Actually this is going on in HUNDREDS of US and Canadian communities, and also in Germany that I've run across. the important thing is not to call the currency Dollars (or Marks) or anything that comes under government issue and tax authority.
Interesting that BerkShares are bank issued, for 5% off the top, which commits the banks to supporting the circulation. Not a bad idea if you want to allow the present banks to survive. These of course would be small, local banks, and not the uncontrolled monstrosities that we have been involuntarily bailing out. Local currencies are highly desirable in smaller towns and counties to help boost local economies.
The Taft Ranch
"We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public
Ra Energy Fdn.
Ra-Chi is our agenda http://ra-chi.org
Getting beyond the Ponzi currencies will get creative but the lowest common denominator is what is needed... Our job is to show how we can realize a universal standard of living right now for twice the global population with half of today's output.
Communities print their own currency to keep cash flowing
A small but growing number of cash-strapped communities are printing their
Borrowing from a Depression-era idea, they are aiming to help consumers
make ends meet and support struggling local businesses.
The systems generally work like this: Businesses and individuals form a
network to print currency. Shoppers buy it at a discount say, 95 cents
for $1 value and spend the full value at stores that accept the
Workers with dwindling wages are paying for groceries, yoga classes and
fuel with Detroit Cheers, Ithaca Hours in New York, Plenty in North
Carolina or BerkShares in Massachusetts.
Ed Collom, a University of Southern Maine sociologist who has studied local
currencies, says they encourage people to buy locally. Merchants, hurting
because customers have cut back on spending, benefit as consumers spend the
"We wanted to make new options available," says Jackie Smith of South Bend,
Ind., who is working to launch a local currency. "It reinforces the message
that having more control of the economy in local hands can help you cushion
yourself from the blows of the marketplace."
About a dozen communities have local currencies, says Susan Witt, founder
of BerkShares in the Berkshires region of western Massachusetts. She
expects more to do it.
Under the BerkShares system, a buyer goes to one of 12 banks and pays $95
for $100 worth of BerkShares, which can be spent in 370 local businesses.
Since its start in 2006, the system, the largest of its kind in the
country, has circulated $2.3 million worth of BerkShares. In Detroit, three
business owners are printing $4,500 worth of Detroit Cheers, which they are
handing out to customers to spend in one of 12 shops.
During the Depression, local governments, businesses and individuals issued
currency, known as scrip, to keep commerce flowing when bank closings led
to a cash shortage.
By law, local money may not resemble federal bills or be promoted as legal
tender of the United States, says Claudia Dickens of the Bureau of
Engraving and Printing.
"We print the real thing," she says.
The IRS gets its share. When someone pays for goods or services with local
money, the income to the business is taxable, says Tom Ochsenschlager of
the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. "It's not a way to
avoid income taxes, or we'd all be paying in Detroit dollars," he says.
Pittsboro, N.C., is reviving the Plenty, a defunct local currency created
in 2002. It is being printed in denominations of $1, $5, $20 and $50. A
local bank will exchange $9 for $10 worth of Plenty.
"We're a wiped-out small town in America," says Lyle Estill, president of
Piedmont Biofuels, which accepts the Plenty. "This will strengthen the
local economy. ... The nice thing about the Plenty is that it can't leave
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Ra Energy Fdn.
Ra-Chi is our agenda http://ra-chi.org
Op Eds more of the latest going back decades http://tinyurl.com/cwhnvu
Videos Ought 2010 A Transcendence Odyssey a movie where ALL the worlds' a stage Everyone is in it _ See Currency The Redistribution of TIME and Digging Slavery's Grave the secular version.
It is time for a look at the solution from a 'more for the most' Lowest Common Denominator POV _ Getting back to the hard wired knowledge LCD Talking points http://raenergy.igc.org/lcdn.html#game
Let us experiment with laws and customs, with money systems and governments, until we chart the one true course - until we find the majesty of our proper orbit as the planets above have found theirs& And then at last we shall move all together in the harmony of our sphere under the great impulse of a single creation - one unity, one system, one design.
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