http://www.greenplanetfm.com/members/greenradio/blog/VIEW/00000001/00000264/Phil-Stevens-on-Complimentary-Currencies--Alternative-Economies-in-NZ.html#00000264 This erudite interview with Phil Stevens covers the problems with the current money system, (being endemic and global) the challenges - (power structures) and the solutions - possibilities and empowerment at a localised community level. You've got to hear this. Phil Stevens' interview today was so lucid and to the point. I wish that kind of info could get out onto the mainstream media. It's survival and well being information. It covers LETS systems, timebanks and savings pools very well. There is also an excellent description of the current money system and how dysfunctional it is. As well as being involved with the Living Economies Educational Trust is Co-Leader of the New Economics Party. Download this hour long interview for listening in your own time. You will be well rewarded. Phil deconstructs the growth ideology on a finite planet, to the degree that we extract and take more and more resources especially from the environment, at the same time pollute and contaminate more and more until we run out of everything except our pollution ….. The problems of environmental degradation, resource over use, of pollution, of inequality, of social injustice, poverty, despair and wars all stem from a monetary system that requires continued growth to keep the momentum exponentially growing to keep paying the interest. The present high tech web related system slushes funds at light speed around the global casino and in the process siphons more and more money off the 99% into the hands of the 1%. SOLUTIONS: Smart, holistic, grass roots solutions utilize parallel systems of localized currencies as well as the current traditional monetary system, bringing together a strengthened neighborhood, more resilient economies and localized involvement that respects nature as being integral to the process of community livelihood. LETS systems (‘Green Dollars’) use web-based accounting and vouchers to enable trade between those with surplus energy, skills or goods and others who have needs, but who lack the required money. TIME BANKS, a community-building currency, values everybody's time equally. One hour of service performed earns one unit of exchange that can later be ‘spent’, or donated to a ‘community chest’. The systems appeals to individuals as well as to voluntary organizations such as Information Centres, service clubs and schools and sports clubs, providing groups with a means to increase and reward their volunteers. So successful was Lyttleton's Time Bank following the Christchurch earthquakes that NZ Civil Defense encourages the establishment of time banks across the nation. http://www.lyttelton.net.nz/about-project-lyttelton/earthquake/lyttelton-timebank SAVINGS POOLS, enable participants in localised groups to retire or avoid interest-bearing debt, by paying into a common pool and taking turns to access the fund, interest-free.
Community currencies. Many trades do not require precious national currency or even a regional currency like an Auckland currency. At the community level a variety of currencies are possible and the X Party would encourage diversity. The recent spread of timebanks, where members in a community help each other and pay in Hours, is encouraging because it helps with building social capital and strengthens that community. Everyone's Hours are equal. Organisations can join and teaching and learning can occur. The establishment of timebanks in every community would be encouraged so that people can exchange skills on an equal basis. Timebank coordinators would be funded. In this way community building can be fostered at local level for minimal cost. Local Economic Trading Systems like the ones in Golden Bay and Wairarapa will be encouraged. Local communities can establish local vouchers for the exchange of goods in their district. Local businesses would accept local vouchers backed by a certain quantity of goods produced in the area. One model for success is the Chiemgauer in Germany.