Print your own money?
Filettino, set in rugged hill country around 100 km (65 miles) east of Rome, is printing it’s own money to get around the austerity cuts. I like this idea! Localised quantitative easing and why not? If central bankers can do it, why not local people. Money is just paper, you can print anything to represent money, notes, vouchers, stamps; you don’t even have to print it with computers and smart phones, it can be just numbers on a computer screen; bits transferring from computer to computer. It just has to be credible. It has to mean something. The town council could issue notes or whatever with the town hall as security; that would be more solid and have more backing than the bank notes we use every day!
LETS are Local Exchange Trading Systems and they allow people to exchange goods and services using credits that are recorded. It’s a bit like having a secret numbered bank account to trade with but a little more local. I like this idea, too! We need more schemes where the money or currency is controlled locally.
During the Great Depression the people of Worgi in Austria had their own currency as a sort of experiment. The town was in debt, just like many towns now and so the local mayor, Michael Unterguggenberger issued a scrip that was effectively a local currency. I like that name, it has a ring to it; the first name not the last; way too long… The issue of this currency was an experiment but it seemed to work, people had faith it it and used it. The central bank put a stop to it and the local economy suffered and became like the rest of the country. Typical!
I could do this! I could give everyone bank accounts and keep the accounts on computer. What can we call our new currency? It would be cool if we could set up a website that was interactive; give everyone that joined the bank 1,000 bits to spend and see what happened when people bought goods and services from each other. I would expect the Federal reserve in the US, the Bank of England here and central bankers the world over, to try to sabotage the new bank. Giving money away, that is heresy! I could trade my writing and photography for something useful. I have two trees loaded with apples too. Mm… I wonder if I could trade, sell what I have and pay someone to do my garden and clean my house? If I had a gardener, I could sell veggies next summer. I could write all sorts of stuff for people, some people struggle to write a letter. I could take photographs of people, have you seen some of those Facebook profile pictures? People could have one of my enchanting photographs for their desktop background; legally! I know you can download and use those now, but you would be breaking my copyright, which isn’t right and you really want to pay me 10 bits for the privilege and do what’s right; right? I should also make a lot of bits for running the new bank, of course. This idea could do really well; who wants to be number 1?