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Author Topic: 2012-01-25 - Take Control of Money: Print Your Own  (Read 1159 times)
matthewh3
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January 27, 2013, 06:38:53 PM
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http://www.realitysandwich.com/printyourownmoney



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Revival of local currencies during the past 25 years proves that communities can issue money to create green jobs, fund local nonprofits and farms, make interest-free loans, and connect residents as fellow workers.

The Ithaca HOURS money that I started in 1991, for example, has traded millions of dollars value among thousands of residents and 500 businesses. Each colorful HOUR, depicting local children, trolleys, waterfalls and  bugs, is valued at one hour of common labor or $10.00, which doubled the 1991 minimum wage.

Responding to explosive media interest, by 1995 I wrote the book Hometown Money: How to Enrich Your Community with Local Currency. Thousands more such currencies have since emerged worldwide, both paper and electronic credits. HOURS, Time Dollars, Berkshares, LETS, BitCoin and dozens more formats have begun to establish alternatives to the national monies controlled by elites.

Control of money decides where jobs are available and for how long. Control of money decides who owns land and what gets built. Control of money decides what is legal and what's a crime. Control of money decides who lives well and who struggles. And ultimately, control of money decides who lives longer and who dies sooner.

At the same time, all national currencies are in debt to nature, serving human economies that extract from nature faster than we restore. When tney collapse, HOURS will trade independently. Labor will become the new gold standard.

Several key lessons about successful local currency have been learned during the past decades. These are featured in the new second edition of Hometown Money. Currency systems that have survived and grown embrace these lessons, while others that launched enthusiastically faded away.

Chief among these is that starting a local currency is like starting a credit union or a food co-op. It is a community enterprise. It cannot be merely administered by a nonprofit board of directors, It must be managed by a full-time Networker, or two or three, depending on the size of your community. Just as national currencies have armies of brokers helping money move, local currencies need at least one paid Networker. They promote and facilitate circulation. Your volunteer core group--your Municipal Reserve Board--may soon realize that they've created a labor-intensive institution. Playing Monopoly is easier than building anti-Monopoly. You can reduce your need to pay the Networker with dollars, by finding someone to donate housing. Then find others to donate harvest, health care, entertainment. Regardless whether national and global economies boom or bust, we’re rich when we know local people with whom we can trade, to meet our needs.

Ultimately, wealth is not dollars but human networks. Whenever we have networks we can get what we need without depending entirely on dollars. And every community has varied networks--business, neighborhood, professional, municipal, civic, religious, hobby, athletic, social, artistic, political, academic, financial, and family.

Such groups can combine to provide the trust that backs money. Local credit systems put networks to work, and to play.

By contrast with global markets, our hometown marketplaces are real places where we become friends, lovers, and political allies. So local cash is real money, backed by real people and tools. National money is funny money, backed by speculation and trillions of debt.

Times were tough back when Ithaca HOURS began. We called them the Great Recession. But times are even tougher now. We’re facing not merely a Greater Recession but the Deep Squeeze: permanent decline as fossil fuels and industrial minerals deplete.

So we need a new generation of local currencies, led by new generations who are dedicated to ecology and social justice. With these we’ll employ everyone, to build beautiful and creative cities balanced with nature.

--

Paul Glover is founder of 18 grassrooots organizations and campaigns, a former professor of urban studies at Temple University, and author of six books. In 1978 he walked entirely on foot from Boston to San Diego and in 2003 was asked by the Green Party to stand as a presidential primary candidate.

Image provided by the author.

http://www.realitysandwich.com/printyourownmoney

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kiba
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January 27, 2013, 08:50:45 PM
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Bitcoin is not remotely like anything like Ithaca HOURS dollars or any other "community currency". It is a global capitalistic monetary system that doesn't give a damn about social justice, equality, and the like.

Gabi
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January 27, 2013, 09:25:02 PM
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This, bitcoin is totally different. You can't print bitcoin at will!
casascius
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January 27, 2013, 09:34:59 PM
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This, bitcoin is totally different. You can't print bitcoin at will!

Sure ya can - http://www.bitaddress.org Wink

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper or hardware wallets instead.
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January 27, 2013, 09:46:30 PM
 #5

Bitcoin is not remotely like anything like Ithaca HOURS dollars or any other "community currency". It is a global capitalistic monetary system that doesn't give a damn about social justice, equality, and the like.

It does indeed. It takes the power to manipulate wealth away from plutocrats and gives them to the working class. It evens the playing field. Everyone has equality in a Bitcoin system; there are no classes, no rich and no poor, just Bitcoin users. Really, we don't need HOURS if we have Bitcoin because it works just as well.
kiba
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January 27, 2013, 09:59:50 PM
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It does indeed. It takes the power to manipulate wealth away from plutocrats and gives them to the working class. It evens the playing field. Everyone has equality in a Bitcoin system; there are no classes, no rich and no poor, just Bitcoin users. Really, we don't need HOURS if we have Bitcoin because it works just as well.

Which is utter bollocks. All you have to do is point out that some bitcoiner have more bitcoin than others.

ArticMine
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January 27, 2013, 10:04:36 PM
 #7

Bitcoin is not remotely like anything like Ithaca HOURS dollars or any other "community currency". It is a global capitalistic monetary system that doesn't give a damn about social justice, equality, and the like.

It does indeed. It takes the power to manipulate wealth away from plutocrats and gives them to the working class. It evens the playing field. Everyone has equality in a Bitcoin system; there are no classes, no rich and no poor, just Bitcoin users. Really, we don't need HOURS if we have Bitcoin because it works just as well.

Bitcoin is ideally suited for small international transactions while community currencies are by their very nature designed to be used within a local community. About the only thing they have in common is that they take power away from currencies at the nation state level such as USD, or a at the level of group of nation states such as EUR. There is actually a place for both. The more I think about this issue the more clear it becomes that Keynesian economics makes the most sense at the local community level, namely Ithaca hours and similar community currencies, while Austrian economics makes the most sense at the international level, namely Bitcoin and Gold.

Concerned that blockchain bloat will lead to centralization? Storing less than 4 GB of data once required the budget of a superpower and a warehouse full of punched cards. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/IBM_card_storage.NARA.jpg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punched_card
dree12
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January 27, 2013, 10:30:21 PM
 #8

Bitcoin is not remotely like anything like Ithaca HOURS dollars or any other "community currency". It is a global capitalistic monetary system that doesn't give a damn about social justice, equality, and the like.

It does indeed. It takes the power to manipulate wealth away from plutocrats and gives them to the working class. It evens the playing field. Everyone has equality in a Bitcoin system; there are no classes, no rich and no poor, just Bitcoin users. Really, we don't need HOURS if we have Bitcoin because it works just as well.

Bitcoin is ideally suited for small international transactions while community currencies are by their very nature designed to be used within a local community. About the only thing they have in common is that they take power away from currencies at the nation state level such as USD, or a at the level of group of nation states such as EUR. There is actually a place for both. The more I think about this issue the more clear it becomes that Keynesian economics makes the most sense at the local community level, namely Ithaca hours and similar community currencies, while Austrian economics makes the most sense at the international level, namely Bitcoin and Gold.

To become a global currency, Bitcoin first needs to be a local currency. That's why there are so many "Bitcoin village" projects in the making.
sunnankar
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January 28, 2013, 01:23:20 AM
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It does indeed. It takes the power to manipulate wealth away from plutocrats and gives them to the working class. It evens the playing field. Everyone has equality in a Bitcoin system; there are no classes, no rich and no poor, just Bitcoin users. Really, we don't need HOURS if we have Bitcoin because it works just as well.

Which is utter bollocks. All you have to do is point out that some bitcoiner have more bitcoin than others.

You did not get his point. All men are created equal; not in aptitude, skills or knowledge but in status as human beings with corporeal bodies.

With Bitcoin there is no way for anyone to either (1) confiscate another's bitcoins against their will or (2) dilute the value of another's bitcoins through special privilege with monetary creation.

In other words, Bitcoin operates like gravity or electricity or any other natural law because it is based on the laws of mathematics as applied in cryptography. The effects are equally applied to all in the blockchain.

kiba
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January 28, 2013, 03:22:33 AM
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You did not get his point. All men are created equal; not in aptitude, skills or knowledge but in status as human beings with corporeal bodies.

With Bitcoin there is no way for anyone to either (1) confiscate another's bitcoins against their will or (2) dilute the value of another's bitcoins through special privilege with monetary creation.

In other words, Bitcoin operates like gravity or electricity or any other natural law because it is based on the laws of mathematics as applied in cryptography. The effects are equally applied to all in the blockchain.

Then don't use socialistic languages to describe bitcoin.

What bitcoin does is give us a very special form of economic regulation.

dree12
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January 28, 2013, 03:38:16 AM
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You did not get his point. All men are created equal; not in aptitude, skills or knowledge but in status as human beings with corporeal bodies.

With Bitcoin there is no way for anyone to either (1) confiscate another's bitcoins against their will or (2) dilute the value of another's bitcoins through special privilege with monetary creation.

In other words, Bitcoin operates like gravity or electricity or any other natural law because it is based on the laws of mathematics as applied in cryptography. The effects are equally applied to all in the blockchain.

Then don't use socialistic languages to describe bitcoin.

What bitcoin does is give us a very special form of economic regulation.

"Social equality" is hardly socialistic. There is no Fed in Bitcoin, no upper class. Every node is equal and capable of accomplishing the same. Bitcoin gives us social justice, and that's the way it should be.
cbeast
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January 28, 2013, 03:55:42 AM
 #12

It does indeed. It takes the power to manipulate wealth away from plutocrats and gives them to the working class. It evens the playing field. Everyone has equality in a Bitcoin system; there are no classes, no rich and no poor, just Bitcoin users. Really, we don't need HOURS if we have Bitcoin because it works just as well.

Which is utter bollocks. All you have to do is point out that some bitcoiner have more bitcoin than others.
At least they earned it the hard way... by working and saving. Bitcoiners don't just get them through negative interest loans. Nobody should deny someone their wealth that earned it on a level playing field and this really hasn't been possible before Bitcoin.

Any significantly advanced cryptocurrency is indistinguishable from Ponzi Tulips.
kiba
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January 28, 2013, 04:13:01 AM
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"Social equality" is hardly socialistic. There is no Fed in Bitcoin, no upper class. Every node is equal and capable of accomplishing the same. Bitcoin gives us social justice, and that's the way it should be.

Way to go making those words meaningless.  Roll Eyes

kiba
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January 28, 2013, 04:13:50 AM
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At least they earned it the hard way... by working and saving. Bitcoiners don't just get them through negative interest loans. Nobody should deny someone their wealth that earned it on a level playing field and this really hasn't been possible before Bitcoin.

It make certain classes of bad actions impossible to do but all other options are still available.

dree12
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January 28, 2013, 04:15:17 AM
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"Social equality" is hardly socialistic. There is no Fed in Bitcoin, no upper class. Every node is equal and capable of accomplishing the same. Bitcoin gives us social justice, and that's the way it should be.

Way to go making those words meaningless.  Roll Eyes

Does capitalism imply inequality? No. Does Bitcoin imply capitalism? Not necessarily. But Bitcoin implies equality because everyone is on equal footing. It is, by its founding principles, fair to all. Take decentralization away from Bitcoin and you end up with PayPal.
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January 28, 2013, 04:21:52 AM
 #16

It does indeed. It takes the power to manipulate wealth away from plutocrats and gives them to the working class. It evens the playing field. Everyone has equality in a Bitcoin system; there are no classes, no rich and no poor, just Bitcoin users. Really, we don't need HOURS if we have Bitcoin because it works just as well.

Which is utter bollocks. All you have to do is point out that some bitcoiner have more bitcoin than others.

Oh, does everyone have the same number of HOURS?

Play Bitcoin Poker at sealswithclubs.eu. We're active and open to everyone.
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January 28, 2013, 03:56:05 PM
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Bitcoin is a local community currency... It's the currency of the libertarian nerd community.  Wink

On a more serious note, I agree with Bernard Lietaer largely. Local currencies are a good idea, sometimes necessary to strengthen local communities and make them more independent. If a poor 3rd world village doesn't have the means to produce anything for the global market, should they starve? No, they can grow their own food and stuffs and trade it among themselves, building their own economic circle, facilitated by a local currency.

Greece also has (in a smaller scope) the same problem that they can't export enough stuff anymore after the introduction of the Euro. A globally scoped currency like Bitcoin wouldn't solve that for them either.

The more I think about this issue the more clear it becomes that Keynesian economics makes the most sense at the local community level, namely Ithaca hours and similar community currencies

Silvio Gesell's Freigeld makes even more sense at a community level.

https://localbitcoins.com/?ch=80k | BTC: 1LJvmd1iLi199eY7EVKtNQRW3LqZi8ZmmB
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