What is the relationship between time and value?

Polls show Americans like instant gratification. A recent AP Poll showed that Americans are an impatient bunch. We get antsy after a few minutes on hold; we hate to wait in grocery stores or in airports. Older people are more impatient than younger people. People in the country are just a little more patient than city people but not by much. This poll was based on 1003 adults. Most people answered they felt more time poor than money poor. Benjamin Franklin said that time was money and many of us take this truth to heart.

The findings from this AP Poll will probably not surprise anyone but it is significant in that today we are beginning to value time more than money. Economic theory or the Law of Supply and Demand says that the scarcer something is the more valuable it will be. If we now have less time than money, then time will become proportionally more valuable to us. People who can afford Hummers and other such luxuries may have a surplus of money but there are only 24 hours in a day. No matter who you are or how much money you have, the time you have is fixed. You cannot buy another minute in a day or another second in your life. You may work overtime to acquire more toys or to display a luxury lifestyle image but rich or poor you share the same amount of time each day as everyone else. Time will become more and more precious when you get older while the things in your life will soon lose their luster. Bling only blings so long and then goes out of style.

What if we wanted less? What if we spent less time shopping and buying and acquiring things? Would you be happier with less things and more time? How does buying and spending keep you from enjoying your time and relaxing more? How does owning so many toys affect your life? What if you adopted the virtue of frugality? Would you trade your things for more time to spend with those you love? Would your life be happier if it were simpler?

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