AMERICA'S ECONOMIC RUIN IS ALL ABOUT US, SO WE MUST SAVE OURSELVES...AGAIN.
HERE'S ONE WAY THAT WE CAN DO THIS.
PBS published this article September 5, 2013.
"How to Print Dollars in Your Own Backyard and Keep Them Away from Wal-Mart"
THIS (LOCAL CURRENCY) AND BARTER ARE HOW THINGS USED TO BE DONE IN AMERICA, THAT AND A MAN'S WORD OF HONOR TO ANOTHER MAN (WHICH WAS THE ONLY "CREDIT" WE KNEW).
I can recall the days when even both our doctors would accept produce, hams, fresh fish, eggs, etc or the services of local craftsmen, or repair services as pay for their tending to the sick.
AND, NO, THAT WASN'T 100 YEARS AGO, THANK YOU!
I was delighted to see this article and to know such things are still alive in "America, Inc".
You may be skeptical that this can work, but we who grew up in VERY rural America, 30 to 50 miles from the nearest bank, unaware of Wall Street or the Federal Reserve's printing presses, children of the 1940s to 1950s, we know it works, and works very well.
LOCAL PAPER CURRENCY
<<What if you used a different currency to buy a sandwich from your main street deli than you did to make a purchase at the Wal-Mart 10 miles outside town? "BerkShares," the local paper currency of Berkshire County in Massachusetts, lets you do that. The popularity of BerkShares has ebbed and flowed, but with about $130,000 worth of notes currently in circulation, the number of businesses accepting the currency has jumped to about 400 from the 100 that initially participated in 2006.
Shooting a Making Sen$e segment on the phenomenon in Western Massachusetts, which is slated to air on PBS NewsHour Thursday, Paul Solman spoke with Alice Maggio, the local currency program director at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics in Great Barrington, named after British economist E.F. Schumacher, the author of the 20th century classic about acting locally, "Small Is Beautiful."
Alice Maggio: BerkShares evolved from a lot of experiments in this area with local currency. There have been Berkshire Farm Preserve notes, Monterey General Store notes and Deli Dollars, all experiments in funding upfront the costs of a business that everybody believed in and everybody understood already. So the Deli Dollars was the best example of that. There's a deli in town and it needed to move but the owner couldn't get a bank loan. So he turned to his customers and asked: Will you fund my move? And so he issued Deli Dollars. The customers could buy a Deli Dollar for $8 that was worth $10 when redeemed. So he basically financed his own move.
Paul Solman: So then how did BerkShares start?
Alice Maggio: Well, after these different experiments, the merchants on Main Street in Great Barrington said, "Hey, we want to do the same thing. We're local businesses; we need some support, too." And so they worked out a program called BerkShares in the early '90s. It was sort of like a promotion: during the summer you could get one BerkShare with every purchase you made from a local business, and then at the end of the summer, there was one weekend where you could redeem them. And from there, people said, "Well, why are we doing this just in the summer? Let's just do it all the time."
Paul Solman: Could you imagine, in your wildest dreams, that BerkShares might become preferable in some people's minds to the U.S. dollar?
Alice Maggio: That is our goal: to create a currency that holds its value, as opposed to a currency like the dollar that's inflating constantly, and at that point people will want to use BerkShares. But they'll only use them within this region and then there'll be other regional currencies elsewhere, but the goal of BerkShares is to provide affordable and appropriate capital for businesses here in the region....
...we're going to issue to a broad range of import-replacing businesses -- businesses that are producing things that we have been importing.
Paul Solman: So it's like the community as bank.
Alice Maggio: It is. It's like community banking.>>
AND THIS IS HOW WE'LL DO IT AFTER THE DOLLAR TANKS OR WHEN A GLOBAL CATASTROPHE OCCURS, WHEN WE BEGIN TO REBUILD "CIVILIZATION"... IF WE CAN.
IF WE DIDN'T REQUIRE SOMETHING TANGIBLE, SOMETHING 'CONCRETE;, WE COULD ELIMINATE EVEN PAPER CURRENCY, JUST OPERATE AS WE DID 'ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA'.
Before we had THE FED before we had CONgress and the almighty Federal Corporation (a.k.a., the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, all caps) butting into every wee corner of our lives, communities all across the land had identical systems of commerce.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF LOCAL CURRENCIES AND FAILURE OF THE U.S. DOLLAR IN OUR 'MODERN AGE'
The Great Depression was a world-wide economic disaster, but it was especially severe and long-lasting in the United States because of several concurrent financial and economic troubles, which the U. S. Department of Commerce has listed as follows
[I SHOW, WITHIN THE BRACKETS, HOW WE COMPARE TODAY TO THE GREAT DEPRESSION.JUST MUDDLE THROUGH TO THE HISTORY LESSONS ON LOCAL CURRENCIES....MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU...]:
9 IMPORTANT PRECURSORS TO THE GREAT DEPRESSION:
1~ an unemployed population estimated at over 12 million
[The July stats on unemployment issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that NON-FARM unemployment in America is "down to 7.4%...11.4 million. Why they don't count farm workers is a mystery.]
2~ a serious agricultural situation resulting from excessive production, ruinous (low) prices, and large debts
[WE DEFINITELY HAVE SUCH AN 'AGRICULTURAL SITUATION TODAY.
Today, we have fewer farmers who can't sell high enough to get ahead, who are getting bloody little 'help' from the present CONgress, who have faced both record droughts and intense flooding, who are pushed to grow crops for biodiesels instead of FOOD, and who are overwhelmed by the demand from both consumers and industry given the decline in family farms, loss of farmlands, and sky-high prices for fertilizers, and everything else it takes to run a successful farm. Unless YOU have worked a farm, or been a farm employee, you know almost NOTHING about the intensity of work required, the ever-present possibility of losing hundreds or thousands of acres to a natural disaster, loss of a water supply or trusted seed supplier, or of NOT finding enough people to harvest any crop that makes it to harvest. There may be a million other things that farmers face that you have no clue about, haven't even thought of, but this much I can assure you...
WHEN ENOUGH FARMS FAIL, YOU WILL STARVE TO DEATH!]
3~ a financial and credit system in grave danger of collapse
[IF ANYONE WHO READS THIS DISAGREES WITH THE FACT THAT WE ARE RIGHT NOW FACING THE SAME THING, RAISE YOUR FURRY PAW!
WE'RE IN IT QUITE DEEPLY, JUST FACE IT.]
4~ a large internal debt
[CURRENT NATIONAL DEBT MAKES THE DEBT DURING THE DEPRESSION LOOK REALLY SMALL! AND IT GROWS BY THE SECOND.
WHAT MIDDLE CLASS AMERICA OWES IS STAGGERING!
The average U.S. household credit card debt stands at $15,263. Meanwhile, the overall net worth of the average American went down nearly 40% from 2007 to 2010.]
5~ almost insurmountable barriers to foreign trade
[IF WE CONTINUE TO TAKE DOWN FOREIGN REGIMES, INVADE OTHER NATIONS, POLICE THE ENTIRE PLANET, WHO WILL WE TRADE WITH? AS IT IS, MORE THAN HALF THE PLANET "HATES OUR GUTS" AND ARE TRYING VERY HARD TO CUT THE U.S. OUT OF THEIR LIVES ANY WAY THEY CAN...TAKE CHINA , FOR EXAMPLE. CHINA IS THE OWNER OF MOST OF THE U.S.'s FOREIGN-OWNER DEBT.]
6~ a perplexing foreign debt situation
[I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL THE DEPT. OF COMMERCE MEANT BY THIS PHRASE, BUT I DO KNOW HOW MUCH AMERICA'S FOREIGN DEBT IS NOW...FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS AND "INVESTORS" HOLD 48% OR ABOUT $5.5 TRILLION OF OUR "PUBLIC DEBT", AND THAT'S CLIMBING LIKE YOU MAY NOT BELIEVE. THAT'S "PERPLEXING" ENOUGH, ISN'T IT?
As the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve is in charge of the country's CREDIT, so it really doesn't have a financial reason to own Treasury notes. Then why did it DOUBLE its holdings between 2007 and 2012 TO ALMOST $2 TRILLION?
THAT MERELY MONETIZES THE DEBT!
IT'S LIKE THE "SHELL GAME". IT'S ALL BASED ON IMAGINARY "CREDIT", ON $$$ CREATED FROM NOTHING, WITH NOTHING TO BACK IT UP!
The CURSED Council on Foreign Relations in June, 2010, http://www.cfr.org/financial-crises/dangerous-us-government-debt/p22408 , wrote: <<Since 1982 it [America] has run a current account deficit every year but one, steadily piling up obligations to foreigners. Because foreigners have been eager to hold dollar assets, they have willingly enabled this pattern, pouring capital into the United States and financing the nation's surplus of spending over savings.
The dollar was falling sharply. Early in 2009 it fetched almost eighty euro cents in Frankfurt or Athens; by autumn it was worth sixty-seven euro cents. Foreign investors, who held more than half of the U.S. Treasury market, were getting nervous. Prominent economists opined that the euro would become the world's reserve currency by as early as 2015.>>
SO THE FED BROUGHT A FEW MORE PRINTING PRESSES ONLINE AND CREATED MORE DOLLARS OUT OF THIN AIR, PAPER DOLLARS NOT QUITE WORTH THE COST OF PRINTING.
HOW TERRIBLE IS THIS?
Well, it's of REALLY BIG concern now that the debt-to-GDP ratio has passed 100%. IT HAS PASSED 100%. This means that the U.S. DEBT IS LARGER than our entire economy can possibly produce in A YEAR. Even though it's considered unlikely, those who own U.S. debt have become increasingly concerned that perhaps the U.S. will default on its debt.
LOOKS LIKE THAT'S WHAT WE WILL BE DOING AFTER OCTOBER THIS YEAR...DEFAULTING ON OUR DEBTS.]
7~ an unbalanced federal budget
[WE HAVEN'T HAD A BALANCED BUDGET, ONE BALANCED WITH REVENUES, IN THE PAST 110 YEARS!
The White House Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office both track yearly federal revenues and expenditures. Technically, a budget is considered balanced when federal expenses equal federal REVENUES -- meaning there is no deficit or surplus. Generally speaking, however, most people consider a budget balanced when revenues meet or exceed expenditures.
The federal budget is so huge that balancing it with revenues is almost impossible. It hasn't happened in at least the last 110 years, according to the OMB.
However, in the past 50 years, from 1960-2010, the federal government took in more money than it spent five times -- in 1969 (NIXON), 1998, 1999, 2000 and VERY EARLY 2001 (ALL 4 OF THOSE YEARS WAS 'THANKS' TO BILL CLINTON'S TEAM) SO NO, NO WE DON'T HAVE A SNOWBALL'S CHANCE IN A BLAST FURNACE OF EVER SEEING A BALANCED BUDGET AGAIN AND THE LIARS ON CAPITOL HILL KNOW THIS ALL TOO WELL.IT ISN'T JUST OBAMA WHO CAN'T BALANCE A U.S. BUDGET! NO ONE CAN! EVEN NIXON AND CLINTON DIDN'T... NOT WITH REVENUES.]
8~ disorganized state and municipal finances
[DOES THIS EVEN NEED ADDRESSING? THE FEDERAL CORPORATION HAS SCREWED STATE AND LOCAL OUT OF ANY HOPE OF ORGANIZING ANYTHING. THE FEDERAL GOONS' INVASION OF STATES AND CITIES AND THE HORRIFIC MISMANAGEMENT THAT FOLLOWED HAS BROUGHT EVEN THE TINIEST TOWN IN AMERICA UNDER THEIR BOOTS AND INTO RUIN!]
9~ increasing disorder and an almost complete lack of confidence on the part of the people.
[THANKS TO ALL THIS "THE TERRORISTS ARE COMING, MORE TERRORISTS ARE COMING!" CRAP WE ARE THE MOST DISORGANIZED LOT ON EARTH. IT'S LIKE WATCHING AN ANTHILL THAT WAS JUST STOMPED ON GO BERSERK. THE LIARS LIE, THE PEOPLE/SHEEPLE BELIEVE IT AND ON WE GO INTO ABSOLUTE CHAOS...OR MARTIAL LAW, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST, AND AREN'T BOTH THE SAME?
AS FOR CONFIDENCE...IN WHAT, IN WHOM?
WHO IN WASHINGTON D.C. HAS NOT LIED TO US OR SOLD US DOWN THE RIVER?
WHO ISN'T 100% OWNED BY THE BANKERS AND WALL STREET?
REMEMBER, RON PAUL LEFT WASHINGTON...]
So, citizens, comparing the Great Depression precursors to today, what do YOU see?
I see we were better off THEN!
What happened AFTER the banks failed, closed, and we didn't have a lot of money in circulation?
There was little money in the hands of the 'common' people, and given their uncertainty about the prospects of getting more, people tended to hoard what little money they did have. Hoarding slowed the velocity of circulation, which further reduced the volume of business we transacted. Serious human needs went unmet ...UNTIL THE PEOPLE, OUT OF DESPERATION, BEGAN TO RE-GROUP, ORGANIZE THINGS THEMSELVES
Besides learning how to "make do, or do without," people began to establish mutual support structures, like workers' cooperatives, many of which would recycle and repair donated or broken items. People learned to share what they had, and to by-pass the market and financial systems. Most of these measures were considered stop-gaps to be utilized until things "got back to normal," but, in some of them, there seemed to be the promise of more permanent improvements. One of these "stop-gaps," which was intended to address the problem of the dearth of currency in circulation, was the issuance of "scrip."
Among these scrip issues there were many failures, but there were also many impressive successes. In fact, history is full of examples of successful local initiatives aimed at providing exchange media. The Great Depression of the 1930's saw this done on an unprecedented scale. There were literally hundreds of scrip issues that were put into circulation by a variety of agencies, including state governments, municipalities, school districts, clearing house associations, manufacturers, merchants, chambers of commerce, business associations, local relief committees, cooperatives, and even individuals. These issues went by different names, depending on who issued them and the circumstances of their issuance. Common scrip types were certificates of indebtedness, tax anticipation notes, payroll warrants, trade scrip, clearing house certificates, credit vouchers, moratorium certificates, and merchandise bonds.
Scrip was generally accepted and used to do business within a limited local area. The farther it got from home, however, the more uncertainty there was about its origin, and the less confidence people would have in it.
Scrip tended to remain within the local economy and had the effect of stimulating local development and community self-reliance. This limited range of acceptance might seem at first to be a disadvantage of scrip, but, from the standpoint of the local economy, it is a great advantage. Toward the end of the Depression, however, as official government and central bank currencies became more widely available, scrip disappeared.
There was one story of scrip saving a town during the Great Depression that sticks in my mind.
The village of Schwanenkirchen Germany had a population of about 500 and its only industry was a coal mine which had been closed for two years because of the depression. The village had barely existed by means of the government dole and almost everyone was in debt. Deflation throughout Germany led to bankruptcies, suicides and overcrowded jails. The coal mine owner, Hebecker, had heard about Wara stamp scrip and decided to try it. He got a loan of official currency (Reichsmarks) and with it bought Wara stamp scrip from the Wara Exchange Association.
"Herr Hebecker assembled his workers. He told them that he had succeeded in getting a loan of 40,000 Reichsmarks, that he wished to resume operations but that he wanted to pay wages not in Marks but in Wara. The miners agreed to the proposal when they learned that the village store would accept Wara in exchange for goods.
When, after two years of complete stagnation, the workers for the first time brought home their pay envelopes, no one was interested in hoarding a cent of it; all the money went to the stores to pay off debts or for the purchase of necessities. The shopkeepers, too, were happy. Although at first they had felt a little hesitant about Wara, they had no choice, as no one had any other kind of money. The shopkeepers then forced it on the wholesalers, the wholesalers forced it on the manufacturers, who in turn tried to pass it on to those who carried their notes, or they exchanged it at Herr Hebecker's mine for coal.
No one who received Wara scrip wished to hold it; the workers, storekeepers, wholesalers and manufacturers all strove to get rid of it as quickly as possible, for any person who held it over one week was obliged to pay a 2 cent stamp tax in order to redeem the scrip. So the Wara scrip kept circulating, a large part of it returning to the coal mine, where it provided work, profits and better conditions for the entire community. Indeed, one could not have recognized Schwanenkirchen a few months after work had resumed at the mine. The village was on a prosperity basis, workers and merchants were free from debts and a new spirit of freedom and life pervaded the town."
"The news of the town's prosperity in the midst of depression-ridden Germany spread quickly. From all over the country reporters came to see and write about the 'Miracle of Schwanenkirchen'. Even in the United States one read about it in the financial sections of most big papers. But no explanation was given as to the real cause of the miracle - that non-hoardable money was being tried out and that it was working marvelously."
THERE IS A GOOD SLIDESHOW PRESENTATION ON THE THEORY, HISTORY, AND PRACTICE OF LOCAL CURRENCIES HERE:
Communities with local currencies will be less affected when recession or depression hits the mainstream economy.
If we BUILD our communities as opposed to allowing the FEDERAL government to tear them down, and rely on local food supplies, local businesses (not mega-businesses), help others manufacture close to home what we usually import at a high cost, and establish local currencies we may just weather the oncoming storm.
ANOTHER FAIRLY GOOD SITE on regional currencies:
WE CAN MAKE THE TRANSITION AS LITTLE OR AS MUCH AS WE PLEASE.
To my knowledge, there is no current law which would prevent such initiatives as local scrip from being implemented today in the United States. We see the county in Massachusetts is doing it successfully. The application of local exchange media could provide results every bit as dramatic as those obtained in Schwanenkirchen.
IF THE FEDS WOULD ALLOW US THE OPPORTUNITY!
Economic depressions are typified by a scarcity of "ordinary" money, e.g., U.S. dollars.
The TRUTH is, most depressions are CAUSED by restriction of the money supply by the monetary authorities. The subsequent felt lack of adequate payment media causes people to become fearful and to hoard what money there is. This hoarding slows its rate of circulation which further reduces the volume of business being conducted.
So IF the FEDS would back off and allow us to have local currencies, the LOCAL economies would perhaps flourish, which in turn would stimulate the economy overall.
THE FED is so scared of losing control OVER THE PEOPLE that it threatens and pushes CONgress to save it from such a horrible fate...from ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND AN OUT-OF-DEBT SOCIETY!
THE DOLLAR IS DYING, AND PEOPLE KNOW NOW THERE IS NO GOLD NOR SILVER TO BACK IT UP.
THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS THAT!
SO WHY NOT LET AMERICANS DECIDE HOW THEY WANT TO HANDLE THIS CONTINUING DEPRESSION WE'VE BEEN IN SINCE ABOUT THE LATE 1960s?
IF LOCAL CURRENCIES, BARTERING, OR ANYTHING ANYTHING AT ALL WILL HELP US RECOVER WHY NOT GO THAT ROUTE?
ASK YOURSELVES THESE QUESTIONS. ASK CONGRESS! ASK THE FED!
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) January 27, 2012
<<It may seem like Monopoly money to outsiders, but a growing number of communities across the U.S. are using homegrown local currencies to stimulate their economies and protect themselves from the nation's broader economic woes.
The Constitution prohibits individual states from printing and issuing paper money as legal tender, but they are allowed to use coins as currency.
While there were only about 20 active community currencies in the United States in 2009, there has been a recent resurgence, with at least a dozen communities developing their own currencies in the past couple of years.
"When you go to Home Depot and buy $100 worth of lumber, some of that profit is leaving your town and going to a different part of the world, never to come back," said Rich Creyer, co-founder of the currency. "By making trade money, we have created a sealed system. It's our own little economy and country in a fishbowl.">>
As I said at the beginning, SOMETHING, whether America's bankruptcy and international outrage at our defaults on debts, or some incredible grand scale "natural disaster", or our bumbling government making some enormous global "faux pas" and bringing down global wrath on us in a nuclear holocaust, or maybe Homeland Security can scare us up some cataclysmic "terrorist event" that takes down society as we know it, it IS coming!
And THEN, without the idiotic restrictions and government's micro-managing every phase of our existence, we WILL do what we must, what is SANE and LOGICAL, and maybe we can forget how many worthless dollars we have in the rotten banks.
SO LONG AS THERE IS LIFE, THERE IS HOPE.
OTHER SOURCES FOR FURTHER READING: