Virtuous Cycles of a Gift Economy

By Dave Pollard

Our society puts a value on human activities only when they can be monetized ? when a transaction involving an exchange of money occurs. We tend to equate our time with money: If the ?market value? of an hour of our time exceeds the cost of hiring someone else to mow our lawn or make a present for a loved one or look after our children or our home, we conclude that it makes sense to buy those services and to work longer hours to pay for them.

This false economy leads us to buy what we don?t need, which requires us to work harder to pay for those unnecessary goods and services, leaving us even less time to look after ourselves and our own needs and forcing us, in a vicious cycle (cycle 1 in red on the chart above) to ?outsource? even more of the things we might be doing for ourselves...

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