Even though she’s one of millions of young, unemployed Spaniards, 22-year-old Silvia Martín takes comfort in knowing that her bank is still standing behind her. It’s not a lending institution, but rather a time bank whose nearly 400 members barter their services by the hour.
Ms. Martín, who doesn’t own a car and can’t afford taxis, has relied on other time-bank members to give her lifts around town for her odd jobs and errands, as well as to help with house repairs. In return, she has cared for members’ elderly relatives, organized children’s parties and even hauled boxes for a member moving to a new house.
The time bank not only saves her cash, she says, but also lifts her spirits by making her feel “part of a community that’s taking some positive action during hard times.”
As Europe’s leaders struggle with a five-year-old economic crunch that has saddled Spain with the industrialized world’s highest jobless rate, young Spaniards are increasingly embracing such bottom-up self-help initiatives to cope. The diverse measures—some commonly associated with rural or disaster-zone economies—supplement a public safety net that is fraying under government austerity programs.
A 12 year-old girl understands Canada’s debt problems and high tax rates better than 99% of reporters and political “experts”. And she actually has the cahones to point out the truth: that the banks and government are colluding to “rob” and “enslave” the Canadian people.
Publicly owned banks make it obvious that we don’t need private banks to issue our currency, finance public projects or underwrite private debt. I wonder how Bank of Montreal shareholders would feel about this idea <<chuckle>>.
This girl is so cute that it is hard to hear her revolutionary message…
The direct solution to the economic crisis, urged by veteran money reformer Bill Still, would be for the federal government to simply create the money it needs, as the American colonists did by printing paper scrip and Abraham Lincoln did by printing greenbacks.
But cities and states don’t need to wait for a deadlocked federal Congress to act. As Wong-Tam has proposed for Toronto, they can divest their public revenues from the too-big-to-fail banks and put them in their own publicly-owned banks. These banks could then do what all banks do: leverage capital, backed by deposits, into money in the form of bank credit.
This newly-created bank money would then be available for the use of the local government interest-free (since the government would own the bank and would get the interest back as dividends). Among other possibilities, the money could be used to restore the schools. This would not be an expenditure but an investment, as illustrated by the G.I. Bill, which provided education and low-interest loans for returning servicemen after World War II. Economists have determined that for every 1944 dollar invested in the G.I. Bill, the country received approximately $7 in return, through increased economic productivity, consumer spending, and tax revenues.
The current economic system is one where the 99% compete against each other while the 1% enjoy the show and collect interest. This is also known as “divide and conquer” — guess who has been divided and conquered?
Our banking system institutes the desire to “beat” our neighbor in the economic game. We are taught very early that competition is healthy and required for a well-functioning free market. Money is a zero-sum game where if I win, my neighbor must lose. But this isn’t true if you control the money supply.
If you can create money from thin air, there is no need to compete. You just create more money and this is exactly what the central banking system does. It doesn’t worry about competition because they have none!
Other economic models are possible, like Altruistic Economics, and now is the time to wake up and see that the current system is bankrupt and unsustainable.
This video is a fantastic history of 12,000 years of economics boiled down to 25 minutes. In the end, we have the power to break free, if we have the courage to leave the prison which has become our home. The doors are wide open, only if we dare leave…
Source: Chaos Computer Club
This whistlestop re-telling of world economic history squeezes 12,000 years of history into 18 slides. Its focus is the changing nature of money and the rise of the monied class in US and Europe.
It outlines how the modern system of banking was instituted, how international organising allowed the power of the rich to gradually eclipse that of national governments, how war was managed for profit, and how the super-rich set about using the organs of the state in an effort to secure their position of control.
Believe it or not, growing your own food or visiting your local farmers market is more revolutionary and constructive than burning down your own city and killing security forces…
They need us, we don’t need them. That’s the big secret. We get our freedom back as soon as we take back our responsibilities for food, water, security, the monetary system, power, and manufacturing; that is independence. Independence is freedom, freedom is independence. We’ll never be free as long as we depend on the Fortune 500 for our survival.
Fixing these problems unfolding overseas starts with fixing the problems in our own backyards. Boycott the globalists, cut off their support, undermine their system, and they lose their ability to commit these atrocities. That will be a real revolution and it can start today. Not burning cities and masked rebels waving flags, but communities no longer dependent and fueling a corrupt system we all know must come to an end.
Where are farmer markets in Montreal? Jean-Talon is the city’s largest farmer’s market, but there are others.
A growing number of individuals believe our economic and societal status quo is defined by unsustainable addiction to cheap oil and ever increasing debt. With that viewpoint, it’s hard not to see a hard takedown of our national standard of living in the future. Even harder to answer is: what do you do about it?
Charles Hugh Smith, proprietor of the esteemed weblog OfTwoMinds.com, sees the path to future prosperity in removing capital from the Wall Street machine and investing it into local enterprise within the community in which you live.
“Enterprise is completely possible in an era of declining resource consumption. In other words, just because we have to use less, doesn’t mean that there is no opportunity for investing in enterprise. I think enterprise and investing in fact, are the solution. And if we withdraw our money from Wall Street and put it to use in our own communities, to the benefit of our own income streams, then I think that things happen.”
Heidemarie Schwermer, a middle-aged secondary school teacher just emerging from a difficult marriage, moved with her two children from the village of Lueneburg to the city of Dortmund, in the Ruhr area of Germany…
“I began to realise that I lived with so many things I didn’t need. So I decided that I wouldn’t buy anything without giving something away. That’s how it started. Then I began to really think about what I needed, clothes for example, and noticed that I could easily get by with what I could hang on ten coathangers. Everything else I gave away. I had so much stuff in the house that was superfluous. Getting rid of it was a relief.”
Ideally, Schwermer would like to lead by example and give other people courage to change their attitudes towards money and how they live in and contribute to society. The pressure to buy and to own, she feels, has intensified in recent years. Consumerism is essentially about “an attempt to fill an empty space inside. And that emptiness, and the fear of loss, is manipulated by the media or big companies.” There is a fear, she says, that in not buying or owning an individual will fall out of society. The irony, she claims, is that material goods can never plug a spiritual hole and shopping and hoarding are more likely to isolate people than bring contentment.Does she intend to start a revolution?
“No, I think of myself as planting the seed,” she says. “Perhaps people come away from my lectures or seeing me being interviewed and decide to spend a little less. Others might start meditating. The point is that my living without money is to allow for the possibility of another kind of society. I want people to ask themselves, ‘What do I need? How do I really want to live?’ Every person needs to ask themselves who they really are and where they belong. That means getting to grips with oneself.”
Does she really think that she can convert other people to her life philosophy? “Yes, that’s our future. One day we will all live without money, because we don’t need it and because it is only a burden. We’re the way we are because it’s how the system allows us to be. We can buy everything we want but we need so much less than we realise. If you think that the capitalist system we live in now is the only system, well that’s just ridiculous.”
“We are going to run out of oil in ten years. We don’t have infinite resources. That just isn’t sustainable.” Is her own itinerant lifestyle sustainable? She thinks so.
If cash becomes scarce and the wheels of commerce come to a grinding halt again, the idea of “mutual credit clearing” will be critical. In the meantime, banning interest charged on money is a worthy goal which would instantly make the economy more sustainable.
We need to learn to play a different game. We need to organize an entirely new structure of money, banking, and finance, one that is interest-free, decentralized, and controlled, not by banks or central governments, but by businesses and individuals that associate and organize themselves into cashless trading networks. This is a way to reclaim “the credit commons” from monopoly control and create healthy community economies.
This approach is no pie-in-the-sky pipe dream, it is proven and well established. Known as mutual credit clearing, it is a process that is used by scores of commercial “barter” companies around the world to provide cashless trading for their business members. In this process, the things you sell pay for the things you buy without using money as an intermediate exchange medium. It’s as simple as that. According to the International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA), a major trade association for the industry, “IRTA Member companies using the “Modern Trade and Barter” process, made it possible for over 400,000 companies World Wide to utilize their excess business capacities and underperforming assets, to earn an estimated $12 billion dollars in previously lost and wasted revenues.“
Perhaps the best example of a credit clearing exchange that has been successful over a long period of time is the WIR Economic Circle Cooperative. Founded in Switzerland as a self-help organization in 1934 in the midst of the Great Depression, WIR provided a means for its business members to trade with one another despite the shortage of official money in circulation. Over three quarters of a century, in good time and bad, WIR has continued to thrive. Its more than 60,000 members throughout Switzerland trade about $2 billion worth of goods and services annually.
Yes, it is possible to transcend the dysfunctional money and banking system and to take back our power from bankers and politicians who use it to abuse and exploit us. We do it, not by petitioning politicians who are already bought and paid for by an ever more powerful elite group, but by using the power that is already ours to use the resources we have to support each other’s productivity and to give credit where credit is due.
Good folks have been doing this once a year for 10 years now. Congratulations. 1 day out of 365 is a good start.
Try not buying anything for one day every week! This is a good exercise to see how unsustainable our lives are. In general, we are not sustainable. We are dependent on cash money.
We don’t grow our food, own our homes, generate our own electricity, make our own clothes or entertain ourselves. Thus, we need money to get these things. As Americans are starting to discover, money is in short supply and the money they do have buys less and less of what they need.
Buy Nothing Day is your special day to unshop, unspend and unwind. Relax and do nothing for the economy and for yourself – at least for a single day.
Can you really buy absolutely nothing for just one day? You might say “Sure!” but can you ACTUALLY go one whole day without transacting ANY business? Are you totally debt free so that you can go a whole day without accruing interest on your mortgage? Are you off the grid so that you can go a whole day without paying the power company? Do you have ANY utilities? Water, Sewer etc? Do you have a cell phone? Do you have stocks or other investments that transact business in your name every day without your input? Do you have other debts, such as credit cards that accrue interest? Can you really go one whole day without buying anything? Try it!