My latest appearance on the Intercoin show

I appeared on today’s Intercoin show in conversation with crypto entrepreneurs that covered a range of interesting topics including cryptocurrencies, NFTs, exchange alternatives, and digital savings mechanisms. View and listen on YouTube, https://youtu.be/6FXsuBMG2VY.

What’s coming and how to prepare?

SURVIVAL STRATEGIES FOR TROUBLED TIMES

By Thomas H. Greco. Jr.

For years I’ve been saying that we are being led, actually “driven,” toward a new global paradigm that is at once financial, economic, political and social, and I’ve been urging people to prepare for it. They naturally ask me what sorts of changes to expect and what they ought to do to be prepared. I first compiled a list of my ideas on that way back in the mid-1980s, a list that I’ve revised slightly from time to time and republished in various places. Since then the times have become increasingly “troubled” and I am convinced that the situation is quickly approaching a climax during which we-the-people who are not included in the super-class will be hard pressed to maintain any semblance of normality in our lives. We will be challenged as never before to adapt and to find ways to survive (and thrive) in the face of what I’ve been calling the global “mega-crisis” the dimensions of which include global warming, climate change, pandemics, terrorism, and financial and political malfeasance that are causing inflation, depressions, wars, loss of freedom, and that will ultimately enable the super class to engineer a “great reset” and usher in their New World Order.

Here is my latest revision of my Survival Strategies for Troubled Times.

General Strategies
Do what you can to enhance your own health, resiliency and independence, but don’t try to “go it alone;” our safety, survivability, quality of life, and happiness lie in our relationships and mutual interdependence. It pays to be kind, helpful, and cooperative with those around us and to work together to build a new human-centered convivial civilization.

HEALTH, SAFETY, AND SELF-RELIANCE
Learn healthy living and acquire a diversity of practical skills. Cultivate a low input lifestyle. Secure your own material needs as much as possible, and find a safe place to live.

COOPERATION AND MUTUAL SUPPORT
Build mutually supportive relationships. Nurture the development of networks and self-contained, cooperative communities.

DISENGAGE
Reduce your dependence upon conventional systems and structures, governments and institutions, especially those that are being used to drain away our wealth, like political fiat money. Get out of the debt trap and reduce your financial obligations, Shift yout financial resources from Wall Street investments to investments in Main Street. 

BE ALERT AND BE INVOLVED
Keep attuned to the changing global conditions of humanity and its habitats. Consult a variety of news sources, not just the ones whose views you typically agree with. Participate in local politics. Ask tough questions. Work with others to help solve local, regional, national, and global problems.

SPECIFIC POSSIBILITIES TO CONSIDER:

1. Food. Grow at least some of your own food, store staple food items, save seeds, plant perennial food plants, especially fruit and nut trees. Learn how to forage for wild foods – many “weeds” are edible. Support local (preferably organic) farmers.

Participate in “Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), also known as “subscription farming.” This is an arrangement in which a group of consumers contract to support an area farmer who in turn delivers their produce to the contracting group. The farmer is guaranteed a market and the consumers are guaranteed a supply of fresh wholesome food.

2. Collect valued items and useful commodities that are likely to retain their value and can be used as exchange media. Some favor gold and silver coins. In modest amounts, these may be useful in the event of hyper-inflation or collapse of the currency. I prefer to hold things that are more useful, like tools, equipment, materials, and books.

3. Get out of the large cities, if possible. Locate a country place that you can retreat to if and when it becomes necessary. Buy productive land that can support you and your family. Choose land that can provide food, clean water, and fuel. Ideally, locate near small towns where you have access to helpful neighbors and common facilities. If you lack the resources to buy land on your own, consider buying in partnership with others or organizing a Community Land Trust, a legal arrangement in which a trustee organization holds title to land while assuring secure tenure, but limits individual speculative gains.

4. Build community where you are. If you must live in a city, get to know your neighbors and organize neighborhood cooperatives and mutual-support structures. Large cities depend on a complex and well maintained infrastructure, and the importation of tremendous amounts of resources from distant places. In hard times these systems may fail, in whole or in part. Learn about critical systems like water, electricity, gas, sewage disposal, health care, and police protection. With your neighbors, plan back-up strategies and create back-up systems that will assure at least minimal life-support. Get involved in local politics and hold officials accountable.

5. Disengage financially. Begin to disengage from the conventional financial systems as much as possible. Don’t depend too much on banks or other fiduciaries, and avoid, as much as possible, the use of the conventional money system. If banks fail, you may lose your deposits, while finding that your debts remain. Convert most of your financial assets to real (tangible) assets while holding some in liquid form for payment of taxes, utilities, and other necessities that require monetary payment. Support the emerging decentralized economy that promotes humane values, equity, social justice, sustainability, and local self-determination. Help to organize and use properly issued community currencies and credit clearing exchange systems.

6. Become debt-free; kick the credit habit; pay as you go. Don’t get caught in the “usury trap.” Especially, avoid borrowing from predatory lenders and credit card companies. Do not borrow to buy consumer goods; purchase these only when you can pay for them in full. Get out of debt as quickly as you can and stay out of debt. If you must borrow, borrow from people, not banks. In a crunch, it’s better to have your debts in friendly hands, someone who won’t take advantage of your distress or press for foreclosure. If you have a home which is mortgaged or are making payments on a major durable item such as a car or truck, you might consider the following possible options:

a. Accelerate your repayment schedule by making extra principal payments out of current income.

b. Refinance using funds obtained from individuals-relatives, friends or associates to pay off the bank. You might obtain from them non-interest-bearing loans or, better yet, negotiate a contract that will allow for sharing of both the risks and benefits of ownership. You might give the new funds providers a part-ownership in the property. You, the user/occupant, would pay rent on a lease and they would receive a part of the rent in proportion to their investment. You would also buy back their investment over time.

c. In the case of a farm or multi-unit residential property, you might create a “community land trust” or LLC to hold title to the property which you would then lease back on a long term basis. Others would put up enough money to repay the bank mortgage in return for equity in the buildings or a lease hold on the land.

d. Another possibility is to sell the property and buy one you can afford to hold free-and-clear.

e. If you are in extreme debt, filing personal bankruptcy may be an option. Consult a financial advisor or lawyer for advice, which can often be obtained through non-profit organizations like councils on aging or legal aid.

7. Simplify your lifestyle and reduce your needs. Learn how to live better with less. Do it yourself, fix what you have, reuse, make-do, or do without. Share with others. Kick the shopping habit and emphasize non-material satisfactions and gifts.

8. Learn to share and cooperate. Secure your basic necessities like food and shelter by creating community and cooperative arrangements. Possibilities to consider are neighborhood associations, buying clubs, food cooperatives, shared or co-op housing, barter clubs, trade associations or mutual credit clearing exchanges.

9. Finally, engage with others to work out your own ways of securing access to the basic necessities–water, food, shelter, energy, clothing, tools and equipment, transportation, and health care, and through it all keep a positive, hopeful attitude, and make time to play, meditate, and pray.

Follow my websites: BeyondMoney.net and ReinventingMoney.com.
Read my article, Confronting the Power Elite.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel, and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Thomas H. Greco, Jr.

This article has also been published on Expert Click and Medium

Community Currencies Can Enable Universal Basic Mobility (UBM)

It may not be a basic necessity for life, but mobility surely is a basic necessity for living in a modern economy and for having a decent quality of life. This fact is increasingly recognized, and in response, many cities have been subsidizing public transit, and now many are considering making public transit completely free to all riders.  

Kansas City, Missouri implemented fare-free rides in response to the pandemic and then made free rides generally available in 2021. Tucson, Arizona, where a large portion of public transit costs have long been covered by the city budget, and where discounted fares have been available to certain low income groups, responded similarly to Kansas City and is now considering making zero fare rides on its Sun Tran system permanent for all.

A recent article titled, Is Universal Basic Mobility the Route to a Sustainable City?,  reports that the city of Oakland, California has recently begun a pilot project aimed at providing universal basic mobility (UBM), which according to the article, involves “a combination of policies, funding, and partnerships that aim to provide all members of society with a basic level of access to mobility.”

My own extensive efforts to help cities become more sustainable have been focused largely upon finding ways to provide them with locally created means of payment that are independent of the banking system and the federal government. Local currencies have a long record, hundreds of them have been created over the past few decades, and hundreds more appeared during the Great Depression of the 1930s. A properly issued local currency can help make a local economy, not only more sustainable, but more robust and prosperous, and enhance the quality of life for local community residents. It can do this by reducing the community’s dependence upon the centralized system of money creation and allocation and handouts from the federal government, and by using its own local production of goods and services as the basis for creating sound payment alternatives to fiat money.

Proper issuance requires a basic understanding of the essence of a currency and what is required to make it sound and acceptable as a payment medium. A sound local currency is a credit instrument that is spent into circulation by a trusted provider of goods and/or services that are in regular demand. The accepting party then has a claim against the goods and services of the issuer.  The issuer must be ready, willing, and able to redeem the currency, not in cash, but by accepting it back as payment for goods or services that they already have available, or soon will have available for sale.

Mobility is extremely important not only to the local economy by helping people get from their homes to the shops and their places of employment, but also to people’s physical and emotional health. Low income and disabled people are the most dependent upon public transit, so making transportation easy and inexpensive is especially important to them. On the other hand, providing those services constitutes a major expense and the question of how those expenses are to be covered remains a stumbling block.

It occurs to me that a community currency can play a role in providing universal basic mobility (UBM). The public transit agency qualifies as a trusted provider of transit services that it is ready, willing and able to provide at all times. That qualifies it to spend a currency (“Transit Tokens”) into circulation, using it to pay for goods and services that it needs for its operations, or even for services that benefit the entire community. Transit Tokens could be spent into circulation by the city government in return for work done voluntarily by citizens, work that is in the public interest, like graffiti abatement, trash pick-up, street beautification, aiding the homeless and disadvantaged, and many other things that contribute to our quality of life but for which funding is generally hard to find.

Why not keep transit fares at some modest level but accept payment not only in dollars but also in Transit Tokens? Those riders who are able to work can easily earn them and at the same time gain a sense of purpose and participation in the community. Others who are willing to volunteer  may not be able to donate dollars, but most are able to do some useful work to acquire Transit Tokens which they can then donate to homeless people or to nonprofit organizations that can then distribute them to others in need.

Further, if Transit Tokens are made generally transferable they can circulate amongst local merchants and throughout the local economy to provide an exchange medium that is supplemental to the supply of dollars, giving the community a source of homegrown liquidity that boosts the local economy and makes it more self-reliant. The issuance and circulation of Transit Tokens can be a good start toward reclaiming “people power” and rebuilding our local economies and a democratic society.

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A new paper on my Solar Dollar proposal has been published.

On July 12, 2021, I presented my Solar Dollar proposal as part of a two day virtual conference titled Pathways to Resilient Zero Carbon Cities, organized by Zero Carbon Lab, School of Creative Arts, University of Hertfordshire (UK). Following that presentation, I was invited to submit a paper describing my proposal for publication in an academic journal. That paper titled, Solar Dollars: A Complementary Currency that Incentivizes Renewable Energy, has now been published and can be read or downloaded at https://doi.org/10.3389/fbuil.2021.785145.

February 2022 Newsletter: The State of the Economy: What’s going on, what to expect, and how to prepare.

Photo by Daniel Sessler, unsplash

These are the topics covered in this newsletter edition:

  • The State of the Economy
  • What’s going on and how to prepare?
  • Social Collapse Best Practices
  • Prospects and Prescriptions from Ernst Wolff     
  • My Recent presentations and interview
  • The End of Money
  • Personal News

Rather than post the entire contents here, I’ve decided to simply provide the link to it on my MailChimp site:
http://mailchi.mp/acd12f7f51ba/the-state-of-the-economy-whats-going-on-what-to-expect-and-how-to-prepare   
If you want to be on my list to receive my occasional newsletters directly by email, you can subscribe there.

Comments are welcome and can be left here.

My latest interview on It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown

I was the featured guest on Ellen Brown’s podcast of December 30, 2021. I consider this to be one of my best interviews in which I covered a wide range of the most important questions related to rebuilding our system of money and finance. My interview is comprised of the first 38 minutes of the program.

This audio together with a transcript can also be found here.

Transcending the present political money system–the urgent need and the way to do it.

In case you missed my webinar and would like to see the presentation, here is the recording that was made. The first part is a specially prepared slide show presentation titled, A World Without Money, Interest, and Debt: A Pathway Toward Economic Equity, Social Justice, Freedom, and Peace. The webinar concludes with a short video titled, VITA: A worldwide web of exchange, Locally controlled but globally useful, in which I describe my vision of a new decentralized, peer-to-peer, system of exchange.
The question and answer portion is not include.

Updates:
A PDF file of the slide show plus some added pertinent slides can be viewed here.
I’ve recently added an edited recording of the discussion that followed my presentation. You can view it at Q&A Discussion.

Upcoming webinar: Transcending the present political money system–the urgent need and the way to do it.

Jefferson_EndOfDemocracy2
This Wednesday, Nov 24, 2021, I will be presenting one of the most important webinars I’ve ever done. It is being organized by Prof. Lubo Jankovic of the Centre for Future Societies Research at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK.

Here is the description and link.
Transcending the present political money system-the urgent need and the way to do it, by Thomas H. Greco, Jr.

Date and Time: Nov 24, 2021
at 4:00 PM London [11:00 AM New York, 09:00 AM Arizona, 08:00 AM Pacific time]
Join Zoom Meeting
https://herts-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/96844432493?pwd=VXZZN0dSblVxUDJMZXdlNU4zcDR2Zz09

Meeting ID: 968 4443 2493
Passcode: 099266

Abstract
This presentation describes the fundamental role of the global system of money, banking and finance in generating social injustice, economic inequity, environmental despoliation and violent conflict.  It outlines the collusive arrangement that exists between finance and politics that has created the global central banking regime to centralize power and concentrate wealth in ever fewer hands and explains how the creation of money by banks as interest-bearing debt causes a growth imperative that is destructive to the environment, democratic government, and the social fabric. But more importantly, it describes the positive developments that are emerging to create a new “butterfly economy” and a civilization in which everyone can live a dignified life.

Thomas H. Greco, Jr. is a preeminent scholar, author, educator, and community economist. He is widely regarded as a leading authority on moneyless exchange systems, community currencies, and financial innovation, and is a sought after speaker internationally. He has conducted workshops and lectured in 15 countries on five continents and has been an advisor to currency and reciprocal exchange projects around the world. He has authored numerous articles and books including, The End of Money and the Future of Civilization (https://beyondmoney.net/the-end-of-money-and-the-future-of-civilization/).

The Worldwide Walkout, Wednesday, November 3

Over the period from July to October 2020 I wrote and published three articles in my “Walking Away series. My aim was to show readers a more complete picture of our predicament, to present some largely overlooked facts, and to alert readers to the dangers of following the course that political leaders across the globe had set for us.  
 
In part one, as in my previous writings, I pointed out that we are presently confronted with a global multi-dimensional mega-crisis which global leaders propose to address with various techno-fixes that will do little to solve our problems but will further reduce individual freedom, free enterprise, and community control, and ratchet up the power and wealth of an elite “super class” that are determined to impose a “new world order” of mass surveillance, regimentation, and domination.
 
Now, more than a year later, it has become patently clear to anyone who cares to open their eyes that this is precisely where we are about to arrive. While we were assured that mask mandates were just a temporary precaution to slow the spread and “flatten the curve,” they have been continued by various governmental entities, medical facilities, and private businesses in many places including my home city and county where one must mask up to enter public buildings, even the public libraries. We were also assured that there was no need for vaccine mandates, and that medical passports would not be imposed, but now they are well on the way to becoming universal. If you think it will end with that, think again. Power and wealth have been so thoroughly concentrated in the hands of that “super class” who own and control the systems and institutions on which we all depend, that they are able to completely dominate the rest of us. Every new technology provides them with better tools to more effectively shape your perceptions, to monitor your every move; to control where you go, what you do, with whom you do it, and your access to everything you need. Everyone who is not a member of that relatively small class will be living in an open air prison.
 
Canada in the coming weeks is launching a standardized proof of vaccination credential for both domestic and international travel that will be required of everyone. Airline pilots in the US have been resisting similar moves by the US government and airline companies, but their attempts to block the mandates through the courts have so far been rebuffed.
 
Even more extreme demands are being made upon citizens in other places, like India. Just the first 5 minutes of this Jimmy Dore report is enough to show you the picture of what is being implemented there and is already programmed to be deployed worldwide. A social credit system similar to what has been operating for some time in China will be rolled out everywhere. As the old vaudevillians and early TV performers used to say, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”
 
Primary features of the New World Order are “transhumanism” and the “the Internet of Things” (IoT) in which everything is wirelessly connected to the internet, including machinery, robots, livestock, pets, household appliances, and YOU. But as Microsoft describes it, “The Internet of Things isn’t just about connected devices—it’s about the information those devices collect and the powerful, immediate insights that can be garnered from that information.”  From a purely physical/material perspective, there may be some advantages to that, but who will have access to all that information, and how will it be used? Can they be trusted to use it to our benefit? It’s obvious where this is heading: Today the medical passport, tomorrow the implanted chip that you will need to gain access to everything.  Like the cattle in this video, you will be “managed” by your masters. Are you willing to surrender your life to a centralized “Big Brother” authority? Where will you draw the line? Do you want to be a “thing” in this “brave new world?”
 
We humans are more than physical bodies; there is a spiritual dimension to our existence, a force that gives us life, consciousness, intellect, emotions, creativity, and free will. Another civilization is possible and it has been in the process of emerging for a very long time. It is a civilization that is being built upon better sentiments and values than fear, hatred, and limitless greed. It is a civilization in which the spiritual aspects of being are valued above the material.
 
The Worldwide Walkout
Now is the time to stand up and refuse to submit to the New World Order, the Great Reset, and the Brave New World that the oligarchs want to impose on us. Our rights to freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of movement, freedom of worship, freedom to refuse medical treatments, and all of the other hard won freedoms that have been the object of centuries of struggle are rapidly being stolen from us. We the people need to strongly express our refusal to submit. A Worldwide Walkout is happening this Wednesday, November 3.  In this one minute video, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is urging everyone to get out onto the streets on Wednesday to make our resistance visible. I am suggesting that we need to go even further. While our actions must remain non-violent, our massive demonstrations need to be accompanied by non-participation in the “system” that has become totally corrupted. Let’s make November 3 the day on which we begin to seriously withdraw from the old corrupt civilization by refusing, as much as we are able, to buy anything (and if you must buy something, pay for it using cash to preserve some shreds of financial privacy); let’s refuse to go to work except only for critical jobs (in health care and other front line occupations); let’s get creative and share other ideas for non-participation, and let’s make this a recurring event that builds with each iteration. 
 
Many workers, especially in the airline industry have been asserting their power by not showing up for work, resulting in thousands of flight cancellations and delays. On the heels of the massive disruptions to Southwest Airlines operations a few weekends ago during which thousands of flights were cancelled and many more delayed, similar disruptions have occurred to American Airlines just this past weekend. Most mainstream media blamed them on the weather but that is patently false. This local Dallas TV report at least was halfway honest in reporting: American Airlines Cancels 1000+ Flights Sunday Due to Weather, Staffing Shortages. Cancelled AA flights over the weekend reportedly numbered more than 2000 and the disruptions have continued into the workweek with an additional 400 flights cancelled as of early Monday morning. Staffing shortages in many other businesses and industries are further evidence that growing numbers of people are refusing to accept the increasingly onerous terms and conditions of employment and are just choosing to “walk away.”

We the people have the power. The system cannot stand without our consent and participation.  Submission is our downfall. We must rise up and take action, not only for ourselves but also for our fellows who remain blind to the corrupting forces that have them still in thrall, and especially for our posterity, the Earth and the entire web of life. We are not alone, more people are waking up, and with courage, faith and compassion we can overcome the forces of tyranny and avert our descent into the totalitarian nightmare.

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E. C. Riegel and Private Enterprise Money

Announcing,  The Monetary Wisdom of E. C. Riegel: An annotated précis of Private Enterprise Money, with commentary compiled by Thomas H. Greco, Jr.

I have long credited E. C. Riegel as the foremost authority in shaping my understanding of money and the process of reciprocal PEMexchange. His penetrating insights and proposals for a new independent system for the exchange of value have provided a solid foundation for my own work of developing improved exchange mechanisms that I consider to be crucial to the future of civilization.

Riegel’s book, Private Enterprise Money, published in 1944, is perhaps the most complete and concise statement of his insights and proposals. For that reason I have undertaken the task to extract what I consider to be Riegel’s most important insights, interpret for the contemporary reader the passages that seem difficult to understand, and articulate the few points on which I disagree with Riegel. With that said, I urge every serious student of money and exchange to read Riegel’s book, Private Enterprise Money, in its entirety, as well as Riegel’s other works which are available to be freely downloaded from my website, BeyondMoney.net.