Tuesday, April 7, 2009
This is not exactly a real solution, exchanging Fed dollars for local fiat currency dollars, I don't really know what the point is, but the idea is sound to get people used to the idea that there are other mediums of exchange besides Federal Reserve notes. At one point, we used to have several different types of currency with one common denominator, they were all back by either gold or silver. The concept of coin clipping was the first attempt to de-base the currency. We have gone way beyond that with a complete devaulation of the economic system of the world at large.
USA Today's reporting on local currencies gives the impression that this is a NEW phenomenon born from the recession. Rather, many of these programs have existed for some time.
The organization that runs BerkShares, told Huffington Post that it has been producing currency since 2006, well before the financial crisis dominated headlines. Ithaca Hours have been in production since 1991. Despite the fact that these currencies have existed - a point USA Today should update - there is a growing interest in currency production for communities hit by the recession. New currencies, like the Detroit Cheers are coming into play.
A small but growing number of cash-strapped communities are printing their own money.Borrowing from a Depression-era idea, they are aiming to help consumers make ends meet and support struggling local businesses.