By David Coates, The Detroit News, via AP
In Detroit, three downtown businesses have created a local currency, or scrip, to keep dollars earned locally in the community.
By Marisol Bello, USA TODAY
A small but growing number of cash-strapped communities are printing their own money.
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 currency.
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 local cash.
“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.
Yes, we know; THAT IS THE PROBLEM!
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 here.”
Imagine if all the dimwitted and destructive demonstrators got together to disseminate the ideas behind sound money and then print and promote their own money.
Wouldn’t that be effort better spent instead of smashing an RBS office? Or gathering impotently in the streets to be corralled like cows?
We have been over this again and again and again:
We had this debate on BLOGDIAL before the historic march organized by StopWar. Demonstrations are pointless because they do not achieve their ends, and the people who go on them are nothing more than stupid monkeys; the people who organize them are actually working for the enemy. Time and time again we have said this, (and other stuff) and had it proved, sadly.
Now the directors of this film, after everything we have said and witnessed are asking everyone to:
Visit and sign up online:
Visit and sign up online:
Email Your MP
Demand to know what they are doing about the issues raised in the film:
Join the Mass Lone Demos
Demonstrations take place 5pm to 7:30pm on the third Wednesday of every month, forms [MS WORD] [PDF] must be handed in or sent by recorded delivery 1 week beforehand.
Joining Amnesty will not cause one law to be repealed, nor will it stop new bad legislation from being enacted.
Similarly, Joining liberty will achieve absolutely nothing at all.
Emailing the very people who pass the laws that enslave you is just STUPID.
And joining demonstrations we know about, don’t we?
Telling the truth is not enough. Acting is not enough. Correct Action is the only thing that will change what you want changed.
But you know this!
If you want to fix a problem, DO SOMETHING TO FIX THE PROBLEM, DO NOT do something THAT WILL NOT FIX THE PROBLEM.
If your problem is a currency that is being inflated by a criminal government who is stealing your value to give it to their partners in crime, and you cannot change the government, CHANGE THE CURRENCY YOU USE AND ACCEPT, since THAT IS THE PROBLEM.
Demonstrating against bailouts is like dancing to stop the damage to your car caused by hailstorms.
GET YOUR CAR UNDER COVER IF IT STARTS TO HAIL.
Demonstrating against taxation is like applauding to stop your drive from being blocked by snow in a blizzard.
IF YOUR DRIVE IS BLOCKED BY SNOW, GET A SHOVEL AND DIG YOURSELF OUT.
Demonstrating against a leaking roof is like waving a banner to stop being hungry.
IF YOU ARE HUNGRY, MAKE YOURSELF A SANDWICH.
It’s simple really, but to my constant amazement, even intelligent people persist in believing that demonstrations are a good thing. They are not, not because they are inherently bad, but BECAUSE THEY DO NOT WORK!
FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME