weeks credit can be used in April by special arrangement with the Labour Department.

On Monday 4th April all senior staff in the Inland Revenue Department will report to the Labour Department to help set up the administration of the new system. The Inland Revenue Department computer will be used in conjunction with the issue of credit cards, using the Inland Revenue reference numbers for identification. This will require an amendment to the Inland Revenue Department Act, which will be passed by parliament tonight.

During the period to the 11 April grocery items and motor spirits will be available free, without the production of a credit card, although it may be necessary to ration purchases to certain maximums per customer, to allow each person sufficient purchasing power. All other retail establishments will close for one week to allow time fore the issue of credit cards. Essential repairs may be carried out on any vehicles or machinery. During the next week information will be available for each industry on teletext, setting out guidelines for that industry.

Summing up this budget - This is the most revolutionary change in the economic system for over two thousand years. We believe that Timecon is an exciting prospect for the human race and that freedoms will be available which have not been available to the so called civilized world for many centuries. There will obviously be problems in certain areas, but this government believes that the advantages will greatly outweigh the disadvantages of the system. We recognize that there is possibility of an increase in alcohol misuse, so a royal commission is being set up to make recommendations on this as soon as possible."

"Well Phil, what do you make of that?"

"Mick, we expected something different, but not that different. As the man said the system is going to take some working out, but I take my hat off to him. I didn't think this government was capable of such a far-sighted approach. It is going to mean a different way of life. Another beer?"

"Yes, thanks very much Phil," said Mick holding out his glass and giving another cough. "Can you explain that budget Phil? It was over my head. As I understand it we have got rid of the internal monetary system through this budget. But why?"

"Yes, that's right Mick," replied Phil. "To answer your question let me ask one. Why do you think we had a monetary system in the first place?"

"I suppose it was to make sure that every member of the community made a contribution to the community before they drew any benefits from it."

"Yes Mick, I agree. What do you think each individual has to contribute to the system?" Mick scratched his head. "Well his knowledge and expertise, he has his labour, and his goods to sell, or his building to let ..."

"But has he?" Interrupted Phil. "I agree with the knowledge, expertise, and labour but he has no goods or building. They were in the system anyway. He may have made the goods himself or constructed the building, in which case I would agree that his labour input was something that he could offer to the community, but the raw materials for buildings and good themselves came from mother nature."

"Okay I accept that," said Mick. "Right then, he contributes his labour."

"Well Mick do you think that the monetary system therefore achieves it's objective in rewarding people for their labour input?"

"I suppose so Phil, to a certain extent, but it also rewards the individual for the raw materials which you said that he didn't contribute anyway. It also rewards him if he wins a raffle, or if he is a "wheeler dealer", in which case he is often rewarded for inputs made by others.

In fact some of these people receive more reward than those who work long hours making a contribution, who, because they are not monetary system, get a limited reward. Take my case. As you know I'm a contractor. There have been times when I've done a lot of work for people and finished up not being paid at all."

"Yes, that's right," exclaimed Phil enthusiastically. "Can we therefore find a system to reward a person for his input in any other way?"

"Yes, of course. I see what you mean. The answer is Timecon!"

"Let's say that Timecon is one suggested alternative and is the only one which we have at present," said Phil. "I think the Timecon system has many advantages, not the least being that a tremendous amount of time which is being input by members of the community at the present, is time with nothing to show for it - time which is only used in maintaining the present monetary system. Think of all the people in the community who produce absolutely nothing that is of any use to anyone. Take me for instance; I work in an accountant's office helping people struggle with the present system. Take people who work in banks, insurance companies and advertising agencies. They produce nothing which is of any use to the community at all. They are serving the monetary system, not the human race.

When the monetary system was first evolved it was designed to work for mankind Long since, mankind has been working for the monetary system. This is why I think they've brought in the new system. How about another beer?"

"No thanks Phil, I must be off." Mick Bailey wiped his full lips with the back of his rough and weathered hand, raised himself from the chair and made for the door. "Don't bother to get up. I'll see myself out. Good night Phil."










































The Day After The Night Before


Phil woke early the next day. He looked at the clock and thought he might as well be early to work. There was much to discuss, so he got up, showered, and thought he would make the bed for a change. He ate a light breakfast, washed the dishes and the glasses from the night before, and tucked his newspaper under his arm. As usual he walked to the bus, shuffling, bleary-eyed, down the road reading the extravagant headlines.

There were reactions from overseas. Some lavished praise on the new scheme while others referred to the establishment of a communist society. Others described it as one hundred per cent taxation of monetary resources, with the government taking on the mantle of a "soup kitchen". Phil hardly noticed that there were more people at the bus stop than usual, and as he climbed on his automatic reaction was to reach in his pocket for change as he approached the driver.

"Free ride today mate. I'm driving for nothing they tell me."

"Ah that's right," Phil muttered, as he found a seat.

When Phil arrived at the office there were already workmates there who were discussing the budget and its implication.

Those with a teletext had been studying the requirements, and when Phil asked what they would be doing today he was referred to the notice board. The first day was to be spent in clearing away old records. Since the abolition of the monetary system there was no need for most of them. There were strict instructions relating to the recycling of the paper. A truck was to call during the day to take loads of discarded files to a paper mill for rendering down.

When all the staff arrived they were called to a meeting and told that there would be no future need for those working on taxation or audit functions, and that the only staff that might be retained would be those in costing and management advice department. Initially there was dismay, particularly among those who had not followed the budget closely, concerned that they would be redundant. However, they were hastily reassured that everyone would have a job, which would, if necessary, be created. There was no need to worry about unemployment under the Timecon system, but everyone would be required to work

The female staff were pleased that in certain cases work for them at home would qualify as approved labour units. They said that for many years they had sought recognition for the contribution that they had made at home.

Most of the staff were consigned to help in the clearing of the old records, but Phil and senior members of the staff were allocated a specific task. A form which appeared on the teletext was typed out and photostatted for each client. Each accountant's office had to fill in a form to hand to the Department of Labour within the next few days. The purpose of the form was to ascertain whether the client's business needed to continue under Timecon.

There would be less need for the following businesses:


Insurance companies.

Accountant office (except to a limited extent covering management advice).

Retailers (of all descriptions).

Stationery manufacturers.


Real Estate Agents.

Finance houses.

Detective agencies.

Friendly societies.



Packaging manufacturers.

Repossession agents.

Security services including locksmiths.



On each of these forms it was necessary to show whether the industry of each client would still be required, and if not an indication was needed of the number of staff who were released for reallocation to another function. For those continuing in business, and indication was required of production levels in certain industries, to calculate the hours to be worked on a piece time basis. For instance a guide line was set down for farmers for the number of hour's work expected to produce a certain level of production. In cases such as this the number of man hours per week required was calculated, and this figure compared to the labour which was in use, taking into account the number of hours' work expected from each person on the farm. If, for example, there was a sharemilker aged between 30 and 50 then 25 hours would be allocated to him. There may be a farm owner aged between 60 and 65, who would be expected to contribute 10 hours, being a total of 35 hours, it may be necessary to provide extra labour units on the farm from outside to meet that production level, or alternatively the farmer or the sharemilker may be expected to contribute some time in another job centre.

Once these forms have been completed and forwarded to the Labour Department the staff could be released for other functions. There was intense interest from all the staff in the type of job to which they would be transferred. There would be a need for staff to plan for new industries. Before long Phil was offered a position in planning the staff requirements of a motor vehicle engine building plant to be set up in his local area.

The Department of Industry and Commerce had closely evaluated the cost of imports from Japan and have made the following recommendation:

Under Timecon it was now practicable for this country to manufacture its own motor vehicles, household electronic equipment such as video machines and simple office equipment, including certain computer equipment. There would be a dramatic reduction in the need for certain equipment such as adding machines. Where these are surplus to requirements we will recycle them for use in their present form or dismantle them, re-using the components. In the motor industry we will use the expertise of engine rebuilders to produce four standard types of motor. There will be one heavy truck motor, one motor of four thousand cc capacity, one of two thousand cc capacity, and one of one thousand cc capacity. Many of the components are already made within the country. We will establish factories for the making of equipment previously imported.

The manufacture of motor vehicles and the ceasing of most vehicle imports makes economic sense if there is a standardization of production and a concentration on top quality. For example carburettors would be made in one factory for all cars. This would provide sufficient volume of production to achieve economies of scale.

Meanwhile, all motor vehicle held at motor vehicle dealer' yards would be distributed to make the greatest use of them. Most will be either used as taxis or rental cars to improve the public transport system.

There were some great new opportunities for exports in areas never before dreamed about. Without costs such as interest, rent, power and a host of other overheads, together with a need for monetary profits for the manufacturers or their suppliers, a whole new raft of manufactured goods, would not only compete on overseas markets, but would blast our exports into the lead. How could a small country compete with Japan on the motor vehicle market, or the electronics market? It is possible. Who in 1960 would have imagined that Japan, with its notorious reputation for shoddy goods, could outsell the world with quality goods? Yet they did. They used an asset they ad in abundance; cheap labour. We would be able to use our new asset, a free an unfettered economic system, to challenge and beat the world. It did not take Japan long, and it won't take us long.

Phil was pleased that many of his clients were able to plan for a greater efficiency in their businesses. Some of them had wanted to incorporate more efficient and up-to-date plant and systems, however, they had not been able to afford to do so because of lack of finance or the cost of raising and servicing that finance. They all knew that in the long term mechanization was cheaper but were restricted by the initial purchase price.

He could see that the production of the whole country would take great leaps forward after the lifting of monetary restrictions. He likened this to the motor car and the tractor taking over from the horse and cart. Time has proven that it was essential for the horse and cart to be superseded. Time would prove that the sooner other old fashioned procedures were replaced the better for all.

It would of course take time fore the full benefits of Timecon to be achieved. We would either have to build or import automatic equipment or robots, for use in manufacturing industries. Such items may not be easy to procure, however a large portion of the human resource now available would immediately swing into action to provide these machines. Once the machines are in place, the labour used to implement them would be re-assigned to other urgent tasks, along with the labour resource released by the machines themselves.

Mobility of the work force was not possible under the monetary system, as people were encouraged to stay in one job for as long as possible, as moving jobs created insecurity and lost pension rights and long service benefits. Under Timecon resources are mobilized to achieve greater efficiencies, so that when or where labour is need it will be provided. When not needed it will be moved on.













































Tea for Two


Phil was doing his housework on Saturday morning when the doorbell rang.

He turned down the radio as he passed on the way to the front door.

"Hi Dad." Phil's daughter threw her arm around her father's neck and planted a kiss on his cheek. "I've brought you round a bag of apples, our trees are overloaded."

"Oh, that's lovely. Thank you Sue. Come in and have a cuppa."

Sue bounced in, quickly rearranging her dark collar length hair on her tiptoes as she passed the hall mirror. "Dad, your mirror's too high for me. I don't know why you don't lower it, you're not much taller than me. Here let me make the tea, you get out the biscuits."

She had the tea made in a flash and brought it over to the table, pushing aside the newspaper.

"Now Dad, what do you make of the budget?

Mark and Julie have been learning about it at school, but Alan and I don't fully understand it. How does it work?"

"Well, Sue, think of it like this. Imagine a valley with streams flowing down into a reservoir. The reservoir is the pool of labour in the economy which turns raw materials into goods and services. The streams running down the hills are the productive labour contributed by mankind. Once the labour has been contributed, then each individual person in the valley is allowed to turn on their individual tap to draw out the goods and services. Here have a chocolate biscuit, you don't need to watch your figure like I have to!"

"No thanks Dad. It is because I don't eat much between meals that I can keep slim. How do we know that the reservoir has enough water to feed those taps?"

"In this country we already have enough good for our people. Just because food is free will not mean that people will eat a lot more. They may eat a little more, but not much." Phil paused for a sip of tea. "Virtually everyone has a roof over their head. There will be a period of upgrading, and of conversion of office buildings into flats. This will not create over consumption."

"Yes Dad but what about cars?"

"Right, this could be a problem. However imagine every vehicle, in every sales yard in the country, being out in the community. Imagine also a greatly increased taxi service and rental car system. The vehicles we have are going to be used a lot more, instead of being parked in the street or in the shed. These two changes will soak up a lot of demand. Local manufacture should make more vehicles available. However, it could be that some minor rationing may be needed, where someone, who wishes to buy a new car, may be expected to trade in a vehicle which is over a fixed age, for instance; three years."

"But what about household furniture and appliances?"

"Yes Susan. here again most households have a fridge and a washing machine. Hundreds of machines are sitting unsold and unused in shop and factories. No household is going to need two washing machines. Preference will be given to those with old furniture and appliances, as recorded in the recent census.

There will be some pressure initially but the demand will be filled, and no-one will go without basic necessities in the meantime. It will be a process of upgrading."

"There will be some instances Dad, where a new luxury product comes onto the market, and everyone will want one. In the past their demand has been restricted by their ability to pay for it, such as when the video camera was introduced.

"Suzie, you and Alan have a video camera.

Where is it?"

"It's at home."

"Yes love, but where at home?"

"In our bedroom, in the drawer with my bra's and panties. Hidden from the kids."

"Quite right, in the drawer! When did you last use it?"

"Only three months ago. Why?"

"Most video cameras in the country are in the panties drawer. Under Timecon you can have your own camera, but, just as easily you can call in at your local camera shop to borrow one. The more intense use of assets will lead to greater efficiencies for the benefit of all. The intention is to give mankind the maximum use of facilities, not to restrict consumption, so emphasis is to be put on the other side of the ledger: the increase of productivity."

"What's all that about then Dad?"

"Production will increased Suzie for these reasons," said Phil, squeezing each chubby finger as he spoke:

1. All those at present unemployed will be brought back into production.

2. Those only working to support the monetary system in the past, will increase present production by a further fifty per cent.

3. Mechanization and computerization will increase significantly, with an even greater effect on increasing productivity.

4. We have of course, the present productive force which, hopefully, will work slightly better under the new conditions, with less industrial disruption.

So not only will the reservoir be able to feed the consumption "tap", but the streams of labour trickling into the reservoir will become rivers."

"Thanks Dad. That tea was just what I needed, I must go home to feed the family. Alan is going to golf this afternoon and the kids have their sports to go to. I hope you enjoy the apples."

"Yes, thank you dear. Lovely to see you. Bring the children next time," said Phil, gently closing the front door.






Short Back and Sides


On the following Wednesday, work on the new system at the office continued. It was lunchtime. Phil Johnson looked at his watch, closed the file that he was working on, and made for the local sandwich bar where he usually had a light lunch.

As he walked down the street he was suddenly struck by a change. Where there had been a small sharebroker's office the previous weeks, and old fashioned barber's pole was hanging out over the street. Phil paused, his hand going to the back of his head. His mousy coloured hair was thin on top but it was getting a bit long at the back. he muttered to himself, "It is high time that I had a haircut. I'll see if there's a spare chair in here."

Phil couldn't believe it when he went inside, "Jim Hunter! My old mate! What are you doing here? I haven't seen you for years. Where have you been?"

"Great to see you Phil. Jump in the chair and I will tell you." He was a lot taller than Phil. He was leaner than he had been and had lost the thin cover of hair that he had used to camouflage the top of his head. What was left on the sides was neatly clipped and showed no sign of grey.

"Well Phil, it is like this. You may remember I was in this very shop cutting your hair until about twenty years ago."

"That's right Jim, but what happened to you? One day you were here, and the next day gone?"

"Well it probably seemed like that, but the problem had been creeping on for a long time. Quite simply I was going broke. People were growing long hair and they decided to go to more fancy salons. There simply wasn't the business."

"I was sorry to see you go Jim. It's a damn nuisance for me to have to make an appointment to have my hair cut. I like to come in on the spur of the moment, when I want to have it cut, just like I did today."

"I'm pleased to hear that Phil. I think there will be others like you. I loved owning my own business and I missed the opportunity to meet and talk with so many people."

"Yes Jim, you were a jolly good talker, a good listener too, but what have you been doing these past years?"

"I've just been floating from one job to another, never settling down. My most recent job was with an advertising agency. It never did very much for me trying to convince people to buy something that they didn't want or need, so now I am back here. As soon as I heard the budget I went to the Labour Department and tabled my proposal. They've given me a licence to operate this business as an approved occupation, provided I can show that it is filling a need. I'm only on a trial basis for the next three months but I think that it'll work. There are many others like yourself Phil who will take advantage of this service. I wanted to be the first one in. The Labour Department told me that it may be necessary for me to move to a suburb later, because the working population generally will move out of the centre of the cities. I'm going to enjoy this. I've got continuous worry of finance."

"I agree with you about advertising Jim. It has been a pleasure to watch television since advertising stopped. The amount of advertising was getting quite ridiculous."

"Phil, I think that you'll like the future changes even more. There'll be more television channels, and one channel will be devoted to sport. You will like that won't you?"

"Yes, I will. Have you heard anything about the cable television proposals?"

"No I haven't Phil. I've heard of cable television. What's that going to mean to us?"

"It'll mean that we can virtually dial a programme, like having a library at our fingertips. We can either dial up a film indexed on teletext or dial up a subject like looking up an encyclopedia. I think that this development might be some time away. However under the Timecon it will be possible. The human resources are also there to carry out the proposal and there is no need for any type of sponsorship under Timecon."

"That's great Phil. I think that television will be much better. Everything in the past has been evaluated on its commercial viability rather than on its merits. One think that annoyed me was watching a golfer line up a putt on television, only to be told by he commentator that this on the 18th green was worth $20,000. It just made a business of the whole thing and took away the joy of sport. The whole thing is misleading anyway because they don't mention the $10,000 travel and accommodation he may have spent before he won the prize!"

"That's right Jim, and what about the way that money is ruining sport? Huge transfer fees have ruined soccer. Small clubs are going broke and the big clubs are having to charge huge entrance fees to cover outrageous transfer fees. I understand that the cricket authorities are worried that certain star players are expecting a similar system to evolve for them, where they can also demand very large salaries. The authorities fear that if this comes about it will mean the end of cricket as we know it."

"Well Phil, the sooner these other countries adopt a Timecon system the better!"

Jim was not cutting Phil's hair very quickly. He was out of practice and enjoying the discussion. He remarked on the grey hair that was creeping in around Phil's ears.

Phil was also revelling in discussing his newly found favourite subject with a willing listener, although he didn't much like being reminded he was getting old. After all 50 was only just middle age, so he quickly changed the subject. "Talking of television, I saw a documentary last night about safety equipment in modern motorcars. Do you know Jim that there are safety devices which have been developed, and readily available, but not used by even one manufacturer?"

"What do you mean Phil?'

"Well there are bags which inflate on impact to protect the occupants of the car. These and other devices make it possible for a car to hit a brick wall at about 80 kilometres an hour without injuring the occupants."

"That's amazing Phil. Why can't we buy them?"

"Quite frankly Jim, the car manufacturers say that safety technology just doesn't sell. It's strange that stereo equipment sells, mag wheels sell, sunshine roofs sell, but safety equipment doesn't sell."

"Well," said Jim, "have they ever tried to sell it? I've never even seen this equipment available in any of the most expensive cars."

"No you won't have. It is not for sale even in those cars, although the price of some of these devices is no more than the cost of a stereo. In last night's documentary it stated that we could avoid over half of the injuries on the road just with the inflatable bag device. After the documentary there was a statement from the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research to the effect that under Timecon all new vehicles would be required to incorporate certain of these safety devices."

"That is good news Phil. I understand that there are going to be many other changes in motor vehicles. They are going to be made to last, rather than designed to be replaced in a short time. Better materials will be used. This may initially use more raw materials, but if the materials are going to be made to last there'll be a great saving in the long run. Even when a car is eventually wrecked, parts will be recycled."

"I am also very impressed with the plans announced for research," said Phil. "Under the monetary system research was expensive. For instance little research has been done to provide for an alternative fuel when oil resources are exhausted. There's no immediate dividend for shareholders from research. It's much better for a company to let others get on with it, so no one does. When oil resources eventually do run out then the research will start. It will be hurried, probably inefficient, but it will result in a product giving shareholders a return. Under Timecon research is immediately taking place on alternative fuel resources. Of course research is going to go into many other areas, and as long as we are the only country with Timecon our research will lead the world. This should result in a great export base in future years. They;ll need many scientists to do this; but apparently scientists who, over the years, have joined the "brain drain" are showing great interest in returning home under Timecon."

"I'm surprised to hear that," said Jim. "I'd have thought that those scientists were on a good thing overseas."

:Yes, they may have been getting a reasonable salary, but the cost of living overseas is particularly high. In some of these countries, they haven't the quality of life which we have, and the greater quality of life that we are going to get under Timecon. Most importantly, the lack of funds in some of these countries has frustrated research.

Time won't restrict them."

"Well Phil, that's your haircut. It's on the house. It's been a pleasure. I'm really going to enjoy being back in business, and in particular I'm happy to give you a service without having to charge you. I can't tell you what a pleasure that gives me, being able to do something for someone without having to put my hand out for it."

"Jim, I'm sure you are right, I think that money was a bad thing for us all. In my business I meet a lot of people. I found that normally pleasant people could become quite unpleasant when it came to a monetary matter. Even religious people seemed to worship money as much as they did their god. I can tell you that if money is God then I am a heretic. That nastiness over money didn't apply just to individuals, it applied even at government level. The outrageous letters that were sent out by the Inland Revenue Department, the Statistics Department and by Social Welfare, when people were a few days overdue with their commitments, were quite sickening; I'll be pleased to see the end of them."

"I must say Phil it surprises me to see a person like you with, a vested interest in the monetary system, being so pleased to see it go."

"Fair comment Jim, but I think it is those of us closest to the scene who can see the evils of the system best. For instance most people hold accountants in very high morals relating to standards of disclosure for information, to so called "investors" in public companies listed on the stock exchange. All they are doing in fact is promoting a grubby little gambling den."

"Why is that Phil, surely they are investors, and what is the gambling den?"

"The gambling den is the stock exchange, and they are not investors they are gamblers. Investors seek an income return from their investments. If you study the shares on the stock exchange you will find out that the dividend yield on the large majority of shares is minimal and far less the interest rates payable on fixed deposits. No, they don' invest for a dividend return, they gamble for capital gain. Just like putting money on a horse. The accountants develop a high faulting image and charge a high faulting fee, whereas they are no better than the publishers of a horse racing form guide. It makes me a bit ashamed to have been associated with this business Jim, but under the monetary system you had to swallow your pride and get whatever job you could . Thank goodness that has changed."

"That's very interesting Phil," Jim said as he brushed some hair from Phi's sleeve, "I must think about that, mind you I've never had enough to invest on the stock exchange, the only investing I am likely to do is on the horses, I'll be picking up a few tips in this job."

"Thanks for the haircut Jim. Best of luck with the business. See you soon."

"Yes great to see you again Phi. Please call again."

















The Watering Hole


At the end of the week Phil headed off to the local hotel, a large rambling old building, part way between office and home. It had been converted many years ago, doing away with most of the accommodation to make way for barn type bars. It had been closed during the week but opened on Friday night. He arrived a little late having finally tidied his desk. The practice was moving to small modern premises, and the office building was to be converted to manufacture components for television and hi-fi equipment. He came into the hotel to find his Friday night colleagues gathered around the usual jug of beer. There was a difference however; Stan the policeman was drinking whisky.

"Hell Stan, drinking top shelf now are you?"

"Yes, I could only afford to drink beer before on a policeman's pay, so I'm taking advantage of the new economic conditions while I can."

"What do you mean, while you can? Don't you think it will last?"

"Well they've set up a royal commission on alcohol. I can't see them banning alcohol entirely, but they might ban imports of alcohol, in which case I had better drink this scotch while it is still here," he said, raising his glass to his mates and taking a large sip.


A Policeman's Lot


All those at the hotel were interested to hear what effect the new conditions were having upon the others in their group. Each related their experiences. Some had been offered new jobs where the old one was superfluous under Timecon.

Stan had reported at the police station as usual on Monday morning, and had immediately attended a meeting to outline their new functions.

For the first twelve months at least they would probably continue in their present jobs, although in the long term there were likely to be some changes.

The police sergeant went through the various types of crime, suggesting the possible changes in emphasis under the new economic system

He stated that drug problems were likely to decrease dramatically. If there was no monetary regard, the importation of exotic drugs would cease almost immediately. Some would continue cultivating cannabis, but in the main this would be for their personal use. If these expected trends were confirmed there would be a reduction in the drug squad. They anticipated a marked reduction in burglary and theft. If consumer goods were generally readily available, there should be no need for a person to steal. This might not be the case immediately, until productivity increased, because of certain shortages, as not all goods would be fully available on demand. The community's concern with the increase in theft and gang violence was discussed. It was felt that in the past the problem was being tackled "at the bottom of the cliff". It would be more effective to take away the need to steal. This would give potential offenders higher self esteem and the community would all benefit. It was agreed that the monetary system encouraged persons to steal, particularly the unemployed, because a reward was offered for their misdemeanour.

Some concern was voiced relating to credit card fraud; however, the sergeant explained that code words and palm readers safeguarded the crediting machines, so that they could not be readily used by unauthorized persons.

He also allayed fears that there would be an increase in alcohol related offenses. A greater emphasis would be placed on controlling this. Publicans must stop supplying liquor to persons who are becoming intoxicated. There would no longer be any incentive for the publican to promote the sale of liquor and his function would be much more closely related to the rationing of liquor among patrons.

There was likely to be a marked decrease in domestic disturbances. In the past some marriages have continued because of the couple's inability to meet the financial implications of divorce. On the other hand matrimonial breakups have been promoted by one party because of the resulting financial advantage. Neither of these stresses would now remain; and it was much more likely that after a matrimonial breakdown the parties would separate on amicable terms, bringing less stress on their children.

Stan was relieved to hear this. On of the most upsetting aspects of a policeman's job had been trying to maintain peace in domestic disputes. He had not regarded this as the normal function of a policeman, but he found that if he had not done his duty in this area then crimes of far greater violence may have resulted. Stan had been sceptical about the new economic proposals but it was now dawning upon him that there were many advantages. The reduction of domestic violence, drugs and theft by such a simple method had surprised him. He had never thought that a budget could have achieved so much in such a short time; this was quite apart from the scotch whisky which he was now enjoying.

Stan paused to loosen his tie. He had changed into his sports jacket, but still wore the rest of the regulation police uniform. The years had not been kind to Stan's figure and he did not have the height that many policemen have to carry it.

The sergeant went on to explain that, although there would probably be an increase in the consumption of alcohol, there could well be a marked reduction in the problem of drinking and driving, because the public transport service and taxi services were increasing, and drinkers were able to obtain transport home at no cost. There was a question raised about the availability of extra licenses for taxis. It was however explained that there was no longer any need for the licensing of taxis, which had previously protected the taxi drivers against competition. As long as a taxi driver was able to work the required number of qualifying hours there was no need for concern about competition.

The police had been informed that the government would be taking a strong line on enforcement of the minimum work times. They would not tolerate any cheating on the Timecon system. Immediately a citizen fell behind his requirement an offender would attend a work centre where he would catch up on his hours. Stan's initial feeling was that this was a little harsh, until it was pointed out that working hours had been reduced significantly, and it did not apply to a person who held a medical certificate. Anyway it was better to clear the matter up immediately, before a larger deficit occurred. In the work centre, ten hours of work per day will be worked until arrears are cleared. If offenders were processed immediately the shortfall should be made up in seven days, that is 70 hours, being 35 hours for the current week and 35 hours for the arrears. Accommodation would be provided at the work centre if required.

Stan told his colleagues that the budget should reduce crime dramatically. He would probably retain his present position for a while, but he was also quite happy to consider any other challenges offering, if there was a reduction in the police force.

Stan then looked up to Whaka who had been quietly listening. "Well Whaka I suppose there are big changes in the retail trade?"


The Retail Scene


Whaka gave a tug at the smart jersey he was wearing and leaned his solid shoulders over the bar leaner before replying. He worked for a furniture store in the main street. When he arrived at work on Monday morning he heard that the store would close for the rest of the week. On Monday morning the owners of the store went to a meeting held by all furniture retailers to determine the future retailing policy. It was clear that the older type retail establishments in the city would close. The employees would either be re-employed by a group of retailers, or referred to the Labour Department for the allocation of new position. Some of them employees were upset when they heard they would be redundant.

Those who visited the Labour Department during the week found that they would be offered a wide range of interesting position.s If they were prepared to work they would retain their seniority within those position. They looked forward to an improvement in their working life. If they were not prepared to work or if they did not apply themselves, then the types of jobs which were available for them became considerably less attractive.

On Tuesday members of the staff learned that the meeting of furniture retailers had decided to join together in a large shopping complex on the city boundary. One large building would be available for the selling of furniture, on a supermarket type basis. The shopping complex was conveniently adjacent to a rail siding. Bus services would be run from the suburbs to the shopping complex.

Those retained to work in this complex were given details on how the complex would operate. The entire shopping area would consist of supermarkets selling as complete a range of products as possible. Access by shoppers could only be gained through a limited number of entrances. At the entrance the shopper would produce a credit card. On the back of the credit card, the magnetic strip would record whether that person had complied with the working requirements. If any person was in arrears the entrance gateway would not open. If the credit card was in order the gate would automatically open to admit one person, who would then be able to purchase whatever they required. The credit card would have a photograph and an identifying personal identification number to prevent misuse. Everyone would carry their own cards, including children, although the personal identification number of children's cards could be operated by a parent.

During a transitional period the staff were taught that the credit cards would show whether a person could purchase the required item. In order to meet demand, for instance, a person would not be able to purchase certain specified items if they already had one of those items which was less than five years old, as revealed in the recent census. These details could be obtained by reading the magnetic strip on the back of the credit card. The government hopes that after the system has settled down it will no longer be necessary to present a credit card to make a purchase, because when there is sufficient supply to meet demand, the Labour Department will be the only ones administering the card system. This means that they will ensure that everyone is up to their work schedule. So anyone will eventually be able to purchase whatever they require on the assumption that the checking has been done by the Labour Department. This gets over shortcomings in the system where a card holder could pick up goods on behalf of a person who had not satisfied work requirements.

The staff were also informed that advertising would cease and display packaging would be considerably reduced. Articles of furniture would be set out to conserve space, while also making it possible for customers to examine and try out the items before purchasing.

Whaka's store had always had a home appliance department. It was envisaged that there would be a particularly high demand on items such as washing machines and driers. The staff however were informed that laundries were to be established in suburbs so that housewives could use them. The object being twofold: firstly it would cut down human input on washing, drying and ironing using the economy of scale principal and using the equipment such as iron presses to streamline procedures. Secondly, the demand for equipment by individual householders would be reduced, as it is hoped to encourage as many as possible to use the service. It would probably take about a year before the shopping complex came into operation and, in the meantime, the number of retail outlets would be reduced, and operate a credit card system on their old premises. Whaka said that "The shop premises where he worked would probably close soon for conversion into a small factory."

He was told that his job as a salesperson would cease, as, under the new system, salesperson would only advise customers, rather than having to make a sale in competition with other retailers. This meant that far fewer people would be needed. A position was offered to Whaka however, in the same shop, where he would be in charge of ordering new goods, receiving them. displaying them in the store and dispatching to customers. A similar position would be available for him at the new complex. Until Whaka had had time to evaluate how the new system was going to work he had decided to accept both offers.

His wife who had been a supermarket cashier had not retained her position, however, they had two children, and she was to be credited with qualifying time working at home looking after these children. A parent at home caring for children under five, was to receive credit for the working hours needed to look after them. As the children became older it would be necessary for the parent to spend a greater amount of their time on other qualifying work. It had been suggested that this may result in a large increase in the population, as many mothers may wish to stay home for most of their working life. However Whaka told his mates that there was no way that his wife wanted to spend all her life behind the kitchen sink, and, that as soon as possible, she would be seeing what was available from the Labour Department.

A person looking after children under five years of age would receive full time credits. When the youngest child was between six and sixteen the credit would be three hours a day during the school term, and a full credit in the school holidays, so that the children need never be at home without her.

"Oh here comes Nick," said Phil, as a swarthy man in his mid 30's joined the,. "Come on, let's fill up our jugs. I though that the service here was pretty slow but with more people here than usual there's no queue at the counter."

"You know why, don't you?" Said Whaka. "All they have to do is to fill up the jugs ir glasses. They don't have to worry about taking money for it. Ngaere tells me it's the same at the supermarket; there are twice as many people passing through, and yet the place is never full, nor is the car park. The housewife saves a lot of time."

"I suppose that's right," replied Phil, "it certainly makes drinking a lot more pleasurable. I never did like standing in the queue waiting for service. Why ever did we keep that monetary system for so long as we did? This system is so easy. It's amazing that we didn't change it earlier.

You can bet that all the other countries are going to take a close look at Timecon. The sooner that the whole world is on the system the better.

Anyway Nick how did you get on at work this week?"


The Unions


Nick worked for the Meat Workers' Union and when he arrived at work on Monday they were having a meeting. It was soon clear that there would be no more disputes or strikes over pay. Everyone likes the reduction of working hours.

"Tell me Nick, why is that our hours have been reduced so much? How is it that we can produce more on the shorter hours that have been set down?"

"Well Stan, I understand that there were so many people involved in money, paperwork, retailing, and other types of activities that we don't need anymore. This releases a large number of people to do other work. Take for instance the time that it took you to get your drink without having to pay for it. The number of bar staff required in this hotel will be greatly reduced, especially when they introduce self service, by putting the taps on the outside of the bar. As with the cashiers at Ngaere's supermarket they were only required to work for the monetary system, not for the shoppers. That is just an indication of the amount of time which we used to waste in exchanging and recording money."

Nick went on to discuss other matters which the union had been talking about. Clearly unions would still be necessary to monitor working conditions, but there would be no concern about redundancy, demarcation, or superannuation, but there could be a need for the union to watch carefully the matter of promotion and seniority within the work place. In the past promotion had usually meant an increase in pay and this in itself was enough incentive for members to seek promotion. Now there would be no increase in pay but probably more of an increase in responsibility. People would therefore be seeking power rather than money from their promotion.

The government had made it clear to the unions that increased productivity was one of the biggest advantages sought from the change in the economic system. This had been resisted in the past.

One of the problems faced by the union in the past had been the fear of redundancy caused by mechanization. The government had emphasized that machinery would be brought in to replace as many manual functions as possible. This would particularly affect the meat industry, the number of persons working in the meatworks being dramatically reduced. Meat processing companies will introduce computerization and mechanization of the killing chains as soon as possible. This caused alarm at the union meeting, until it was explained that if members lost jobs in that particular sphere, they would be immediately offered an alternative.

The only aim of the Labour Department was to see that they completed their qualifying hours, and union officials were reminded that they could probably secure positions in much more pleasant surroundings than in the meatworks. The government also made it clear that one of the main objects of the budget was to improve the dignity of mankind; that they would not continue to do dirty and repetitive work where this work could be done by machine. It was also made clear that the hours set were subject to review in the hope that an early reduction would be possible, giving more free time to everyone.

The general view of the union then, was of acceptance of the new conditions and a feeling of striving to work together to help Timecon achieve its targeted benefits.

Nick was very pleased that the continued struggle for extra money for the union member would now cease. He knew better than most that the whole process was self defeating, because as soon as members received an increase, prices generally increased, so that they were no better off. Timecon resolves the whole problem. Nick also hoped that Timecon would lead to a new relationship between the employees and the bosses; they should all be working together to achieve the same result, whereas in the past they had the feeling that they were working competition with each other.


Our Future Leader


Murray, a rather diminutive school teacher, was asked for his reactions, but first a few extra jugs were filled at the bar.

Adjusting his rimless spectacles and sipping his newly filled glass, managing to get more froth on his face than down his throat, he said that a breath of fresh air had been blown through the education system. They would concentrate on the quality of life but economics would still be taught, concentrating on costing of materials and labour, with a far greater emphasis placed on research.

"Murray, do you think that under Timecon there will be enough incentive for the young to work, and will they work, or will they mark time just to see their hours used up?"

"There will be a problem maintaining incentives. There will be incentives, as in the past, for people who are ambitious, and who wish to achieve and seek promotion. We already have people on committees and local bodies who receive no payment, but merely take these responsibilities out of public spirit and a desire to contribute to the community. This shows that mankind is not only motivated by money. Apart from this, persons on piece rates such as farmers and manufacturers will have incentive to achieve more assistance by way of additional outside labour. These elements will be emphasized at school, and it is hoped that the children, when they leave, will accept the challenge."

"But Gordon, I'm interested to hear how the restaurant trade sees Timecon?"


Pie In The Sky?


Gordon scratched his soft ruddy complexion, he was grossly overweight and, having reached his mid 50's in a leisurely style, did not want to be bothered with a new system. One thing interested him: food. Cooking it selling it and eating it. His wife had handled all the finances and as long as he had enough to eat each day, and, of course drink, he was not too interested in the trivial financial details.

"Quite frankly the catering trade can see real problems. The housewife will receive credit for a certain number of hours, according to the age of her children. She won't receive credit if she has no children and she may not feel like cooking if there are no children; even if she gets credited with time, she may take advantage of free meals elsewhere. We think that the net result will be a lot more eating out. Many families will probably eat out at least twice or three times a week and this is going to put an enormous strain on catering establishments. It may be necessary to build large canteens with self service meals. This would be the death knell of the quality licensed restaurant.

Perhaps eating out in canteens won't be wasteful. It may well be more economic than eating at home because of economies of scale.

The same applies to persons growing their own vegetables. It may be cheaper to grow them on a large scale using large scale fertilization and large scale weed and pest control, than it would be for each person to have his own garden patch.

With large changes in the industry, quality may suffer. Instead of the housewife spending hours over the kitchen sink and the husband washing dishes, there may be more time for the more important things of life under Timecon.

Doc, how does the new system affect medical services?"

Medical Matters


Doctor Charles Thomas had been in general practice for most of the thirty nine years since he had left medical school. Those thirty years looking down the nation's throats had dimmed his eyesight, as now evidenced by heavy horn rimmed glasses, but apart from that he carried his age well, he still had a fine full head of hair and an athletic if rather short stature.

A lack of finance from the Health Department had frustrated his whole life, together with difficulty in arranging treatment for his patients.

The Health Department had told the Medical Council that they would completely reorganize the health system.

Surgeries were to be provided for general practitioners at the larger hospitals, and the entire patient care system was to be computerized. General practitioners may remain in country areas, however, as in most other professions emphasis was to be put on specialization. When a patient visited the doctor he would be screened first by nurses, who would feed the symptoms into a computer. The nurses would take temperatures, blood pressures and various specimens as required, and, if necessary, arrange for a hospital X-ray. Results fed into the computer would give a print-out of possible health problems. The nurse would then refer the patient to the doctor who was most appropriate for this complaint, together with the computerized printouts. These would detail the drugs or treatments available for the patient's problems, and the personal computerized file would show any possible allergies.

In the past when one went to a solicitor's office, one was channelled, to the expert on matrimonial affairs, on company law or on conveyancing. Why shouldn't the same apply to the patient going to a doctor's surgery? He can expect a more efficient service.

Now that financial institutions are vacating many large buildings, I hope that some of these will be converted to hospitals No longer will health depend on the amount of money available for treatment and cure.

A greater emphasis will be placed on the elimination of various diseases not previously considered important because of cost. We will introduce vaccination schemes to eliminate these diseases from the country, and immigration officials will exercise strict control on disease carriers.

Insufficient funds have hampered the medical profession for too long, where research has been reliant on charity. Timecon will inject and enthusiasm into the medical field. Everyone will not only be entitled to health care, they will get it!

"I'm not likely to see you at my surgery Jim, suffering from an ulcer? Not that you are ulcer material. If any patients were tall lean and athletic as you, I'd probably be out of a job. I hope that life has been a lot less stressful at the bank this week?"


Don't Bank On It


Jim McDonald was a bank officer. He had arrived at work on Monday morning to find a complete divergence of opinion. The proposed changes appalled the manager and more senior officers of the bank. They worried that if the changes did not work it would be impossible to revert to the old system. The younger officers however had taken the challenge set them and had happily accepted Timecon.

The whole week was to be spent throwing out the old records. One problem not envisaged slowed down progress on cleaning up: the telephone had gone mad! Mainly calls came from elderly depositors, some of who wanted to know when the bank was going to open, so that they could deposit the rest of their money which they had at home. Others were panicking, waiting for the bank to open, so they could draw all their money out. It was hard to explain that their bank accounts had been liquidated, and the monetary system abolished. Some calls became abusive.

Strangely enough there were no calls from people concerned about their overdrafts!

"But Jim don't you feel sorry for those old persons who have lost everything that they had saved?"

"Yes, to a certain extent. I felt sorry that they couldn't understand the new system. We had to try to explain that they had lost nothing. Actually these are the people who were creating one of the major problems bringing about the need for a change to Timecon. The older people, particularly those who had experienced the depression, still saw money as a hoard of value and their deposits built up within the bank. They had been getting no use out of the money whatever. The bank was paying them interest, and they money was building up further. These people didn't need that money. The banks needed it, because they lent it to others and charged them interest; but a cast amount of the interest charged was paid away in administration costs, paying wages for people like myself just to administer the economy. The system was over burdened and the middle man was taking great advantage. Under Timecon there will be no middle man and lower administration costs.

Human time will be the new unity of exchange and the computerization of administration will minimize costs. I am very pleased with the new system."

"Why's that Jim? Surely the bank officers will be the first ones to lose their jobs?"

"That's right Nick, but we'll be able to take up new positions where we are making a contribution towards mankind, rather than contributing to maintain an outdated monetary system. This will be a challenge. Quite apart from this I appreciate the provisions that are being made for sportsmen. As an athlete I'd hoped to go to the next Olympic Games to run in the 100 metres. The problem is finding time for training. There never has been enough competition and this country's athletes have always suffered from a lack of funds.

Money will only be a minor problem for the Olympics. The national airline will fly all the athletes free to the olympic venue. The costs of staying at the olympic village will be met by external funds, earned by additional time credited to athletes prior to the games. We have done well in previous Olympics, but I can see a real improvement in our future chances. In some countries athletes have been training full time and getting the competition. A university or the State have sponsored them, whereas in this country everyone had had to earn their living first and worry about their sport last."

"But Jim isn't this professionalism? Won't you be banned from attending the Olympics?"

"No, not under the Olympic rules. An athlete is a professional who receives monetary payment. The athlete sponsored by a university, or supported by the State in the past, was never penalized, because he has never received money, and under Timecon he won't receive money either. Of course this won't just affect athletes but all sportsmen and I feel that there's a great opportunity for this country to make a substantial improvement.

"I'm interested to hear how you've got on this last week Jack. You're a builder. We haven't heard much about the building industry under Timecon?"






Jack Aston took a gulp from his glass, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and ruefully smiled at his drinking companions. He was a mountain of a man, towering over most of them; he took his pipe from the top pocket of his check bush shirt and began to fill it from his well worn leather tobacco pouch. His complexion matched his pouch. Creases darting across his face as a smile radiated from him. He had a quiet amiable manner and all respected his opinions.

"There must be a lot of work coming up Jack, rehousing people unsatisfied with their present homes. I can't see how you are going to meet the demand."

"Well Phil, there are many different aspects to consider. First we are going to need large warehouses to replace the old retail system. We may have sufficient buildings in some towns but in other towns warehouses will be built. There will be a huge surplus of office buildings and retail shops which are no longer required. Some of the offices are being converted into flats, others into small factories, and banks converted to warehouses. Post offices won't need large premises either. They won't need to sell stamps. Their main function will be the delivering of mail. Incidentally, the deliveries will decrease dramatically as no one will be sent any bills. A lot of building space will therefore be available for other purposes. The government estimates that we will conserve enormous resources because there will be no future need for office blocks. Accommodation of this sort will probably be surplus to our requirements for hundreds of years.

I believe that there'll be substantial work on the housing scene. Persons requiring housing need to apply to the Ministry of Housing. I understand that because of the strain that is likely to be put on housing, some people may have to provide their own labour in their housing alterations and extensions. Preference will be given to persons who have surplus credit in their working hours account, until the demand falls off. Your will appreciate that the working hours are greatly reduced. The home owner will have much more time to make a contribution by working at home himself or, alternatively, using those hours to build up a credit for future use, either in the earning of overseas funds for a trip, or, to give him advanced preference for housing additions. No one will need to vacate their home even if the homes is larger than that required; however, if they are to move into a new home, then that new home will be commensurate with their present needs."

"Jack, I can see a fair bit of socialism creeping in on the housing scene, I wouldn't like anyone telling me where I can live."

"Yes Jim, perhaps to start with, but this will only apply to people having a new house built during the transitional period. There may be some swapping of homes by people changing areas, although the government will probably frown on this, as they don't wish to see the barter system creep back into the economy. I feel that one the entire population is properly housed, a greater concentration will be put on providing improved housing. This could well extend into luxury items, such as the addition of a billiard room. People will need to build up their credit with the Labour Department, and that's not a lot different to what we have now. One of the main advantages I see is that people will no longer have to hold on to sub-standard housing because they can't afford to move. We will demolish the squalid areas of many towns, recycling the timber for chipboard, for paper production, or even burned to generate electricity and, although, I had reservations at the beginning of the week, I'm ready now to get behind this scheme and give it a go.

The main problems in the housing area will be in the transition period; when we have caught up on demand the government can lift restrictions. Don't forget that commercial building will reduce significantly in about three years.

The aim of the government is that every married couple deserves a roof over their head as of right. That's not hard to achieve because, almost without exception, we already had that under the monetary system, even if it was a rented house. The new aim is to ensure that the housing is of quality, and that there is security of tenure. It might not be quite so easy in the short term to achieve the objective of housing each party of a marriage breakup. There will also be a demand from those sharing a flat who are looking for independence or quality housing. I am confident however that in a few short years there will be a home for everyone. Don't forget that many offices will be available for conversion to housing."


Doubting Thomas


"Jack, there is one thing that I can't understand about this Timecon theory," said Tom. "I can understand a person's time being set off against labour charges which he would need to pay, because it's his time being set off against someone else's time." Jack nodded. Tom continued. "What I can't understand is how you can set off your time against materials purchased."

"That's an interesting point you raise Tom but just think of it this way," said Jack as he took a nail out of his pocket. "Look at this nail. How much material compared with labour is in this nail?"

Tom took the nail, rolled it over in his hand and said, "Well I suppose probably about ninety per cent of the cost would be materials. These are machine made on a production line with very little labour cost."

Jack took back the nail. "I might just surprise you Tom. The raw material for this nail is steel. The steel mill got their raw product from the iron sand on the beach. The cost of the iron sand would be almost nothing. Perhaps the government received a royalty, but the royalty content in this nail would probably be less than 1% of its cost. The sand was recovered from the sand dunes; that took labour. The iron sand was freighted to the steel mill; that took labour to drive the truck. The iron sand was processed in the steel mill to produce steel; more labour. The finished steel was freighted to the manufacturer of the nail, then loaded on a truck and freighted to a wholesaler; again labour. The wholesaler placed the nails in the store and later transshipped them out to a retailer; that all took labour. The retailer placed them on his shelf, eventually selling them to me; that all took labour. So ever since the sand left the beach, hardly any other material content of any significance has been used to produce this nail," said Jack triumphantly pushing the nail back into Tom's hand.

"Yes," replied Tom getting a bit agitated, "but can't you see that they used a lot of other things in the process other than just labour?"

"Right," said Jack, "give me some examples."

"Well what about the digger that dug the sand out of the sand dune? What about the trucks that freighted the sand to the steel mill, and freighted the steel from the steel mill to the nail factory, and freighted the nail from the factory to the warehouse, and freighted the nails from the warehouse to the retailer?"

Tom paused - waiting for the effect to sink in - then continued, "What about the overheads in the factory? What about the fuel used in the trucks? These are all materials used to produce this nail. These items weren't all labour content," he said triumphantly thrusting the nail back to Jack.

Jack was undeterred. "Tom, the digger used to dig the sand, the trucks used to carry the material, the foundry at the steel mill and the machinery at the nail factory are all made of steel. The steel that made those machines came from the beach, just like the steel for the nail. They've got a much greater labour content than the nail. Labour was used to assemble the digger, the trucks and the foundry, even the rubber in the wheels, which came from a rubber tree in Malaya, has far greater labour content than the cost of the raw product. Even the rubber trees were planted and tended by Malaysian labour, in order to get what is generally regarded as a basic raw product. It isn't a raw product at all. It is something which man has produced and he has tended those rubber plantations for many years."

Tom was beginning to look crestfallen.

"Don't give me that nail back again I've a nasty feeling that you are going to win this argument."

"Thanks," said Jack putting the nail back in his pocket. "I can understand you're surprised. I was as well until I worked through the exercise myself. you see even the overheads at the foundry and at the factory, such as rent and power, have a large labour content. Man's labour constructed the leasehold building. He also constructed the power lines, and the power station has a certain amount of labour input producing the electricity, and a large amount of labour in building the power station in the first place. In any manufactured item you will find that there's a large labour input when all the costs are completely broken down, and you will even find that there is a large labour input in some of the items which we regard as raw materials.

In a timber construction the raw product was the seed which was first used to plant the tree in the forest which produced the timber, and even some of these seeds may have needed human input to cultivate them. The only items therefore that can be truly classified as "raw materials" are those materials given to us by mother nature. Now how can one section of mankind justify charging another section of mankind for materials provided by mother nature?"

"Thanks Jack," said Tom, "I'm convinced; material is immaterial after all, if you'll excuse the pun. Apart from labour the only other costs were financial costs which disappear under Timecon. The sooner that Timecon simplifies life the better."

Tom now turned to Jim. "Tell me Jim, under Timecon what happens to our external deficit, do we just walk away from it?"

"No, not at all. You must remember that under Timecon we have only, at this stage, abolished the system of internal monetary exchange. The external system remains until the rest of the world converts to Timecon. Our government will still deal with other countries on a monetary basis, as will our companies deal with those overseas. All transactions will be channelled through the Reserve Bank. Timecon will help in reducing and eventually clearing the external deficit. We'll be manufacturing quality goods with no in built obsolescence and surpluses of these goods will meet a strong demand overseas. We'll also be dramatically reducing imports, and, in the long term carrying our own freight. This will all combine to swing the balance of payments in our favour."

"But won't difficulties arise where overseas companies have assets here which they can't take out? Isn't this nationalization to the detriment of overseas companies?"

"No it isn't," replied Jim. "Timecon may have been described rather scathingly as a 100% income tax, but it is certainly not an assets tax. No one is going to lose any assets. Let's consider an overseas company operating an aluminium smelter here. It will be able to continue that operation under Timecon. If it exports its product it'll pay customs duty when exports go out of the country, but that duty is merely a share of any labour or raw materials added to the product in this country. If it doesn't export it gets nothing except for payment for any raw product imported; however it pays nothing either. The company is therefore no better or worse off than it was under monetary internal exchange."

"But what if the company wants to sell its smelter?"

"I doubt if they would want to. It should be a lot more efficient under Timecon, but if they want to sell there is nothing stopping them. They can sell in overseas currency to an overseas company or even to a local company if it has overseas funds."

"That's all very well with a smelter Jim, but how about an overseas bank or insurance company, they won't find a market for their assets," said Murray.

"Oh dear, what a pitty, how sad," said Tom.

"Shut up Tom, Murray is serious and we have to be responsible in our dealings with these companies who have served us under the monetary system. Sure they used it, but we used them too," snapped Jim. "The banks and insurance companies have assets here but they also have liabilities, the largest of which are depositors and policy holders. These internal liabilities are extinguished, so the only assets they need worry about are buildings, plant and equipment and reserve profits. The plant and equipment can be exported free of duty, as the new duty only applies to goods manufactured during the Timecon system, because there was no advantage from free labour before that time.

The building can't be exported but they can be sold just as the smelter was, to be re-used for some other purpose. The chance of this is less than that of selling a smelter, so why doesn't the bank or insurance company set up a manufacturing operation? They were quite happy to trade profitably with us before Timecon, they will have to learn to adapt like everyone else.

There then remains the problem of undistributed profits; they have of course received dividends over the years, so it's only the remaining balance which causes a problem. Many of the companies have local shareholders. They won't get any more dividends and the shares are effectively lost so the overseas company has achieved a saving. If the reserves are less than the local shareholders the company is laughing, if they're more, what do you call it in golf Jack? "Rub o' the green."

"Now Tom," what's that Jim?'

"You havent' got your head buried in the Turf Digest. Have you already picked all your horses for tomorrow?"


The Race Track


There was a certain muffled internal explosion deep within the chest of Tom O'Rouke. When he had recovered he scowled around at his other drinking mates. "It's all very well for you, but this new fangled system has completely ruined my race days," he snarled as he reached for his tobacco to roll another.

"How do you work that out?" said Phil. "Under Timecon you're on a win all the time. Next Monday when you collect your new credit card you will be on a permanent winner. You won't have to gamble to win. You can never lose!"

"But that takes all the fun out of life," complained Tom. The thin reedy cigarette had started to belch smoke.

"Well if that is your idea of fun Tom. I'm pleased that it's ended," said Jack, with an evil wink at the other.

Murray chipped in, "I think it'll do a lot of good for the racing industry. If racing can't survive without gambling and money, it can hardly be regarded as much of a sport." Tom scowled again at those he thought were his mates, but Murray was not yet finished: "I understand that racing is going to be completely revised. It'll be able to carry on even without gambling. Each course will have its own trainers and horses and will compete against other courses or other racing clubs. We'll even have a provincial championship. In fact Tom, with all the money that you'll save on the horses I think that you should present a shield for competition between the provinces." Murray was enjoying this. "It'll be horseracing's answer to the Ranfurly Shield, you can call it the Tom O'Rouke Shield."

Tom saw a chance for a counter attack. He had caught Murray out. 'What am I going to save? There's no money to save, and there's no money to buy a shield!"

"Don't worry Tom," said Jack. I"ll make you one myself in the workshop next week. It probably won't wualify for any labour units on the Timecon system, however, I'll shout you a shield."

"I just can't understand you guys," spluttered Tom. "I can't understand you taking this Timecon system lying down. Don't you realize that it's communistic?"

"How do you work that out?" Inquired Murray.

"Well" said Tom, pulling off a shabby sweater with holes in the elbows, "it provides for equality for all; and that's communism."

"Yes, said Murray. "It does have a levelling effect, but just because it makes people more equal it doesn't mean to say that it's communism. The French Revolution made people a lot more equal but that was never called communism. Communism as we know it today is totalitarianism. There is no suggestion of totalitarianism under Timecon. We shall still have political parties operating. Admittedly many of the differences between the parties are based on monetary considerations, and if all the parties accept Timecon they will resolve a lot of these differences. Even so there will still be other differences, more important things to argue about than money, so there's no reason that the different political parties can't continue to exist. You don't seem to understand Tom that Timecon provides for the freedom of the individual. This is not something found under communism; Timecon frees the individual from the yoke of the monetary system. In the past humanity has made itself a slave to the monetary system. Timecon abolishes that slavery. We'll have more freedom than before, and this certainly doesn't resemble communism. For instance in 70 years of communist government, none of the communist countries have suggested moving away from the monetary system, so it does not remotely resemble a communist policy; at least not under communism as we've come to know it."

"Well it's certainly a socialist system," said Tom.

"Yes," said Murray. "It possibly is under our present definition of socialism. However under Timecon I think that the words "socialism" and "capitalism" will disappear from our dictionary. There will be no need for such classifications. Timecon isn't meant to be socialistic, it's meant to free mankind from slavery."

Phil butted in; "You know we have people coming into our office every day. They have two problems. Firstly one section of the community has too little money: many of the small businessmen have terrible difficulty paying their accounts. They worry all day and they don't sleep at night, because of their financial problems. The other section have what seems to be a very different problem, but it is similar: they have too much money, or they worry that they are going to make too much and pay too much tax.

It is all very well to say that if they have made the money they should be able to afford to pay the tax, but, in times of inflation most of the money that they have made has had to go back on their shelves to pay for stock which costs twice as much to buy now as it did a few years ago. So they've made money, but it is not sitting in their bank account. It's not there to pay the Tax Department. Timecon will strip all this worry away."

"There is another problem," said Tom. "I have heard that there won't be enough goods to meet the demand."

"That's true," said Whaka. "This is going to cause a problem with certain goods. It shouldn't be a problem with food, because most people in this country are fully fed, and would probably not eat much more food than at present, even if it was free. Also persons who had a bedroom suite or a sitting room suite would not have room for another. They may wish to upgrade their suite, but this problem is being overcome by limiting the purchase of suites to those persons with furniture which is more than five years old. This also applies to kitchen ranges, refrigerators, microwaves and some other home appliances. There will probably be a run of videos and stereos and we will need a waiting list, but if there is a large demand, and a continuing large demand, we will establish industries to satisfy it.

We have imported many articles because it was not considered economic, because of the restricted market, to manufacture at home. The old scene will change under Timecon. There'll be a far larger labour force available to make goods previously imported, because we won't waste a large part of the labour force working in industries supporting the monetary system; they'll be channelled into industries which make some contribution to mankind, such as manufacturing consumer goods to satisfy demand. In Japan they've had a large labour force that have been doing exactly this for years. In Switzerland they've not had a large labour force but they've been working in a similar way. In the short term there'll be problems, but in the long term there'll be other saving: we won't need to be buying such a large number of typewriters or adding machines, dictaphones, computers or office telephones, and no one will require cash registers. Industries which were making these articles or importing them can switch over to making videos, stereos and other consumer goods."

"We have an economist where I work," said Tom, "who says that the Timecon system itself is inflationary because too great a demand for goods is chasing too small a supply."

Phil disagreed, "Initially perhaps; however, the effect of inflation under the monetary system was that it devalued the spending power of the dollar. Under Timecon no such problem will arise because we can't devalue time. It's a fixed unit and time isn't the restricting factor in the exchange of goods anyway." Phil continued, "it's important that the exchange of goods doesn't develop to a point where barter would take over. I don't think that that'll happen as shortages will disappear quickly because of savings in other areas. There will be a saving in the wastage of human time in running the monetary system plus a saving of materials. Human resources will be mobilized to satisfy the demand, by using more raw materials to manufacture consumer goods, rather than relying on importing. We won't manufacture goods with in built planned obsolescence. They'll be made to last. There is no incentive to make poor quality goods, as there was under the monetary system. This will avoid wastage."

"Well, I work with another bloke who's one of these environmentalists. He feels that there is a risk of a "rape of the landscape" in the search of raw materials to produce more consumer goods."

"This may happen to a certain extent," said Jack, "but the opposite is much more likely, as there will be greater savings in raw materials not required. We won't need cement to build large office buildings, or paper to send bills. There'll be further savings in the use of raw materials, because of more recycling, which has had a high labour cost under the monetary system, and considered uneconomic. Under Timecon recycling will be cheaper, because of an abundance of available labour, and will be given a high priority. In the past, environmentalists have come into conflict with those looking for a monetary gain. Under Timecon this won't happen and all parties with a common interest will plan the use of raw materials.

I believe," continued Jack, "that the monetary system was the greatest enemy of our environment. Some of the greatest problems facing mankind, in fact all life on earth, include, the hole in the ozone layer, the climatic effect of the clearing of forests, and the effect on marine life in drift net fishing. The solutions to these problems under the monetary system were difficult, because the solution either represented a cost, or a loss of income, to those causing these problems, who are unwilling to change their ways. The damage to the ozone layer if not halted and reversed immediately, could result in the end of life on this planet. The most extraordinary thing about this is the seemingly casual and blase' attitude to this impending holocaust. The use of chlorofluorocarbons, must cease immediately, not this year, next year, sometime...... Under Timecon will cease now, but of course it won't cease in other countries until they shake free of the grip of the devil dollar, so we must promote the adoption of Timecon worldwide, to reap the full benefits. Hopefully when others see what we have achieved they will follow.

If you tell your friend this I am sure that he will realise that Timecon is a saviour for the environment."

"I don't know if I've been drinking too much free beer," said Tom, "but you've almost got me convinced."

"The Timecon system seems like a radical departure," said Phil. "If it's examined closely though, it can be seen that many of the changes haven't been so radical. Some of the things that we were doing under the monetary system were close to the Timecon system anyway. Social welfare, for instance, used to pay benefits to a bank whence the beneficiary made a withdrawal. They then used that money to buy their groceries, the grocer then paid the money back to the bank. Under Timecon the middle step is cut out; they just go shopping, the unnecessary administration is cut out.

If we examine the expenditure side of government we know that in the past we have received certain government services free. They were not really free. We paid for them through taxation; with the government providing education, health services and certain other services. Under Timecon these are still provided, together with a vast number of other benefits, but there's no payment made for them other than a contribution of time. Timecon merely extends government expenditure to cover everything. If one likes to view it in this respect, we can see the Timecon system as 100% tax on income, with all our wants supplied out of that taxation; so we receive our food, clothing, shelter and entertainment free, as well as the previous services of roading, education, health and defence. We've seen that it's only free in a monetary sense. We've had to make our tax contribution by way of time worked on an approved project. Looked at this way, Timecon is only an extension of the existing system, so it's not as radical as it might appear.

A similar situation arises when comparing Timecon with a company that goes into liquidation, or a person who goes bankrupt. A person or company that has used its spending power, even though not in theory not having it, under the monetary system obtains goods and services which it would never pay for. Persons had supplied goods and services to that person or company in good faith. Under the monetary system they were penalized for their good faith. The person or company may well have made a contribution in terms of time, even under the monetary system: and it may have got into financial difficulties through bad luck, mismanagement, misjudgment or relying on the honesty or others. Under Timecon no one loses out. No one suffers because of mismanagement."

"Phil, I'm a bit worried about my beach cottage," said Tom, "they tell me that I have to share it now."

"No, that's not quite right Tom. You will be invited to join a consortium of others with homes scattered around the country. Instead of just using your cottage you will have a choice. You have first pick of the dates when you want your home. You don't have to join the scheme, but is designed so that the maximum use is made of the asset, it is not lying idle for most of the year with no one getting any use of it. One side benefit is that you will not have to mow the lawns or keep it painted, that will be taken care of by a person needing credit for time units. It is part of the overall plan to get the best use from all assets, like the farmers combining the use of milking facilities."

"Oh that's not so bad then Phil. I'll be a starter for that idea, it was a damn nuisance mowing lawns. I go for a weekend fishing and spend more time doing lawns.

I've heard a criticism of Timecon that it's a simple solution to a complex problem and therefore it won't work. How do you feel about this Phil?" Asked Tom.

"Yes, I've heard that Tom. This criticism seems to be coming from those who had a vested interest in retaining the old system, because it meant that they had an edge over other members of the community. They had an interest in keeping the old system as complex as possible in order that they could gain income from administering it. Criticism is also coming from those who do not fully understand Timecon. They've been conditioned over many years to the idea that "money mattered" and that we had to abolish internal deficits. They find it hard to admit that they were hood-winked for so many years and that they believed that there was "no easy solution" or "no quick remedy" to the complex financial problems affecting mankind. Timecon has to be judged on its own merits and not on any hackneyed platitudes, which have been an excuse for inaction."

"Phil," said Tom. "One of our politicians has described the Timecon system as being "rather autocratic", do you feel that this is?"

"Well it could be," replied Phil. "It all depends on how it's administered. It's as autocratic or as democratic as the politicians care to make it, and this is no different from the monetary system. The Timecon system has a great deal more capacity for giving freedom to the individual than the monetary system ever had. I believe that the architects of this system had democracy and freedom in mind."


Overseas Trade


Murray turned to Phil and remarked that he'd like to know how the Timecon system affected imports and exports. Phil replied, "there's Janet Jones over there who works as a customs agent. Let's invite her over for a drink and ask her."

Janet and Loretta were sitting at a nearby table and were happy to join in.

"Now Janet, we've been discussing how Timecon is affecting our work and how jobs are to change under the new system. How's Timecon changing importing and exporting?"

Janet sighed and exclaimed, "it;s a big subject you know and its only been in a week, but I'll do what I can,"

Phil reassured her. "Janet, we are all in the same position and some of our information is a bit sketchy, I'm sure that you'll do as well as we have, here take this stool it's a bit high for me."

"What about exports?" Asked Murray.

"The booklet which we received", started Janet, as she stretched out her long slim legs and flicked the blonde hair from her face, "sets out the government policy on exports. The government has said that it's high time that this country began to face reality concerning exports. We're one of the most efficient primary producers in the world and will be even more efficient under the Timecon system. We need to do as much as we can to continue the promotion of primary products. Even so, we must face the inevitable that, unless there's a complete change in policy, for instance a change to Timecon in our customer countries, then there's bound to be a reduced market for our primary exports in the foreseeable future. This means that we must produce to meet the demand, but not over produce, as this surplus production only causes price reductions and massive over supply in other countries."

"What do they suggest we do Janet? Just leave the farms to grow gorse?" Asked Tom.

"No not at all," chipped in Loretta, "we must diversify; either into products which are in demand overseas, or produce more goods for local consumption which are now imported. There's going to be a certain limitation on our capability to do this. The climate has to be taken into consideration; we can't grow pineapples in the mountain ranges! It may however be possible to grow some exotic produce in warmer sheltered areas. There is a similar possibility in the very dry areas, where sheep farmers have had a struggle to survive, consideration could be given to a crop needing less moisture. This hasn't been possible under the monetary system as the financial cost of changing to another product has been so high, quite apart from the financial gamble involved in the success of the new crop.

Under Timecon a lot more experimentation can be made without a loss to anyone. A reduction of lamb on the world market will tend to cause prices to rise, and partially compensate the country for any resulting reduced exports. We could experiment in cropping artichokes as a renewable source of motor fuel. Here again insufficient investment has been made on this in the past, because there are no immediate financial benefits while a more readily accessible type of motor spirit is available."

"Right, now what about imports?" asked Murray looking at the two girls to see who would answer.

"My turn," chuckled Loretta, "I'll try this one. As Timecon may initially result in reduced exports and as we already have a very large overseas trade deficit, it is going to be necessary, while other countries still have a monetary system, to have a very close look at our imports.

There are many items imported which we could easily manufacture here. Under the monetary system it may not have been strictly economic to do this, as cheap labour overseas gave the item a lower monetary price. Now we have a large pool of additional labour and, more important, there is no resistance from the unions for a swing to mechanization; many of these products we can manufacture locally. We have already covered the possible reduction in the imports of motor spirits. This could now extend very simply to a large number of unimportant trinkets. There will also be a move towards the production of electrical and electronic appliances and motor vehicles locally. A massive reduction of imports is therefore envisaged almost immediately."

Tom chipped in here. "Won't this mean that we'll be importing less from our trading partners and therefore they will want less of our exports?"

"Yes probably," said Loretta, "but how much do we export to Japan and how much do we import from them? This isn't going to make much difference to our exports and there'll be a big swing in the trading balance. We already export more to several countries than we import from them, but they've continued to import from us because of the high quality of our primary produce."

There was a pause as everyone let this sink in, then Murray remarked, "Economists have always extolled the virtues of international trade. They've pointed out that it's best for the country which is efficient at producing a certain article to concentrate on that and sell it overseas, if they have surplus. They should then import other products from the countries which are most efficient at producing that. Don't these theories all go against the new Timecon theory, at least the portion that we're going to adopt relating to overseas trade?"

"That's all very well," replied Janet. "International trade would work perfectly well under the monetary system if we had genuine free trade. We know, to our cost, that there's no such thing as free trade. The European Economic Community has trade barriers, the American have trade barriers, and the Japanese have enormous trade barriers. The system just does not work. If we could export all the primary produce that we could produce at a price which covered costs and gave a reasonable profit, we probably would not even be discussing Timecon. We've now heard that we've got to face facts. Free trade is far from a reality and there is no indication that things will change. Eventually as other countries adopt Timecon we may revert to a situation where the country which makes the cheapest and best cars concentrates on making them, and the country which makes the best primary produces does just that. In the meantime transitional arrangements are essential and we will adopt them."

Loretta took a mirror from her bag, rearranged her tight ginger locks and stood up to take her glass to the bar. "One for the road Janet," she said, extending a plump freckly hand out for Janet's glass. Her blue dress flowed out behind her as she made for the bar.

Stan had been quiet over the last few minutes. "We have heard over the past twenty years that our living standards have dropped from third among the O.E.C.D. countries to twentieth or below. I know that this is not your particular field, but do you feel that our living standards will improve?"

Janet was enthusiastic to answer this, "I'm certain that they'll rise immediately. If other countries don't adopt Timecon I believe that we'll have the highest living standards in the world, merely with the stroke of the legislator's pen."

"One thing that I like about Timecon," said Phil, "is that previously, exporters such as farmers, could suffer a massive drop in income through circumstances which were no fault of their own; for instance a change in the value of the dollar. It was so unfair under the old monetary system that people could be brought to the brink of bankruptcy despite being good businessmen, Timecon has put an end to all that."

"Janet, I'm a sportsman," said Jim, "and I'm worried that Timecon is going to have an adverse effect on sportsmen coming from overseas. A top tennis player won't want to come to a tournament here if he's not to receive payment for it. What happens in this case?"

"That's no problem," replied Janet. "The visiting tennis player or golfer, or whatever he may be, will receive his prize or his attendance fee in overseas currency when he leaves the country. He'll have made his initial payment for staying in the country on arrival. If he has bought any goods, which he's taking out of the country, then he'll pay for these when he leaves. The Customs Department will be completely reversed. Instead of paying duty when goods are brought into the country he will in effect be buying from the economy the goods which he is taking out. This seems a much more sensible system than the previous one when people were penalized for bringing assets into the economy. In future, people will receive encouragement to bring assets into the economy, and will be charged for any assets that they take out. This, I think you'll agree, is much more logical?" Janet looked around the table and all nodded in agreement.

"Well folks," said Phil, picking up his glass and jug to return to the bar, "I must be going. There's a bus coming past the pub every ten minutes to save us driving home. I'm going to take advantage of this. I never liked catching a bus home before Timecon because the service was always so bad. It also meant leaving my car at the pub and coming back to fetch it the next day. Now all these problems are solved. I think a bus is coming, so good night. I'll probably see you same time, same place next week."

Phil's colleagues were all quite happy to stay on longer so waved Phil good night.




































Treasury Revisited


The following Monday morning Phil made his way to the bus stop and on alighting was pleased to see the young lady he had talked with two weeks previously. He hurried to make sure that he could sit beside her. She welcomed him and introduced herself with a smile. "By the way, my name is Anna Page." She extended her hand to Phi.

"Oh yes. I'm Phil Johnson. I'm pleased to meet you again."

Phil noticed that again she was smartly dressed, this time wearing a wine coloured cotton dress which blended perfectly with her long auburn hair.

"Well," said Anna, anxious to continue their earlier discussion, "what did you think of the budget?"

"Brilliant, just brilliant," Phil replied. "It's funny that you should say that," replied Anna, "I though the same and I was thinking of you and how you might welcome the announcements."

Phil looked a little bewildered, "Are you saying that you had some sort of premonition that this might happen."

"Well," replied Anna, "I do work with the treasury and did help formulate the budget. I was quite amused when you were explaining your woes because I agreed entirely, and we designed the budget to solve some of those very problems. If Timecon is ever adopted on a worldwide basis it will resolve many of those problems. Possibly not nuclear arms race, but Timecon can solve most of the other problems that you enumerated. Timecon will relieve poverty without the need for charity. The poor, or those close to the poverty line, will get relief mentally and physically. Poverty can be relieved without any corresponding loss of wealth to those who are better off. Previously a redistribution of wealth meant taking something away from one section of the community and giving it to another, either by voluntary charitable donations, or by compulsory taxation. Quite apart in the normal working life of the community.

Under Timecon, families will be a lot happier. It's amazing how harsh the monetary system was on family life. The poorest people in the community seemed to be the newly married couples. They were the ones who needed money the most to set up a home. This caused a strain on any marriage.

Matrimonial property and maintenance disputes caused terrible bitterness and some very unfair settlements resulted. The Matrimonial Property Act has done a lot to upset marriages and create ill feeling.

Bitterness has also split families on the distribution of deceased estates. Some of this ill feeling has involved brothers and sisters, who were otherwise harmonious. To a great extent Timecon will eliminate these problems.

Narcotics problems have been solved overnight. No one will import drugs or peddle them for no financial reward. Other drug related crimes including theft to sustain a drug problem, are disappearing.

Unfortunately Alcohol abuse may increase under Timecon. The cost of maintaining the habit has gone and it may be necessary to examine new methods to discourage alcohol consumption. Stress is a factor in alcohol use and some stress will disappear with the removal of the monetary system. This may have some effect on reducing consumption. The royal commission will examine the possibility of reducing the alcohol content in certain drinks and banning the importation of others. There could be a stricter requirement on persons serving drinks to stop serving a person who has become intoxicated. In the past the requirement has been largely ignored because it conflicts directly with a desire to profit from the sale. If a barman enforced the law too vigorously he could jeopardize his job. Timecon will enable law enforcement without any such disincentive. Liquor laws during the prohibition era were overcome by those seeking monetary gain, no such problem will occur under Timecon."

Phil agreed, "Anna, there are also more obvious and more immediate benefits of Timecon. We are relieved of the monotony of hearing about the problems of inflation and the problems of the internal balance of payments. It is amazing how many people have been hoodwinked about a problem which was of our own making. Without the monetary system there is no inflation. There is no internal deficit, and I believe that the external deficit will disappear soon through an improved economic base made possible by Timecon.

I'm sure that when other countries see how we created Paradise, just by the stroke of a pen, they'll follow suit despite resistance from vested interests. Incidentally, I think that if all countries do change to our system, and they do away with difference in their societies between capitalism and communism, they may be able to solve other problems, such as the nuclear arms race, merely because their types of societies are more reconcilable than they were before."

Phil continued, "I'm afraid that the media conditioned many people to the idea that, as the name of the television programme suggests, "Money Matters". Trivia relating to share prices, interest rates and internal deficits cluttered radio and television programmes. Money doesn't "make the world go round," and it never had. Mankind has been on the world for about one million years and for 997,300 of those years they managed to do perfectly well without money, it only came into being about 700 years B.C.

Ever since mankind has struggled on under the yoke of this system which if anything, tends to stop people's "world going around!" We have tried to alter money, inflating it, deflating it and doing all manner of other things to it, but never being able to solve the problems it brought. The only way to solve those problems was to abolish the monetary system entirely.

Some of the monetary problems came about because what was good for the individual was bad for the country, and what was good for the country was bad for the individual. During the depression, what would have been for everybody to take their money from behind their clocks and go out and spent it, thus revitalizing the economy. However the individual didn't know where his next penny was going to come from, so he made sure that he had a large store of them behind his clock.

In times of inflation the position is exactly reversed. The government would like everyone to store their money away for a rainy day, to inhibit expenditure and thus bring inflation down. The individual wants to spend his money as quickly as possible purchasing before the price geos up. Thank goodness the government has been able to cure this by bringing in the Timecon system."

"Yes thank goodness," she agreed.

"Anna I have heard criticism of the system, that people won't work hard because there is no incentive to work or chance to gain through promotion. They also say that there are no incentives to produce quality which could result in the production of a very shoddy line of goods."

"Yes Phil, we've heard this criticism too in treasury and when planning Timecon we tried to combat these problems, Under the old system many incentives did relate to financial reward, but various other incentives have always motivated mankind also. Examples of these are, power, status and position. No one would ever become Prime Minister merely for the financial return. Anyone capable of rising to that position would be able to make a much greater monetary gain by putting undoubted talents to work in the commercial sector, for far fewer hours. No man would strive to take up a position on a local authority council if it were just for monetary advancement, as many positions in the past have been honorary or have been on an expense reimbursement basis only. Yet we've had persons standing for election, jostling for the opportunity to serve mankind through their efforts.

Man is a proud animal; he likes to be an achiever and likes others to see his achievements. I believe that these incentives alone would be enough to encourage a large percentage of mankind to make a full contribution under Timecon. Promotion will be given to achievers and in a similar way demotion will be the lot of those who don't achieve. Sometimes this will mean the loss of stature or pride, but in other cases demotion could mean the inability to get a comfortable and enjoyable job.

The managerial jobs will not result in any less time worked by management, but the work might be lighter. It may mean not working in adverse weather conditions and it may be easier to work as the supervisor rather than as the supervised.

There's been a system of assessment in the public service and in large corporations, where regular assessments were made of the capabilities and commitment by each employee. Within Timecon such a system will continue in most work places. The work place itself will also need to meet certain targets of achievement and any failure to achieve these targets would reflect upon management. The achievement will be based on both quantity and quality. Under Timecon the number of hours to be worked will usually be fewer than under the old system. This will itself produce greater efficiency. Application is more efficient in short bursts than over a long period.

Timecon is a much simpler system, even so it will need some administrative procedures to make it work. It will be necessary for each person who holds an approved position to have his work record updated. This will probably be done weekly. The record will be kept on a central computer operated by the Labour Department, and the input into the computer will be regularly fed in from individual reports. A procedure has been adopted to work along the following lines:

All those seeking credit for units of time will keep a record, setting out the hours which he or she has worked during the past week. A summary will be given showing work done, and, in a production operation, that person will state the volume of production achieved during the period. The employee's work number will be included and the report checked and stamped by a foreman, a manager, or a person holding a position two or three grades above the position held by the worker in question. If the worker seeks a transfer he will apply for change on this form. This application may be for promotion to a higher grade, in which case approval needs to be given by a person a least two grades above the grade to which the applicant wishes to move.

If the application is granted, the Labour Department will then immediately seek a vacant position but if no position is available then one will be created. The application may be to move to another position on the same grade, this can be granted in a similar way, as long as the position was an authorized one. The application may be to go to a lower grade. Here again, as long as the position is available, the application should be granted. The person verifying the form may consider that the person isn't making an adequate contribution on the grade that he's on, and may suggest demotion."

"But Anna isn't all this record keeping a bit onerous, and infringement on the freedom of the individual, and isn't the reporting of other a bit of a "big brother concept?"

"Not really Phil. It's no different to what a lot of us have been doing for years. You had to keep a time sheet in your office to charge clients and you had to account for the whole week's work. I had to do the same. The process worker had to clock in every morning and clock out at night, and the system of assessment of employees by more senior employees has been established for longer than either of us can remember. The actual paper work may well reduce as computers will be widely used."

"Yes, I see what you mean. I suppose it is only a small thing to ask. After all, the time we work is the tax we pay, and we have always had to keep records for tax purposes. But I'm sorry I interrupted you, please carry on."

"Thanks yes, as I was saying, there would be an incentive to avoid demotion. Any proposed demotion will be subject to appeal and should not be made until that person has had the chance to appeal. A demotion wouldn't usually be made unless someone wasn't working or was working very slowly.

When the Labour Department authorizes a position they will grade it. There may be many hundreds of grades, and from time to time it may be necessary to reclassify any particular position. The grades will range from the most responsible job in the country, presumably the job of Prime Minister or Governor General, and will scale down to the most menial tasks. It'll be over to the individual to seek promotion to the higher grades. The net result might be that the politicians would only come from the ranks of the most capable persons available. This would be an unexpected beneficial by-product! There's no reason that such a system shouldn't work fairly; much more fairly than the old system.

We designed Timecon, Phil, not only to provide for incentives but also to ensure that people are not cheating the system. Those in authority will have to watch carefully the progress reports of those working under them, otherwise they could have a loss of performance in their department as a whole, and then may suffer degrading themselves. This is a very similar to systems which had been working in the public service and large companies for years where regular reports are complied. Under Timecon the only difference is that people will not lose their jobs, and, they are not going to suffer financial stress. They will merely transfer to a job where they are more capable to fulfil the requirements.

The system will also be a lot fairer because everyone will work a specified number of hours. There won't be anyone going to work for half an hour and spending the rest of the day on the golf course. They'll be able to spend their free days on the golf course and they'll have more of them. They'll make their contribution just like everyone else, and the economy will benefit because everyone will be making an effort."

"That's very impressive Anna. That seems to cover the point of incentives at the established work place. What about the incentive to a person starting up a new business or going into a completely different line of production, or to someone who wishes to launch out into something new either for himself or for the country?

What about an incentive to write a book or to make a film? Do you think that this type of incentive will still exist under the Timecon system?"

"Phil, if you think about it hard enough you will realize that under the old monetary system there was very little incentive for innovative ideas then. One always had to look at, not only the merits of the project itself, but also its financial viability. There was a tremendous disincentive, and it was far safer for most people not to get involved in many good ideas which they probably had.

There were probably many inventors who did noting to promote their ideas because of the possibility of financial failure, or alternatively they could not get the backing to launch the particular project. Many projects would have fallen by the wayside because of this. You mentioned the making of a film. Orsen Wells once said that when he was making a film he spent 80% of this time raising money and 20% of his time making the film. He said how frustrating it was for him as a director being shackled to a budget. Under Timecon the film maker will have a ball, and we will have a ball watching the result! The same can be said of any person with any idea which they have for the promotion of any type of new product.

Under the monetary system, unfortunately, a lot of people who went into business, merely took over an old business, or took over an old process such as retailing or wholesaling. Very few people launched out and tried new things of their own. One person who did was Bentley, the manufacturer of the famous motor var. The only thing that saved Bentley from bankruptcy was a Rolls Royce take over. The Bentley car itself was a magnificent machine. Many years later poor old Bentley went to a Bentley Car Club rally. The only problem was he could not afford a Bentley. He went in an Austin 1100! What sort of incentive is that for anyone to go out on their own?

I am sorry to say that many of the people who have been a financial success have got rich through some scheme which produced not one iota for mankind. Many people have become rich in banking, in the trading of properties, in the manipulation of the share market and in company flotations, none of which benefited mankind at all. The rewards for these non-productive activities were far higher than for a person contributing his ideas, labour and enterprise to the manufacture of a product for the benefit of mankind. They merely used the monetary system. The monetary system even rewarded the outright deceitful or the thief; the more successful he was, the greater his reward. We don't need incentives like that!

To answer your question more fully though, under our new system, if someone has a project they wish to promote or if they want to write a book, they will go to the Labour Department and place the proposal before the Department for consideration as an approved occupation. In some instances a committee from the Labour Department may give interim approval and ask for regular progress reports. If progress is not made, then it may be necessary to withdraw the approval, however if some effort has been made, and time has been diligently spent in any particular pursuit, then the person will receive credit for the hours worked towards that project. The person is risking nothing; the Labour Department is risking little. The project can be shelved at any time and if necessary can be taken up again later. If an applicant doesn't get approval from the Labour Department, he can promote the project himself to a certain point in his own time. If the project then appears to be successful, he may re-present his case to the Labour Department for approval, and if then approved could receive credit for the hours spent previously in private time. He's not going to go bankrupt in the meantime.

Just as a matter of interest Mr. Bentley wasn't the only one to go broke making cars. Since the motor car first appeared, about 100 years ago, 4,000 firms have manufactured motor cars. Only about 100 of these still survive. Here's what became of some of them: Lois Renault was murdered, his company passed to the French State; Calthorpe went broke; the Stutz Company crashed; Buick went broker; Sunbeam was bought out by its creditors; Studebaker closed down, and even some names, which sound as if they were successful, have survived, but the originator did not; Citreon died in 1934 a pauper; Chevrolet was taken over by General Motors, then man himself made virtually nothing. Even Rolls-Royce were only saved from extinction by a Timecon-like act of the British Government, baling them out of a loss made through an error in costing the production of an aircraft engine. Just imagine, a single mathematical error nearly robbed the world of its most elegant motor vehicle, and the brilliance of engineers over a sixty year period, people who had made the right decision thousands of times, was nearly wiped out by an accountant making the wrong decision once. The British Government decided that Rolls-Royce was more important than the monetary system, and now our government has decided that mankind is more important, and introduced Timecon."

Phil was surprised. "You people seem to have done your research in the treasury before launching Timecon. Why do you think that Timecon should start here rather than in another country?"

"Thanks Phil. Yes we did many months of research. We had to. Timecon was not something with which we could experiment. Once the change was made it was irreversible. We felt that this was a suitable place to launch Timecon, mind you we didn't have a choice, it's the only place we had the choice! It's one of the most egalitarian societies on earth. There's not a great gap between the rich and the poor, although this gap is now widening to a frightening extent. There's a great appreciation of important things in life here. Ecology is widely respected, as is equality of opportunity for all. Timecon must start on a world wide basis. Timecon needs proving in an insulated economy. There are few economies in the world where this would be more suitable."

"I am a little surprised Anna, that the government has introduced Timecon, which we must admit is lightly on the left of the political spectrum, when everyone else seems to be swinging right to economies based on market forces?"

"I don't agree," replied Anna, "Timecon is totally demand led, so is based on market forces, in fact more than economies elsewhere, where demand is blunted by a lack of ability to pay. As for Timecon being considered left, I don't agree with that either, just because it effectively equalizes wealth and opportunity."

"Fair enough Anna so why hasn't it been introduced before?"

"Well it hasn't always been necessary and it hasn't always been possible. The barter system served its purpose for a long time. Eventually circumstances changed and that system was no longer appropriate. The monetary system fitted nicely into the requirements of mankind when it was first introduced, and has done a good job for all but the last few of its 2,700 years; however in recently discovered countries of course the monetary system has operated for less than 500 years. The ethnic races were quite content without it, and Timecon will solve many of the problems that face these people today.

Now the monetary system has worn out. It has been propped up and it has failed time after time. Up until now there haven't been the electronic mechanisms to operate the Timecon system. The technology wasn't available, we couldn't have used magnetic tape on the back of credit cards to record information, so Timecon couldn't have operated efficiently until the present day. Frankly Timecon couldn't wait. Unemployment was increasing. Dishonesty was increasing. Theft was rising and, possibly most importantly, mechanization is growing. This would have put many more out of work. Under the monetary system mechanization means poverty. Under Timecon mechanization means wealth and freedom.

I felt excited Phil, before the announcement of Timecon. I feel that it's been well received, and am eagerly awaiting the benefits which it'll being. It'll take time to achieve the full benefits of Timecon. The transitional time will be frustrating until production increases to its full capacity, and the public feel the full benefits. There have been certain criticisms that Timecon benefits the poor but not the wealthier. As previously explained the wealthy are losing nothing, on the contrary they are gaining substantially. There's the benefit of improved economy, the vastly improved production, and the abolition of wastage that is so evident under the monetary system

I understand," continued Anna, "that the government is having discussions with neighbouring countries who are now considering adopting Timecon. It's hoped that they will join a Timecon free trade area. This will enable them to repatriate, to their countries, many who have come to live here because of our better employment opportunities. These people will be actively employed in their own countries, producing primary produce suitable to their own areas for internal consumption and for export within the Timecon zone and elsewhere. These countries will also set up manufacturing industries appropriate to their capabilities that are not in any way restricted by a monetary system. This means that Timecon is already spreading to other areas. It's hoped that the whole of this part of the world will adopt our new system in the next ten years."


The Epilogue


The object of Timecon is to raise the status of the human race to a higher plane. At present we are slaves to the monetary system. We are the only living creatures on earth who are the slaves to a system such as this. Under Timecon the human race can reassess it's priorities.

Where do we go from here? Supporters of Timecon should not form a political party. Any such move immediately places every person, in every other political party, against the system, whether they think it has merit or not. The movement towards Timecon should come through persons persuading the various organizations, of which they are member, that Timecon must come, and the sooner the better. Church groups, service clubs, charitable organizations, educational committees, and environmental societies, are the places where this must start.

There are many people being thrown on to the economic scrap heap, through unemployment, and through misfortune or misjudgment, under the present system.

The monetary system has three basic functions:

1. It regulates the spending power between various groups of individuals.

2. It helps to ration goods that are scarce, by increasing the price of those goods.

3. It is meant to ensure that everyone makes a contribution to society, and the rewards of the monetary system are meant to vary according to the contribution made.

In the first instance the monetary system does not fully satisfy the function of keeping a gap in the spending power between individuals; because some people, who have a very large spending power do not use it, whereas others, who have a very low spending power, in terms of cash assets, manipulate the system, through the raising of loans, through buying on hire purchase, or by using credit cards, thereby giving themselves a higher spending power.

In the second instance, the monetary system causes shortage of supply itself, by using a massive share of the labour market, and a very large share of the raw materials market, in its own administration. It also creates unnecessary work for mankind, which could easily be done by electronic or mechanical means, simply to give employment (that is to say money; that is to say spending power), to those who are carrying out the unnecessary functions. We have seen that the largest component of all goods produced is human input. Shortages are therefore created by a lack of availability of human input. Timecon releases much human input availability from the massive wastage in administering the monetary system. Mechanization creates further human input availability.

Thirdly the monetary system succeeds sometimes in ensuring that a contribution is made by everyone, at least in the middle and lower end of the socioeconomic scale. However even in that area the system often fails, and it fails abysmally at the higher end of the scale. Timecon replaces this function with a system that does work.

All these achievements of Timecon can eliminate shortages, thus eliminating the need for money.

To summarize therefore, the monetary system causes misery, hardship and hunger. It does give joy to certain persons, but in the very act of giving joy, it brings out the worst in people, by way of greed and dishonesty. The system rewards the greedy and the dishonest, and it penalizes the honest.

The monetary system has only been in operation for a relatively short time, when taking into account the whole span of human life. The sooner we abolish the monetary system, the better for mankind, now that its basic functions are shown to be no longer necessary, and now that we have the technology to do without it.