money revelations

trust is a drug

 

 

 

 

so.. money as:

  • not ridiculous – trillions spent/wasted/debted on things more ridiculous than experimenting on a better world
  • bet – something not yet tried, based on trust
  • placebo – the money is like a fake (non-needed) pill – to help transition the mindset  – which i’m envisioning as i start to pen this page – as key – waking us up to what money has meant to us – and how we can get out of our enslavement to it

earn a living, what if money were no object, money\lessmaking up money..ness

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perhaps teaching is inefficient. even when you are dying to know something.. a giver of that info – if asked for a session – will not be efficient to your just in time story ness. and on the flip side.. because you’re not staying keyed in – the person teaching is inefficiently retelling a story. (perhaps. and perhaps this is just an extreme.)

so best to be at each other’s beckon call.. but free your day up to carry on with your adventure. ie: the one that would have been in the student role.. perhaps benefits more from doing/learning in some way deeply resonating to themselves. and the one that would have been i the teacher role.. perhaps benefits more from carrying on with their experimentation – doing/learning in some way deeply resonating to themselves.

and then the grokking of this ongoing conversation.. rather than momentary/obligatory/compulsory/assumed presentation..

money much the same. seems it was designed for efficiency.. and in Kevin’s book – designed to free people up to do things – when they didn’t actually have the money to do them.. but has turned into huge inefficiencies.. to the point that many of us are working at something we don’t want to be spending our days on – in order to get the illusion of having money/security. when what we really could use – is more trust – so that we get that space/time to do the thing we can’t not do – knowing we have each others backs.. via sharing.. rather than marketing – or even keeping some obligatory score.

it’s almost like we need a snapchat mentality with money. the mindset that things will disappear.. rather than this idea that saving/hoarding is what civilized/respectable people do. what if we thought preservative-less.. that value decays over time and it’s better to use/eat/share what we have. today.

so like – what do you have at the end of the day? 24 more hours tomorrow.

what if time and trust was our basis of giving ness. knowing we all get 24 more tomorrow. and we do what we can do with the day. seems much more efficient than what we’re doing now. no?

so what if we don’t need 20 million. (we don’t. no doubt. but do we as a placebo/needed boost ish ness?) ..perhaps we focus on people who could take a leap year because they are currently monetarily wealthy (ie: prospect), and infiltrate people who are in a perpetual leap year because they are currently monetarily poor. it’s like a life jacket they won’t really need. but it will get them in the water. and/or it’s like a pass/ticket to carry on with this experiment w/o trivialities getting in the way.. ie: to perpetuate/facilitate the initial sync – to get us into the trust mode. like a means to shorten the withdrawal phase of detox.

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page spurred on in reading Kevin Carson‘s desktop regulatory state.. esp ch 5:

ch 5 kevin

 

 

 

 

first – repeat from ch 4: p. 43 – the solution, Little says, is to turn money into “numbers measuring our time & energy instead of being a thing or a commodity.” as Karl Hess said a long time ago, when people have productive skills they can exchange amongst themselves to meet everyone’s need, but say they can’t do it because there’s “no money,” it’s like construction workers saying they can’t measure out any more boards because they “ran out of inches.”]

following from ch 5

p. 1 – what money’s for and what it isn’t

local currencies, barter networks and mutual credit-clearing system are a solution to a basic problem: ” a world in which there is a lot of work to be done, but there is simply no money around to bring the people and the work together.” one barrier to local barter currencies and crowdsourced mutual credit is a misunderstanding of the nature of money. for the alternative economy, money is not primarily a store of value, but a unit of account for facilitating exchange. its function is not to store accumulated value from past production, but to provide liquidity to facilitate the exchange of present and future services between producers.

the distinction is a very old one, aptly summarized by Joseph Schumpeter’s contrast between the “money theory of credit” and the “credit theory of money.” the former, which Schumpeter dismissed as entirely fallacious, assumes that banks “lend” money in the sense of giving up use of it) which has been “withdrawn from pervious uses by an entirely imaginary act of saving and then lent out by its owners. it is much more realistic to say that the banks ‘create credit..,’ than to say that they lend the deposits that have been entrusted to them.” the credit theory of money, on the other hand, treats finances “as a clearing system that cancels claims and debts and carries forward the difference..”

Thomas Hodgskin, criticizing the Ricardian”wage fund” theory from a perspective something like Schumpeter’s credit theory of money, utterly demolished an moral basis for the creative role of the capitalist in creating a wage fund through “abstention,” and instead made the advancement of subsistence funds from existing production a function that workers could just as easily perform for one another through mutual credit, had the avenues of doing so not been preempted.

the only advantage of circulating capital is that by it the labourer is enabled, he being assured of his present subsistence, to direct his power to the greatest advantage. he has time to learn an art, and his labour is rendered more productive when directed by skill. being assure of immediate subsistence, he can ascertain which, with his peculiar knowledge and acquirements, and with reference to the wants of society, is the best method of labouring and he can labour in this manner. unless there were this assurance there could be no continuous thought, an invention, and no knowledge but that which would be necessary for the supply of our immediate animate wants…

the labourer, the real maker of any commodity, derives this assurance form a knowledge he has that the person who set him to work will pay him, and that with the money he will be able to buy what he requires. he is not in possession of any stock of commodities. has the person who employs and pays him such a stock? clearly not…

[..] ie of cotton and brew manufacturers

p. 2 – .. as far as food, drink, and clothing are concerned, it is quite plain, then , that no species of labourer depends on an previously prepared stock, for in fact no such stock exists; but every species of labourer does constantly, and at all times, depend for his supplies on the co-existing labour of some other labourers.

[..]

betwixt him who produces food and him who produces clothing, betwixt him who makes instruments and him who uses them, in steps the capitalist, who neither makes nor uses them, and appropriates to himself the produce of both. with a niggard a hand as possible he transfers to each a part of the produce of the other, keeping to himself the large share. gradually and successively has he insinuated himself betwixt them, expanding in bulk as he has been nourished by their increasingly productive labours, and separating them so widely from each other that neither can see whence that supply is drawn which each receives through the capitalist. while he despoils both, so completely does he exclude one form the view of the other that both believe the are indebted him for subsistence.  – Thomas Hodgskin, labour defended p. 71

p. 3 –  the whole point of money is to create purchasing power where it did not exist before: “..need of money is a condition precedent to the issue thereof. to issue money, one must be without it, since money springs only from a debit balance on the books of the authorizing bank or central bookkeeper.”

if money is but an accounting instrument between buyers and sellers, and has no intrinsic value, why has there ever been a scarcity of it? the answer is that the producer of wealth has not been also the producer of money. he has made the mistake of leaving that to government monopoly.  – Riegel, the money pact

p. 4 – money is “simply number accountancy among private traders.” […]

and again, since some for the participants run negative balances for a time, the system offers what amounts to interest-free overdraft protection. as such a system starts out, members are likely to resort to fairly frequent settlements of account, and put fairly low limits on the negative balances that can be run, as a confidence building measure. negative balances might be paid up, and positive balances cashed out, every month or so. but as confidence increases. Greco argues, the system should ideally move toward a state of affairs where accounts are never settled, so long as negative balances are limited to some reasonable amount.

one possible rule of thumb – negative account balance should not exceed an amount equivalent to three months’ average sales. (but what if that’s gone? what if there are no more sales talks)

in fact, as David Graeber shows in his monumental Debt: the first 5000 years, that kind of mutual credit-clearing system historically predates coinage as the normal basis for money. Adam Smith’s scenario of primitive barter first emerging as the basis for exchange, running up against the problem of “double coincidence of wants,” evolving into the stockpiling of especially commonly desire commodities, and finally to the adoption to rare metals as a universal commodity suitable for a common medium of exchange, turns out to be as much a “bourgeois nursery fable” as the “social contract” and the “original accumulation of capital.”

p. 5 – in all the known world, anthropologists have never yet found an actual example of barter being used as the primary basis for exchange within a village or other community. it is used only between communities, for one-off transactions involving strangers where trust is low. on the other hand, village credit systems like Riegel’s and Greco’s, where neighbors and merchants keep running tabs and periodically settle up, are quite common. in the 16th and 17th century english village, for example:

since everyone was involved in selling something…, just about everyone was both creditor and debtor; most family income took the form of promises form other families; everyone kew and kept count of what their neighbors owed one another; and every six months or year or so, communities would hold a general public “reckoning,” canceling debts out against each other in a great circle, with only those differences then remaining when all was done being settled by use of coin or goods.

in this world, trust was everything. most money literally was trust, since most credit arrangements were handshake deals. when people used the word”credit,” they referred above all to a reputation for honesty and integrity; .. but also, reputation for generosity, decency, and good-natures sociability, were at least as important considerations when deciding wether to make a loan as were assessments of net income.

we can expect LETS or credit clearing system to increase in significance in periods of economic downturn, and even more so in the structural decline of the money and wage economy that is coming.

so – like govt reaching out to help with student debt – is them trying to hold onto power? esp if we are evolving into a new economy – soon enough..

Karl Hess and David Morris cite Alan Watts’ illustration of the absurdity of saying it’s impossible for willing producers, face with willing consumer,s to produce for exchange because “there’s not enough money going around”:

remember the great depression of the thirties? one day there was a flourishing consumer economy, with everyone on the up-and=up; and the next: poverty, unemployment and breadlines. what happened? the physical resources of the country – the brain, brawn, and raw materials – were in no way depleted, but there was a sudden absence of money, a so-called financial slump. complex reasons for this kind of disaster can be elaborated at lengths by experts in banking and high finance who cannot see the forest for the trees. but it was just as if someone had come to work on building a house and, on the morning of the depression, that boss had to say, “sorry, baby, but we can’t build today. no inches.” “whaddya mean, no inches? we got wood. we got metal. we even got tape measure.” “yeah, but you don’t understand business. we been using too many inches, and there’s just no more to go around.”

the point of the mutual credit clearing system, as Greco describes it, is that two people who have good and services to offer – but no money – are able to use their good and services to buy other goods and services, even when there’s ” no money.” so we can expect alternative currency systems to come into play precisely at those times when people feel the lack of “inches.”

[..]

p. 6 – for all these reasons, the kind of “community currency” that you have to buy with conventional currency is fundamentally wrong-headed. unfortunately, this – berkshares are a good example – is the most visible kind of “local currency” in the media – a “buy local” campaign in which local merchants agree to accept the local currency at some modest discount compared to dollars, and one obtains the local currency by trading in us dollars at participating businesses. the problem is that, to obtain this currency, you’ve got to already have conventional money as a store of value from past transactions. it’s essentially a greenwashed lifestyle choice for npr liberals: upper-middle class professional types who have the money in the first place.

such local currencies are basically useless for the primary purpose of a local currency: providing liquidity and a unit of account to facilitate exchange between those who have skills to trade for consumption, but no money.

p. 7 – the barter network (2011) in the city of volos is one of many that allow local greeks to achieve a measure of prosperity using their ingenuity and hard work, side-stepping the currency system that is so tied up in unbearable complexities and unsolvable problems at the international level.

talk of time bank – but hours are rated according to skill – and ie: young dr’s with huge medical school debts – less likely to participate

… the organizers are careful to make sure that the time is never given a specific value in hard currency, which would open the door to taxation from govts.

although awareness of the problems associated with the for-profit creation of money as debt at interest has grown, understanding of the solutions is still weak. despite an understanding of the problem as just described, many currency innovators have chosen currency designs which initially ally themselves with the existing monetary system, such as the ‘transition pound’ initiatives in the uk. this could be because they are designed with an interest in how to market an idea to people who would choose to engage in the currency for reason other than necessity.

p. 8 – president & founding member of ovolos – in patras greece, founded in 2009, local exchange currency, barter system, time bank.. has about 100 transactions a week…

p. 9 – by march 2012 volos’ tem system had double to 800 members, reaching 1300 in jan 2013. a member, Maria Choupis, summarized the significance of the system in language that applies just as well to the philosophy behind any well designed alternative currency:

“you are not poor when you have no money,” she said, “you are poor when you have nothing to offer – except for the elderly and the sick, to whom we should all be offering.”

in spain, the skyrocketing unemployment rates since the 2007 market collapse,… the unemployed and underemployed have turned to assorted barter arrangements in the informal economy in order to survive outside the wage system. such arrangements include time banks, of which some 290 existed in spain as of august 2012.

[..] – in Barcelona, the country’s second-largest city after madrid, the preferred model is time banks, which allow people to trade their services in hours without the involvement of money.

this is a way for people who are on the fringes of the economy to participate again,” said Josefina Altes, coordinator of the spanish time bank network.

p. 16 – according to Michel Bauwens of the foundation for peer to peer alternatives, “bitcoin is designed by people who believe in a certain type of economy, it is designed to be like gold, privileging hoarding.”

Michel Bauwens … has also sensibly withdrawn his support of the digital currency and expressed strong criticism during a talk at OuiShareFest in may 2013. but contrary to Varoufakis, he remains optimistic:

thank you bitcoin for doing this, because ow we can do something better ..

..

at a panel at oisharefest on virtual currencies, everyone agreed on the principle that next currencies should be based on trust, and help the real economy. but where to start?

“we need to dismantle the idea that money should be a commodity, a store value” Dropis’ Scrofina says

p. 17 – when this tipping point happens (we slide into usability), there won’t be any central point of control over economies. it will be like everybody traded in cash, traditional anonymous cash, once again. why, then, will this make govts dump a ton of bricks on the internet?

up until now, from the perspective of govts, it’s only been some friends complaining about a sales slump of cds so govts have given them some legislative breadcrumbs to shut up.

how do you think govts across the world are going to react when they realize they’ve lost the ability to tax the public.

…. the decentralized, uncontrollable economy where one lifetime employment is no longer central to every human being is something i’ve called the swarm economy, and i predict it will redefine society to an immensely larger extent than the ability to get rap music for free.

 – Rick Falvinge, wit napster of banking round the corner, bring out your popcorn, 2011

rest of chapter heavy on bitcoin – don’t really follow any reasoning there.

ideas/initiatives:

p. 23 – opentabs.net – web app does not make actual transactions. it is not a currency, and it is not a bank. it just helps you to cryptographically sign open tabs (ious) between peers, as an alternative to actually executing a bank transfer.. this way we can both forget about the train ticket you owe me, and strike it off against other transactions, until maybe at the end of the year we clear the balance once, and settle the tab. just like tabs in a bar.   – Melvin Carvalho – open tabs – decentralized oney coming this week, 2011

udc & metacurrency project  ( lauren higgins from denver)

money revelations

money ness