We all know time is precious. Despite this, economics generally regards time as a unit of measurement rather than as something inherently valuable. What makes this strange is that economics as a discipline has always been something of an academic cuckoo in the nest, borrowing ideas from elsewhere. While it is over a hundred years since Einstein's theories of relativity revolutionised our concept of time, economics still labours under the old Newtonian conception of it as a sort of fixed, intergalactic tape measure - until now.
In Jam Tomorrow?, Charles Crowson presents a new theory of value at the heart of which lies our ever-changing perception of time. Humans are unique in their degree of self-awareness; particularly the awareness of their existence in time. As the basic economic choice is one of consuming in the present or saving for the future, all such choices are ultimately decisions about time. This means that we alone are the animal that chooses to save, since we alone understand that our actions in the present can affect the future.
Jam Tomorrow? recasts economics as a question of the balance between our needs and desires in the present and those of the future. This makes our changing perception of time a kind of invisible ink that links the micro to the macro, the past to the future, and that offers a new and challenging way of understanding the relationship between value, price, money and credit.