There is a very peculiar claim that is very popular among apparently all hucksters and grifters, namely the claim that you should not be too careful about spending your money because you can “always make money back”. In contrast, you need to be protective of your time because it is simply limited. This statement may even sound superficially plausible, but it is not. I think this is one of the most deceptive phrases out there, which arguably explains its popularity.
You probably do not question that you cannot “make time back”, strictly speaking. One day you will die, and even if you had access to those adrenochrome dens the elites frequent, you would not be able to keep death at bay indefinitely. No, somehow backing up the content of your brain to the “cloud” does not change this. You can probably make the argument that if you refuse cancer treatment, Steve Jobs-style, you lose time but would “make it back” if you changed your mind, similar to someone wanting to get vaxxed to the hilt but leaving the vaxx station in a hurry when seeing someone collapse right after having gotten the mRNA jab. In some timelines, the lives of those people are longer, and in others, they are shorter. Yet, there is a hard limit to the time they have.
Unlike time, money seems to have no upper limit, due to central banks just creating it out of thin air. Nominally, there is always more money in circulation that is worth less and less. Yet, it is still not correct to claim that you can “make money back”. Naively, you can take the example of someone getting swindled out of $5k by an online guru. This guy can make the money back by making another $5k. Sure, it will take time, but he will get there. Oh, wait, I think we just tripped over something here: time normally converts into money so by getting swindled out some money, people actually steal time from you. Yet, as your time is limited, you will never be able to catch up.
Let me explain this a bit more formally. Assume you have a lump sum of $10k and you buy stocks from ACME Inc. for it. This company pays out a dividend of 5% every year, like clockwork. Thus, year after year, your money grows. If said investor only has $5k available, on the other hand, he will never catch up with his counterpart in a parallel universe who could invest all $10k at once. Thus, you can quite nicely show that the less well-off investor will never catch up with the other one, ceteris paribus.
A while ago I had a chat with a startup founder. They had a rough year and made some dumb decisions that cost them a lot of money. I asked some pointed questions about it, and he just shrugged it off, claiming that the company may have lost $x last year, but they can always just “make it up” this or next year. He did not like me pointing out that his baseline has been lowered and that, compared to not making those decisions, he will now perennially play catch-up. I wonder if he was so seemingly confident when making those statements because he has practiced them so much when talking to impressionable women who get wet when they hear “startup founder”. More precisely, he should tell them that all he has achieved is wasting the money of his investors. This made me wonder if today’s startup founders are the equivalent of yesterday’s telemarketers or online marketing hucksters. In any case, they will never make their money back, and neither will anybody else.