International currency for international trade.
After prolonged and bitter debate, the international agreement at Bretton Woods in 1944 was to use the USA dollar backed by gold as the international currency, but this has given an unfair advantage to USA ever since. If people in a mutual credit scheme like a LETS scheme or a trade Barter Company can trade with each other without interest being paid, so can nations.
We would argue for an international currency with a clearing facility so we would promote an International Clearing Union with export credit accounts for trading among member nations.
In the banking crises of 1998 the Malaysian president brought in a policy to stop their currency from being used outside their country. If it came to Malaysia from the outside it was deemed worthless. This was a recognition of the principle of managed borders. Its economy as a result did not collapse to the extent that Indonesia’s and Thailand’s did and the IMF ended up noticing this.
The most powerful international currency we could use would be one invented by economist Richard Douthwaite of Ireland.
Currencies of Barter Companies
Barter companies offer great advantages to small and medium sized businesses. Active membership of a barter company can increase the customer base of a business, sell excess stock and bring new trade.But governments have failed to recognise the alternative currencies of the trade dollars.
The currencies of barter companies currencies would be acceptable in the payment of tax at national level. These are generally referred to as Trade Dollars. The Inland Revenue Department has too long been inflexible in this regard. If they accepted the currency they could easily spend it with one of the members of the barter company. In New Zealand Bartercard has 75,000 members worldwide who could provide goods or services to government. It is time Government supported barter companies.
This section needs work done on it.
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.
GREEN MONETARY REFORM
Nearly every relationship essential to life depends on money. This gives ultimate power to those who control the creation and allocation of money. Most of our money is issued by private banks that manage it for the exclusive benefit of their top managers and largest shareholders. It is issued as debt to be repaid with interest. Not all borrowers can repay their loans with interest at the same time because there is not enough money in the system. So this requires at least one borrower to raise a new loan and so the total money supply must keep on increasing. This system leads to growing debt, a growing money supply and therefore the imperative for perpetual economic growth. This imposes an ever-increasing demand on the natural resources required for productivity growth – not to mention the social harm that results from a system of ‘winners and losers’. It widens the gap between the rich who are net lenders and the poor who are net borrowers.
Few people in the New Zealand realise that they are using privately created money without knowing it – and using a private service always comes with a price tag.
Any properly functioning economic system has as its purpose the provision of goods and services for a community. It is putting the cart before the horse if money supply is allowed to govern production. The financial needs of production and distribution should determine the money supply. It is only when there is enough money (whether national, regional or local) in the system that there can be full employment. If we don’t have full employment there is no hope for our youth and a complete breakdown of systems may be just around the corner. Full employment is not possible with a centralised money system linked to a global system dominated and tightly controlled by big banks, investment banks and wealth management companies.
A central service of governments — supplying money — has been privatised and it has been done by stealth in the western world.
The private interest-bearing money must be abolished and replaced by public money put into circulation by public bodies at all levels. We would vest this money creation power throughout the community at different levels of organisation. There would be continuing negotiation between the levels to create a dynamic equilibrium.
EDUCATION ON ECONOMICS
The population learns about economics from the media and this means there is a new generation of journalists and politicians to educate. Mention of economic growth would fade from rhetoric if we could get a system which works for all life on this planet without the growth imperative.
A major information campaign should be launched to inform the people about the privatised money system and how it causes debt, poverty, instability and environmental destruction.
The New Economics Party supports the World Economics Association which seeks to reform how economics is taught in universities. Hence we will ban corporates from contributing to university economics departments and will fund them adequately from public revenue.