Community Currency Goes Global

This was posted by Robert Taft of Upton, Wyoming on the “Join in the Debate” page, but it adds an interesting ferment to the debate and bears repeating here.  Noting that Ithaca Hours (local community currency) are  expanding as far as China, he suggests that both interest AND gold act as a break on trade, and that neither is necessary for a freely circulating medium of exchange.  This is what I’ve been trying to say about a truly “national” bank — if the national community owned the bank rather private bankers, the bank could be a profit-free, interest-free venture that simply provided ready credit to the people.  Controls would have to be imposed (no interest-free credit for speculation, etc.), but basically we would just be monetizing our own promises to repay.  That is, in fact, the credit system we have now, except that parasitic privateers get to draw a perpetual tribute off the top.  Robert Taft writes:

According to the Ithacahours website http://www.ithacahours.com their debt-free money is going global. Great slap at the central banksters. While they may not state it in wording they have apparently discovered the basic axiom for debt-free money:

“There is a basic axiom on money that is either unknown by monetarists or ignored in favor of the many schemes used to enrich the few at the expense of the many. It goes like this:

“As universal prosperity is dependent upon the ability of Money to flow (its “velocity”), nothing may be done to money that would in any way impede that flow.”

“This would exclude things like using commodities for money (gold, silver), adding bankers’ gimmicks like interest to money, or in giving money additional uses beyond its sole legitimate use as a “medium of exchange.”

“Money needs to be “created” into circulation by a system’s wealth producers, never “borrowed” or “spent” into circulation by its bankers or consumers. It needs nothing backing it but the integrity of its issuers (in a second-rate democracy there can be no integrity).

“That is the rule, though it cannot be applied in this time and place. Money issuance is government’s most sovereign prerogative, yet in honest form is as unobtainable as is the only workable FORM of self-government, a Republic.

“Had we a Republic, one of the very few prerogatives granted to the upper levels of government would be money issuance, a completely worthless medium of exchange, which being worthless would never be hoarded but would be quickly spent for something that one coveted for its intrinsic value. This velocity is what produces UNIVERSAL prosperity. Lack of velocity is what creates wealthy and impoverished classes of people, plus the struggling middle class that actually produces the wealth, and unfortunately, their ranks are constantly diminishing.”

While debt-free money cannot be instituted at this time by corrupt governments, obviously it can and is being utilized by some communities around the world. This is the biggest advance in monetary policy since the ’30s when thousands of communities and counties across America issued currency that circulated during the Roosevelt bank holiday. Damn shame they quit it when the banks reopened. They proved we don’t need the banksters leeching off our productivity. Another great advantage with Ithicahours or any local currency is that it is not acceptable outside the local economy and is therefore not siphoned off like a national or international currency would inevitably be. Central banks, including and since the first Bank of the US started by Hamilton do nothing for local economies but allow wealth concentration in the hands of the few while impoverishing the many.

This budding concept needs widespread distribution. It must be instituted when present governmental structures and the monetary systems they spawn collapse of their own internal rot and putrefaction.

10 Responses

  1. Thanks for your comment Ellen. Actually, I think money could be issued by government in sufficient quantity to meet the needs of the people without any inflationary or deflationary problems. This was one of the three reasons for the decennial census. It must be tied to productivity, particularly of commodities. The current system is in a state of collapse due to legalized fraud. Buying and selling non-existing things, as with puts and calls ($800+trillions in derivatives) needs to be redefined as FRAUD pure and simple. Loaning non-existing money is similarly FRAUD.
    Interest charges for any reason must not be allowed. Interest merely multiplies costs of everything, rewarding the most those who contribute the least. Were the budget requirements of political governments combined with the CAFRs of the corporate governments it is obvious that no taxes are required. Of course government must be reconstituted in the next civilization along responsible lines as in Exodus 18:21. The current fascist/communist economic system must be allowed to die, as it is doing, and not be re-instituted.
    Best regards,.
    Bob Taft
    The Taft Ranch
    Upton, Wyoming
    (307) 465-2206
    “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man
    who reads nothing but newspapers.” [Thomas Jefferson]
    http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/archive.cgi?read=74897
    “We hang the petty thieves and appoint
    the great ones to public office.” Aesop

  2. I agree, Bob, but I think a system using interest would also work, IF the interest went back to the government in place of taxes. Otherwise you have the problem of the “carry trade,” where people will borrow interest-free credit and use it to invest in something interest-generating. If you make interest illegal everywhere, people will still borrow interest-free, invest in money-making ventures, and just call it “profit-sharing”; or buy up commodities and horde them, figuring their price will go up and they can sell them for more later. (People are doing that now with the inflating money supply, which makes credit essentially interest-free because the inflation rate is higher than the interest rate.) The point is that you will have a wild expansion of the money supply not adjusted to the goods and services being produced. How to avoid that? You would have to put tracers on the purposes for which money was lent; but that is going to be very difficult. Better, I think, to follow the Pennsylvania colonists and have a government bank that lends at 5% interest, returning the interest to the public coffers in place of taxes.

  3. While I am not religiously oriented I do respect a few things that have come down from early holy writ, beginning with Exodus 18:21 which sketched out a proper governmental form which was used world-wide before the advent of democracy. Who said what is not important compared to the applicability of what was said.
    “Government by law” was once understood to be based upon the Golden Rule and our inherent sense of right and wrong. Today we have “government by men” with thousands of federal, state, county and city legislatures creating endless barriers to our freedoms.
    The debt money system was long prohibited by Christian and Moslem hierarchies for good reason. It upsets the money balance and badly affects the Money Rule. Endless monetary perversions result from violating the rule. The Inquisition was an effort to stamp out the money-lending practices in 15th century Spain and Portugal. I expect only a religious prohibition could ever control the greed situation until such time as the humanoid can adopt an ethical mind-frame. This is probably why there was a mandated Jubilee Year every seventh year and after seven times seven years. One would hope that all the “end-times”talk of spiritual advancement is more than just talk.
    I believe you are trying to make a transition from usury to honest money as painlessly as possible but this can only be advantageous to the greed-oriented few. Before the 20th century a property exchange involved both buyer and seller being partners until the debt was paid. No interest add-on was necessary. When we can get back to “government by law” once again government’s needs will be minuscule compared to today. Actually were government budgets and CAFRs combined there’d be no need for taxes of any kind.
    Truth is very simple; the lie is always complex. Sadly, nothing new can be established except out of the ashes of the present.

  4. Ellen, Bob….

    All of this is very helpful….and hopeful. Global Community currency can spark an awareness to millions of people of how a money system could world effectively to the benefit of all. From there, many of the ideas that Ellen has suggested for a new banking system that eliminates the middle guy/debt game could emerge with the ground up support.

    To all this, I also want to add Riane Eisler’s info in Real Wealth of Nation: creating a caring economy. This provides the foundation for how we begin the shift from the massive consumer economy and begin to monetize ‘caring’ which represents the majority of the work we do on this planet every day (a 2004 study showed that the value of unpaid work equaled 70% of the Swiss GDP–most of this unpaid work falls into the ‘caring categroy). With this, we can return to an economy that is based in productive activity–vs. the fraud based “making money on making money” world that is now devastating the world.
    http://www.realwealtheconomy.com

  5. Ellen, Bob….

    All of this is very helpful….and hopeful. Global Community currency can spark an awareness to millions of people of how a money system could world effectively to the benefit of all. From there, many of the ideas that Ellen has suggested for a new banking system that eliminates the middle guy/debt game could emerge with the ground up support.

    To all this, I also want to add Riane Eisler’s info in Real Wealth of Nation: creating a caring economy. This provides the foundation for how we begin the shift from the massive consumer economy and begin to monetize ‘caring’ which represents the majority of the work we do on this planet every day (a 2004 study showed that the value of unpaid work equaled 70% of the Swiss GDP–most of this unpaid work falls into the ‘caring categroy). With this, we can return to an economy that is based in productive activity–vs. the fraud based “making money on making money” world that is now devastating the world.
    http://www.realwealtheconomy.com

  6. Right. Under Richard Cook’s “social credit” theory, the government could issue $1000/month to every adult in the country without inflating the economy. It would just make up for the difference between earning power ($9 trillion) and GDP (things to spend it on) at $13 trillion. Right now the difference is met with money borrowed into existence from the banks. A thousand dollars a month would be enough to support all the unpaid caregivers.

  7. It is probably NAIVE to try, and get rid of the profit element out of banking. That will only come about on a global scale via human evolution after many decades. We do not have alot of time to wait especially in the light of global warming, and other matters.

    Certainly projects like the Common Good Bank are excellent starts but much more would need to be done before they can take over the present financial system. Most people are still trapped mentally within the capitalist system of production, and to change this is a huge task which again would take many decades.

    The profit-motive is what drives the world now. It is an evolutionary stage to more advanced cooperative aturistic types of thinking, and understanding….

    What is needed is a way to DIRECT THE PROFIT-MOTIVE TO CREATE A SUSTAINABLE GLOBAL WORLD WITHOUT LOOSING HUGE PROFITS. The key to this problem lies with TRANSFINANCIAL ECONOMICS which with the aid of subsidizations using transmissions of new monitored non-repayable money would also create PROFIT MOTIVES TO REDUCE POVERTY WHICH WOULD OTHERWISE BE UNVIABLE COMMERCIALLY.

    To understand this more clearly it is best to examine my link by pressing my name at the beginning of this post.

  8. I have a few questions about this.

    These hours are purchased with dollars. So isn’t this still debt backed money? And aren’t the people printing the hours making profit (dollars) off of the people who buy them?

    Also follow the link to the “official” Ithaca Hours website at http://www.ithacahours.org, and you find that the owners of that site are at odds with the creator of the hours and his website, http://www.ithacahours.com. They are upset that the creator won’t take down his site. I can only assume he keeps his site up because he has a book about the hours that he sells in dollars.

    I am still new to the study of the financial system and have just ordered Ms. Brown’s book. I am looking forward to reading it.

  9. Hi Brandon, the Ithaca people sell instruction books and paper scrip to get started, but you actually “buy” the Ithaca Hours with hours of labor. I agree though that community currencies aren’t the ideal solution, because communities invariably have to get involved with the national currency — for taxes, things not produced in the community, etc. Best to deal with the problem at its source, the national currency itself. Community currencies are good backup systems though, particularly in the currency contractions experienced in depressions.

  10. They are working out the issues as new currencies come online.

    Mark

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