Thursday, February 25, 2010
Towns Printing Their Own Currency
Towns like Lenox, MA, Ithaca, NY and Burlington, VT are issuing their own legal tender as a way of emphasizing that money needs to stay within a town’s borders. In Lenox, residents are shopping for goods and services with what they call “Berkshares.”
“It used to be I could trade you 10 of my chickens in return for your help building my fence, and no one thought anything about it,” says Andrew Webster, a project manager at Coldham & Hartman Architects and the primary organizer of the Public Forum. “Within cities like Lenox or Ithaca, this legal tender accomplishes the same thing – you just don’t have to walk around with ten chickens under your arm.”
A chicken in every pot. Hold that thought because this thinking will be bring us back to 'the good old days' meaning growing our own food, fueling our own caves, and healing our own sick with back wood's remedies. Vermont is in the process of closing the Yankee Power Plant by not renewing their lease for twenty more years.
I was under the impression that even this president was realizing that we need nuclear power plants as a source of future energy. Maybe we would be better suited to work with this one instead of just closing it and losing 600 more jobs!
Webster adds, “But, seriously, this has an important purpose. Americans are sick of money leaving their communities. What does a big box store like Walmart give back to residents? (jobs for one?) The overwhelming majority of that money goes streaming into corporate coffers. Lenox’s use of “Berkshares” ensures that commerce (and the benefits of commerce) stay local, and that our natural resources are not abused in order to bring goods and services into town from hundreds – if not thousands – of miles away.”
Perhaps you’re wondering, “isn’t against the law for an entity other than the US government to print legal tender?” It’s not as cut and dried as you might think.