H+: Hacking the Economy

Over at H+ Magazine, there’s an article titled Hacking the Economy.

Well worth the read. It is a short article that talks about how to setup basic barter type transactions in your community. An example Doublas Rushkoff, the article’s author, gives is a restaurant providing $1.20 in restaurant dollars for every $1 US dollar you pay upfront. Very similar to just giving you a 20% discount on your food purchase. It’s not a perfect solution or example, but you get the point.

What I really liked about the article though is his discussion on centralized currencies versus local currencies. Here’s the money quote:

Like most innovations of the Colonial era, centralized currency is a way to extract value from the periphery and bring it back to the center. People’s labor no longer contributes to their wealth, but to the lender’s. Eventually, the lending economy — central banks and banks — becomes bigger than the “real” economy of people doing stuff. Today, in fact, over 95% of currency transactions are made between speculators. Our money is used less for real transactions than betting.

There’s a few more choice paragraphs about the money changers and the charging of interest which you’ve heard here before. Make sure you check it out though, since he does a good job of summing up our monetary system. Also, if we completely collapse, some of this “local currency” idea may be worth starting while we work in our victory gardens.

NOTE: Thanks to Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture who thanked Boing Boingwho found the original article from H+. (Don’t you love all this hat tipping?)