A New Currency to Revive the Old Country
August 2011 has opened on a number of sour notes.
Stock markets worldwide are tanking, American Treasury bonds are being
downgraded, and the US debt ceiling has been punctured again. More
scary news is sure to follow in the coming days.
What can any of us do? Maybe something like the following.
me resurrect thoughts of great American symbols and the potential for
new dollars in the USA which were broached three weeks ago. Ginger
(Peace) Arnold had induced me to gather a number of symbols to create a
New Currency. (See her blog). Germs for the symbolic picture come from the New Flag I designed, sewed and carried across the USA 9 years ago.
have no illusions that the American nation will adopt either a new flag
or a new currency, but both may be worth considering in other venues
Alternative currencies are probably new to most
readers. They were to me just a couple years ago. Ginger had studied
the idea and passed it on to me.
The basic concept has been
around for a long time and has taken root in a growing number of towns
and cities. Ithaca, New York, seems to have gotten the ball rolling as
it became the home to a local currency called Hours.
But you say, "Why bother?" Here are a few reasons:
• To support local businesses, projects, and organizations. The currency only floats among members and customers.
To keep more money circulating in the area. Local currency can’t be
spent far and wide. It must be paid out continually in the locale of
printing. The more times it is “turned over” the more local business is
• To have a viable means of exchange beyond Federal
Reserve Notes and credit cards, etc. Local currency is like a backup in
case of financial disasters. They have happened in the past and may
well recur. Don’t bet your Sweet Bippy that the greenback will always
be readily accepted or worth the figure printed on it.
show community solidarity and keep faith in the local economy. The big
cities and big businesses don’t need more money. It is smaller
communities and Mom-and-Pop concerns with just a few employees which
need extra boosts.
All kinds of governments and their dollars
are looking for boosts these days. But, many of them have wasted them
profligately. Maybe we can do better locally.
A new currency
with ever vital, tried-and-true All-American symbols seems like a good
idea. Maybe such a currency would help turn the modern Need for Greed
into a more truly sharing and caring way to live in the ever-changing
In a previous eletter, I gave my version of an functional
meaning for the word America, that being I Love Richly. If we really
believe in dollar bills and currency and the related symbols on them,
maybe we will pass them on more generously and more consciously
intending true prosperity and well-being to those with whom we do
Alternative Currency Resources
Ithaca Hours - one of the first alternative currencies in modern times - 1991.
Ithaca, New York.
BerkShares - dubbed a 'great economic experiment' by the New York Times - 2006.
Berkshires region, Massachusetts.
General Information on Alternative Currencies - Now.
Second Installment on Currency
Third Installment on Currency