perhaps the solution/life we are seeking involves..
basic income – seems like it could take care of equity in the now.. but seems it would get us right back to where we are. this isn’t about a need of money – but rather a lack of trust/love/i-know-you ness.
in fact we have examples of basic income (ie: mincome,et al) working.. reducing health problems.. crime.. et al. so why hasn’t it spread.. why doesn’t it last..?
perhaps because more/enough money isn’t a deep enough fix. perhaps our focus on money is in the way. perhaps the problem is that we assume it.. as a given. and so.. it perpetuates our beliefs about people. it permeates our foundational thinking. about needs/matters.
what if we’re trying to fix something that really could/should be irrelevant. we’ve tried basic income, we’ve tried many isms, we’re trying digital currencies, ..but we haven’t yet let go enough. and perhaps we haven’t yet had the means (tech to facilitate chaos) enough, to experiment with all the people being free.. with no money attached/assumed. tech helping us find our tribe(s) and offering us something else to do.. the thing we can’t not do.
quality of data (or whatever) matters little if our focus is on the wrong kind of data (or whatever)
you’ll never ever be able to convince a person through logical argument or even brilliant rhetoric that a free and just society is possible. you can show them. you can start doing it. all of a sudden, when people’s horizons change.. conversations will change. – D at 1:19
so if we must.. a nother way (ch 2 small print) – and once you talk to self for 3 min – by 9am.. you get 100 (or whatever #) tokens (or whatever name) for the day – onto your device. they can’t be saved.. so like neg interest… but perhaps also – can’t be given away.. so that we don’t end up begging each other for tokens. token # has to be large enough to be enough. and then every thing (activity or object) is/costs one token. like amanda’s – pay per thing.
most important is that everyday starts over.
this is just a placebo – till we realize we don’t need money or tokens or whatever…
the moneyless man..
[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
from first version of ch 5 (i think):
Money can be issued only in the act of buying, and can be backed only in the act of selling. Any buyer who is also a seller is qualified to be a money issuer. Government, because it is not and should not be a seller, is not qualified to be a money issuer.
The currency functions as a sort of IOU by which a participant monetizes the value of his future production. It’s simply an accounting system for keeping track of each member’s balance
There’s no reason businesses cannot maintain a mutual credit-clearing system between themselves, without the intermediary of a bank or any other third party currency or accounting institution. The businesses agree to accept each other’s IOUs in return for their own goods and services, and periodically use the clearing process to settle their accounts.
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.
10 day care centers – what if we start over… with trust as our given .. rather than this back-up of money.. that we will then need to wean ourselves off of
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 (debt) 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 knew 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 now 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.
earn a living ness
– 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.
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
mar 2014 via David Graeber:
money is just an iou and banks are rolling in it
What this means is that the real limit on the amount of money in circulation is not how much the central bank is willing to lend, but how much government, firms, and ordinary citizens, are willing to borrow.
Just consider what might happen if mortgage holders realised the money the bank lent them is not, really, the life savings of some thrifty pensioner, but something the bank just whisked into existence through its possession of a magic wand which we, the public, handed over to it.
Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a particular country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of value; and, perhaps, a standard of deferred payment. Any item or verifiable record that fulfills these functions can be considered money.
Money is historically an emergent market phenomenon establishing a commodity money, but nearly all contemporary money systems are based on fiat money. Fiat money, like any check or note of debt, is without intrinsic use value as a physical commodity. It derives its value by being declared by a government to be legal tender; that is, it must be accepted as a form of payment within the boundaries of the country, for “all debts, public and private”. Such laws in practice cause fiat money to acquire the value of any of the goods and services that it may be traded for within the nation that issues it.
The money supply of a country consists of currency (banknotes and coins) and usually includes bank money (the balance held in checking accounts and savings accounts). Bank money, which consists only of records (mostly computerized in modern banking), forms by far the largest part of broad money in developed countries.
The use of barter-like methods may date back to at least 100,000 years ago, though there is no evidence of a society or economy that relied primarily on barter. Instead, non-monetary societies operated largely along the principles of gift economics and debt. When barter did in fact occur, it was usually between either complete strangers or potential enemies.
Many cultures around the world eventually developed the use of commodity money. The shekel was originally a unit of weight, and referred to a specific weight of barley, which was used as currency. The first usage of the term came from Mesopotamia circa 3000 BC. Societies in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia used shell money – often, the shells of the cowry(Cypraea moneta L. or C. annulus L.). According to Herodotus, the Lydians were the first people to introduce the use of gold and silver coins. It is thought by modern scholars that these first stamped coins were minted around 650–600 BC.
The Demonetization Agenda – replacing transactions with social relations http://t.co/wM7ogM1dHE
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/mbauwens/status/552990653442166788
funny – i keep seeing all these posts/tweets by women (and men)- about putting women (faces) on money. and i keep thinking… is there not a deeper reason women aren’t yet on money. perhaps we focus more on the things that aren’t inclusive as – maybe their whole premise isn’t so good. no?
we can see this globally – ie: schooling the world. our need/obsession to develop the developing..
maybe if we’re quiet enough.. to see.. we’ll save ourselves a bunch of time/energy. no?