Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 2 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds   

The Threat of a Good Example

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   1 comment
Author 25735
Message Bart Klein Ikink
- Advertisement -

On July 5, 1932, in the middle of the Great Depression, the Austrian town of Worgl introduced a complementary currency. Worgl was in trouble and was prepared to try anything. Of its population of 4,500, a total of 1,500 people were unemployed and 200 families were flat broke. Mayor Michael Unterguggenberger had a long list of projects he wanted to accomplish, but there was hardly any money to carry them out. These projects included paving roads, putting up street lights, extending water distribution across the whole town, and planting trees along the streets.

Rather than spending the 40,000 Austrian schillings in the town's coffers to start these projects off, he deposited them into a local savings bank as a guarantee to back the issue of a type of complementary currency known as stamp scrip. The Worgl currency required a monthly stamp to be stuck on all the circulating notes for them to remain valid, amounting to 1 percent of the each note's value. The money raised was used to run a soup kitchen that fed 220 families.

Because nobody wanted to pay the holding tax, everyone receiving the notes would spend them as fast as possible. The 40,000 schilling deposit allowed anyone to exchange scrip for 98 percent of its value in schillings -- but this offer was rarely taken up. Of all the businesses in town, only the railway station and the post office refused to accept the local money. Over the 13-month period of the project, the council not only carried out all the intended works projects, but it also built new houses, a reservoir, a ski jump and a bridge.
The key to its success was the fast circulation of scrip within the local economy -- 14 times higher than the schilling. This, in turn, increased trade -- creating extra employment. At the time of the project, the unemployment level decreased in Worgl while it rose in the rest of Austria. Six neighboring villages copied the system successfully. The French Prime Minister, Eduoard Dalladier, made a special visit to see the "miracle of Worgl." In January 1933, the project was replicated in the neighboring city of Kirchbuhl, and in June 1933, Unterguggenburger addressed a meeting with representatives from 170 different towns and villages. Two hundred Austrian townships were interested in adopting the idea. At this point the central bank panicked and decided to assert its monopoly rights by banning complementary currencies.

This example shows that stamp scrip can end the grip of banks, large corporations and centralized governments over the destiny of ordinary people. This money, combined with a ban on charging interest, creates a more efficient financial system and can help solve the many problems facing the world today. It can work without a large organization -- one small, committed community like Worgl can be enough to change the world forever.

- Advertisement -

References: http://www.newciv.org/nl/newslog.php/_v105/__show_article/_a000105-000002.htm

 

- Advertisement -

Well Said 1   Supported 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Bart Klein Ikink Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Bart klein Ikink was born in a village in the East of the Netherlands and has lived in this region as a child. He studied Business and Information Technology and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society in Enschede, which is also in the (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

A far more efficient economic system is possible

Paradise Found

Multiculturalism Is One Of The Greatest Successes Of All Time

Conversion plan to the natural money financial system

In the future there will be no interest on money

Negative interest rates: the economic singularity