It is not so much that I want to start a topic on this additional approach to alternatives to money as I am interested in a discussion of
how we organize the way we do things to create the world we want . . .
one thing is related to another and all . . . It is more the currents
that we want to create than it is the currency that we would use to
measure them . . . from "THE RESILIENT COMMUNITY: SCRIP"
David, thanks for the interest.
It is challenging sometimes to figure out which is the appropriate "room" for a particular discussion.
Even here for instance, (Introductions and Experiences with Local Currencies) we see progression of a discussion go from local to local exchange concepts that could be universally applicable.
Paper, metal, electronic, etc. are, among other things, currencies that attempt to enable exchange.
In addition, our business also needs appropriate means of tracking, for
triple bottom line quantitative analysis*, as well as for compliance with IRS.
*profit-loss, social environmental financial cost-benefit, etc
So here is the issue that I think is missing in most discussions on alternative or complementary currencies . . .
Money is a measure of "market value". Market value is based on relative scarcity. When a thing is abundant it has no "market value". That does not mean that the thing has no value. In particular, being unemployed does not mean that a person has no value, it just means that there is a limited "market" for that person's skill set. The same goes for clean air and water. The reason we subsidize food is that farmers regularly produce more food than required to meet demand and they would all go bankrupt without the subsidy.
If we could arrange the relationships between the people, plants and creatures within our locality any way we wanted, we would arrange for an abundance of certain things. My list is food, clothing, shelter, education and health care, but it assumes clean air and water, toxin free land, a thriving local ecosystem . . .
The fact that none of those things would have market value . . . because of their abundance . . . means that producing and maintaining the flow of that abundance will require a different kind of measurement. We want to incentivize and reward contributions to the creation of that abundance, and that cannot be money (or a money substitute) because there is no market value.
My personal opinion is that the money system works just fine the way it is for allocating scarce resources, even with the way it is issued as debt based and all the other reasons that people site for alternative currencies. Rather, the need is for a new way to measure this other kind of value. We have the physical capacity to produce an abundance of those things we would want adundant - we just don't know how to organize ourselves to do that.
David, I so agree with you, and our list are very similar -food, water, shelter, wellness, air, and education. A yardstick to value in these terms would be very helpful to us. Here’s why. Healthy community is in our HolisticManagement holisticgoal quality of life statement™. Meeting everybody’s basic needs is essential for community resilience, and therefore healthy community. Such a tool would be extremely helpful in evaluating decision alternatives against one’s holisticgoal™.
First, we have found that current sustainability and carbonfootprint yardsticks are too myopic, and second, the tool needs to be easy to use.
Hi David, finding if and where there are folks already discussing these matters is a challenge of social networking sites.
Here is one on value-based economies
It seems to be looking at why it is needed.
Forth Corner Exchange seems to be looking more at how.
Have you looked at others, or found any ready to use yardsticks?
That makes sense. Lawns should instead be gardens, and trees lining the roads should be fruit trees, but there is no incentive for Joe Average, or Average Town or Average City, to do that. Instead he fertilizes his toxic lawn and his toxic flowers, sprays pesticides on what he does want growing, and sprays herbicides on what he doesn't; and all those toxins go into the ground, air, and water for us all to enjoy.
But the debt-money system could in fact be one of the things that are holding us in these destructive patterns. Thomas Greco explains it better than I can.
I live in western Maine -- rural, farming, about 12 miles to our local metropolis, Lewiston/Auburn. LA is on old mill town straddling the Great Falls of the Androscoggin River. The shoe and textile industries are gone and the new mill work -- tele-centers -- is springing up in its place.
My place is to the west -- an old farmhouse with attached barn on the 3-1/2 acres that remain of the farm.
My interest in local currency stemmed, at first, from fear that the dollar would lose all value and paralyze all commerce. Since I've learned more, I am excited at the prospect of a "new" money system based on and facilitating free trade amongst equals and embodying "neighborliness" or "community".
I have zero practical experience with alternative currency, other than barter, shared favors and simple giving. I look forward to participating here!
I came here looking for a free laptop!
My aim is to help build the infrastructure for a digital, community currency economy.
I choose as far as possible to live by reciprocal gifting, and not to exchange money.
As part of Community Forge, and by working to build the Cc movement, I do not have to rent a house because I have sufficient hospitality options. The voluntary contributions (mostly from communities using our software) coming into Community Forge cover many of my expenses also. I find the less I use money, the less I worry about it.
Anyway, if you want to do online mutual credit, or similar, please talk to me. Do you know any software people who might be thrilled (as I am) at the prospect of giving exchange systems and other community building software to local communities? Put them in touch!
By the way I hope everyone here is at least aware of the CC Mag. You can print it and pass it on! Or write for it! New one out tomorrow.