Here is an article in Wednesday’s New York Times about a small town in Spain, Higuera De La Serena, that completely ran out of money. It couldn’t pay municipal employees or contractors, nor could it provide most basic services. So the townsfolk stepped up to provide for each other. The town is basically run by volunteers now, from the mayor on down.
During the recent economic downtown (which could reappear at any time), many towns and cities in the United States were nearing a similar crisis. Many were forced to cut back drastically and various city services. Higuera De La Serena offers a way forward, involving civic participation and possibly, over time, local currency. When unmet needs coexist with the means to meet those needs, it is natural to create the money to connect them. Local, city government recognized currency might seem like a hopelessly radical proposal today, but when things fall apart, the hopelessly radical becomes commonsense.
We could do that. No question about it, we could do that. We are in Central Maine in Kennebec County. Hallowell is our name. When we lost our very last grocery store, and had only fish, lobster, cheese and wine for sale, one of ours stepped up, and then another. Now we need help with housing.
Chris Agnos says
I recently went to a lec
Diane Emerson says
Sounds like they could really use a Time Bank, so the volunteers (including the Mayor), can get support from the rest of the townspeople, so they can keep it going. http://www.timebanks.org
Susmita Barua says
How about basic living grant for all for a day of farming, community service and infrastructure building? How about changing the perception, the definition and more, so money reflects our value…
A Millenium Koan for you…