Dave (that’s Crazy Dave to some, but he’s not really crazy at all — he just pretends) sent me an interesting link the other day. It led me to the Open Money Manifesto.
If you find the manifesto a little heavy reading, try the motivational material for playing the open money simulation game.
Now, describing money as “open” is something that immediately grabs my interest, and runs off with it in a work-avoidance spree of work-hours inefficiency. This is because I like to think of myself as a minor advocate for open source software. It could be described as software socialism — or Buddhism for software (the corollary of open-source software for your brain). But I digress.
That whole lot got me looking into this concept of “community currency.” The community creates its own money for use within the community.
You don’t need any money to begin trading — the money is automatically created when the trade takes place. So someone get debited, and the other party to the transaction gets credited.
The “money” is really just information keeping track of who has traded, and how much.
The money doesn’t ever leave the community. This is what normally happens in today’s economy, resulting in extreme poverty in some areas, and extreme wealth in others — and the wealth is always flowing from the poor to the rich areas. This community currency thing stops that happening.
Those are just a couple of points. Read the linked articles for a better description.
On some investigation I discovered that such a network exists in South Africa. Check out the South African New Economics Network and its Community Exchange System for more info.
Some intriguing questions are raised by this system:
If everyone trades in the community currency, and thus never makes profit or actually earns anything, how happy will the tax-man be?
Can you inherit community currency (cc) from a deceased relative, even if you aren’t a member of the particular community?
Since one can start trading before having any credit, what measures are taken to prevent unscrupulous members of the community buying many goods and services, and then simply buggering off? They do mention something about this in the articles, but I think there may be more avenues for fraud here that haven’t been considered.
There we go kids.
Open Source. Open Religion. Open Money.
A co-operative society is the best way. Everyone shares everything — money, views, ideas, time, labour — and is tolerant of others.
What a nice place Utopia Land is.
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