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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/28/16

Part 6, Democratic Network Money: Commons Money that Works for Us, Instead of Us Working for It

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Message Paul Krumm

Another necessary criterion is to choose a universal unit of account that is representative of the work performed and traded. Remember from the first article of this series, that what we trade is our willingness to spend our time doing something for others that we can do, and trading that time for the time others spend doing what they do..

Though imperfect, the hour of work is the best indicator we have of effort for a money unit. It will have to be used flexibly, as some work is more stressful and/or dangerous than others, and some work is less desirable than others. The place of prestige in considering the value of current highly paid work will likely grow less. What is now seen as low prestige work, will likely make gains.

The hour of work as a measure of value reflects the idea of the disaggregation of profit. It values the time of all traders as of more or less equal value, rather than what the market will bear. We need to replace the word profit with the names of its components; value of work done, and private tax on the market.

Local, democratically created money can be used to promote the local economy and do things that for profit money doesn't support. We can concentrate on local needs instead of how to get enough money to export some of it to Wall Street as a private tax to benefit the 1% and .001%. Bernard Lietaer has noted that when this type of system is put in place, it promotes the gift economy, a way to contribute without having to be paid.

A very small charge on outstanding balances, both positive and negative, will be appropriate to cover system expenses and promotion. This would be a lesser expense than current charges for credit and debit transactions.

The biggest challenge is maintaining circularity in system operation. It is imperative that all users be able to both earn and spend in equal amounts. Success depends on circularity, just as the success of a natural ecosystem depends on circularity.

As communities become more cohesive by making financial decisions together, and relate to other communities in the same way, the influence of mass media to manipulate opinion and knowledge will weaken. Reality about the state of the world and its problems will become more obvious.

Climate change, extinctions, degradation of soils and habitat which we depend on for our food supply, financial institutions taking advantage of their clients, militarism, etc, etc, can be dealt with, as is already being attempted in some localities. Government taxes will need to be looked at, to see if they serve the people who pay them. This will require pressure for participatory budgeting at all levels.

According to Ellen Brown, the central banks see the advantages of block chain money, and are considering opening their own platforms. Getting distributed power blockchain platform systems in place before autocratic blockchain platforms gain strength would facilitate acceptance.

Are we ready to replace our present money with money that works for us instead of us working for it, or are we going to try to fix it with half way measures or leave it in place and attempt to control it? Neither of the last two choices has a good long term prognosis.

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I am a semi-retired self employed business owner who designs and builds instruments and machines. Obtained a BS in Sociology (with minors in Physics and Math) in the 1960's and became interested in studying the structural violence built into (more...)
 

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