Radio interview with Phil Stevens on money, complementary currencies and savings pools–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%.

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.

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.

Land and money issues must be solved together

In a forum on Land Value Tax on Facebook one member says “Full LVT and CD of the surplus will fix almost all monetary problems”.

No so. While money continues to be created as interest bearing debt by private banks, there will be more debt in the system than there is money. Banks create the principal but not the interest, so everyone has to compete to earn the interest they must pay. This leads to competitive behaviour, and some will lose out and go further into debt, widening the gap between rich and poor. No, banks can no longer be permitted by society to create our means of exchange as interest bearing debt. Money should be created by the people who use it, by society itself and it should never, never be created as interest bearing debt. Besides if you leave money creation to banks, they will continue to create the bulk of it as mortgages on property. They will continue to have land as their security. Society at large should have this land as security backing their currency.

And just as you can’t just solve the land problem by imposing a full rental on the site value, you can’t solve the money problem without addressing the land problem. Most pressure groups and political parties who advocate monetary reform alone will recommend spending money into existence by government for the building of infrastructure. But when roads and railways are built without a full location fee on land, the price of land will rise. This increased land value is privately captured by the property owner and also by the banks who earn interest on higher and higher mortgage loans.

Land tenure and monetary reform must be implemented together. Tweak one of them only and all you have done is skew the system.

Here is a 42 minute radio interview of Deirdre Kent with Karl Fitzgerald of Earthsharing Australia for the website Renegade Economist. When asked by Karl at one stage of the interview why they should go together, I missed answering one part.