A different kind of currency
I have to start by saying that a well-known commentator on financial matters I used to listen to here in the UK would have described me as the “financially unwashed”. I’ve never understood the reason why we behave as though the economy or financial markets are imposed on us by some deity in the sky. We have man-made currencies and man-made financial markets, and if we have all the materials and produce we had last week, I don’t understand why we allow them to be devalued this week. Was the world in the 1920s so different from the world in the 1940s and 1950s? Same land, same resources, same people, but one way of organizing produces misery and the other produces… well in the UK, the NHS and free healthcare for all, welfare benefits and a housing boom. Couldn’t we actually have organized to forego the depression and world war and go straight to a world where we’d never had it so good?
I went to an interesting lecture some years ago, in which a speaker proposed that we should reset all the world’s currencies so that their value should be linked to an hour’s work by a human. I guess it would be minimum wage, but the idea is that one dollar should be worth one pound should be worth one euro, and the value of all currencies would be equitable.
And I’ve been listening to the vlogs about the coming chaos and devaluation of currencies, and wondering…apart from people who trade currencies all the time, and therefore hold a lot of their assets in currency at a particular value, at any one time… who would be affected by a change like that? What would change? Would it harm us to have a system in which one Sierra Leonean Leone is worth One dollar? Can we reimagine a world in which you can’t use cheap labour in the Far East to make t-shirts which cost a couple of dollars with dyes that poison the rivers, and instead need to pay anyone equitably for their work, and look after the environment too?
I think globalisation is bad for the planet, and certainly this constant emphasis on growth of economies was unsustainable and therefore bad for the planet too. I worry that rich countries like the US and the UK are going to leave other economies high and dry by manipulating the world markets and the world’s resources in their favour, as they have done for centuries. While I think growing food locally and making things locally is, again, better for the planet, I worry that will leave some economies floundering for any income at all. Whatever system of currency we use to replace the current system, there has to be a way to make things fairer for all humans on the planet and not just the ones in the rich economies…which have always been built on the work, resources and people of the rest.
Thank you for your comments re: “A different kind of currency”
This topic is a nexus of so many things. When a global currency such as the $ is changed for something else (digital quatroo issued by the IMF?) everything is reset. Maybe much of the present travail in the world is due to this epochal “currency” change/demise of the $, and no one is really focusing on this real elephant in the room.
We need to get out of our easychairing chit chat crapping on our keyboards. How can you implement CHSmith’s new currency ideas?
This Summer I will start issuing my own currency as a way to formalize what people living close to the earth do anyway, (keep track of favors as a kind of informal and mutual bank account creation). lol, I can print paper notes with my stupid face on them with a written in promise of work I will do, along with a contractual alternative redemption value based in a weight of silver.
Everything can be expressed as a contract. It is easy to make a currency.
Local and personal currencies can be fun. They are a way for us to formalize what we are already doing: valuing each other based on reputation and experience in the great game of creating wealth for each other. Anyone else up to this challenge?
We need to focus on wealth creation again. This is not rocket science. If a stupid person without any understanding of the real world, much less science or technology, such as Paul Krugman can get paid to opine on the subject it, we can certainly build something that can work better.