Blueprint for Change an essay divided in 7 chapters, by our contributor Carlos Cuellar Brown. In the several chapters, such as “Change,” “Energy,” “Self-reliance,” or Food autonomy,” Cuellar explains and under builds his vision of how we can create a wiser, healthier and wholesome future.
Monthly, we will post 2 chapters, read the fourth one below!
Regional Currency and Banking
The way we think about money is also changing. In this transformation, fractional reserve banking, compound interest and money out of debt will loose hegemony to a diversified money system that will have a panoply of currency innovation and credit systems. Just like mono crop agriculture, monopoly of the monetary system inherently lacks stability collapsing repeatedly and focusing disproportionately on infinite growth economies, and not on developing human equity and steady state environmental stewardship. Our solutions for the financial challenges of the future are emerging out of regional and community market systems and private initiative, not from the well regulated central governments. As multiple currencies grow and co-exist, regional financing will become independent of the predatory fractional reserve banking infinite money creation scheme. Financial monocultures in all their right gave us the Industrial Age; however monocultures have bread financial instability and need to be complemented with information age monetary solutions that diversify the means of exchange and value. Simultaneously we will develop regional and local economies where we can spend and invest alternative currencies; this monetary autonomy will free us from the global financial predation of the money powers and the inflationary monster built into it.
The internet and the digital age are showing us new models of market coordination and local exchange, with peer to peer, business to business and a plethora of complementary currencies and credit systems such as: Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS), Community Exchange Systems, P2P Crypto Currency, Voucher Currency, Hours Systems, Mutual Credit Systems, Time Bank Systems, Community Barter Systems, Consumer Commerce Circuits (C3) and others (Eisenstein, 2011).
Good examples are the regional lending banks that offer zero interest loans. This kind of negative interest rate banking percolates back to community and incentivizes individuals and businesses whom spend rather than hoard money for the future. The Egyptians had a negative interest system with a corn standard called the “ostraka”. The ostraka was a commodity-backed currency represented as a shard of pottery with a date on it. This date stood for the day a deposit of grain entered the storehouse. This means of exchange had a parking fee as grain decomposed and accumulated a maintenance cost. This negative interest made for much circulation and investment in the prosperous fertile Nile economy. It was not until the roman invasion that positive interest charges on metal based coinage with the face of the central authority replaced the corn standard and institutionalized the money powers (Hallsmith and Lietaer, 2013).
Demurrage or parking fee banking has been employed successfully several times in history; the best-known example was instituted in the town of Worgl, Austria, in 1932. Demurrage frees up the money supply and stimulates sharing not competition, conservation not consumption and it treats money like everything else, subject to natural cyclic processes of renewal and decay (“Demurrage,” 2015).
Another proven interest free economic model that has been successful is the Swiss WIR which has been around since the 1930’s. This mutual credit system produces 2 billion WIR annually for some 62,000 business in a sort of credit clearing house trade network that has revitalized the Swiss economy (Anthony Migchels, 2012; Lieater, 2010).
Other successful monetary systems worth mentioning include the Bristol, the BerkShares, C3’s, and the Chiemgauer (“Complementary Currency Resource Center,” 2015). These tested money and credit solutions promote proximal social transactions where cooperation is high and reputation becomes a form of currency, reevaluating community and encouraging long term thinking, linking underutilized resources with unmet needs (Hallsmith and Lieater, 2013).
Money has become the usury god of shadows, where greed and competition become the means towards capital gains and short term profitable next quarter behavior.
Complementary currencies will change this mind set, broadening the way money is created, decentralizing it and encouraging people to buy local, incrementing regional business and self-employment. These new money systems will keep wealth and inherit value within communities. In these systems money is more of a means of exchange and less of a store of value. The new forms of storing wealth will include: Natural Capital, Zero Interest Loans, Natural Ecosystems, Bio-Diversity, Community Infrastructure, Permaculture, Art and Science, Knowledge and Technology.
Every year, during the Glasgow Open House art festival, artists transform their bedrooms, hallways and sitting rooms into mini galleries, inviting members of the public to come inside and explore art in a very different setting.
JSF is a non-stock, non-profit organization and the social arm of the Teresian Association in the Philippines, aiming to serve as an alternative marketplace and marketing center for farmers, cooperatives, local government units and people’s.
The Social Impact Lab, is designed to facilitate collaboration and incubate ideas. Many social businesses and enterprises earned their spurs here and through its scholarship programme. The draw is obvious: it is a community, or a dreamer madhouse where you can “work with other crazy people who actually believe you can make money changing the world”, says George Tarne, CEO of Soulbottles, a company producing stylish and carbon-neutral water bottles.