Tag Archives: saving

Move your money, preserve your capital, improve your community and make housing more affordable

Poverty and homelessness have been persistent problems in virtually every community and are becoming worse, and disparities in incomes and wealth have long been increasing. Meanwhile the stock markets are booming while returns of savings accounts have been driven below zero in real terms. All of this has been happening while human productivity is greater than at any time in human history. What’s wrong with this picture?

Clearly, there must be some serious defects in the systems by which our collective production is distributed and used. This is the realm of money, banking and finance which controls the functions of value exchange, saving, and investment. As I’ve repeatedly argued, it is not just a matter of how these systems are managed (policy), but the way they’ve been designed, i.e., their very structure. Whether by intention or by accident, these system are designed to do precisely what they are doing. They enrich and empower the few at the expense of impoverishing and dis-empowering the many.

While there may be little possibility of reforming these systems, they can be transcended. New systems and structures can be designed and deployed that better serve the necessary functions. My work has been focused mainly, but not entirely, on the exchange of value function, which is the fundamental purpose of money. Over the past forty years I’ve written and lectured extensively about private and community currencies and mutual credit clearing as ways of transcending the political money regime. See, for example, How to Bring Liquidity Into an Economy, Free of Interest, Inflation, and Boom and Bust Cycles.

Others have been active in addressing the functions of saving, and investment. Notable in this regard are Ellen Brown and her associates at the Public Banking Institute, John Katovich and associates at Cutting Edge Capital, attorney Jenny Kassan, John Fullerton at the Capital Institute, and community economist Michael Shuman.

Michael, in his recent newsletter, Gimme Shelter (With Local Investment), reports on some exciting developments, one of which is “…the SEC quietly increased the ceiling on a crowdfunding raise from $1.07 million to $5 million—effectively enabling significantly more housing projects to be funded by grassroots investors sick of Wall Street.” Another is the emergence of community investment trusts (CITs), which “allow members of the community to invest in neighborhood projects. Whereas most CLTs [Community Land Trusts] are nonprofit, CITs can be for-profit and issue equity.”

“Still another approach is to buy pieces of equity in homes to make home ownership more affordable. That’s the strategy of a new company called Landed. It strikes a deal with new homeowners to pick up half or more of the down payment.”

For more details on all of that, read Michael’s entire article here.
# # #

How to protect your “nest egg” while making your communty more resilient

This podcast featuring Michael Shuman, Jenny Kassan, and Elizabeth Ü, is a “must watch.” It clearly explains the options available to savers, investors, and entrepreneurs.

New memes for a new society

Economic transformation is coming on so fast it’s impossible to keep up with it all. Among the most significant developments are changing attitudes about work, saving, investing, and communication. A vexing question heretofore has been “how to finance projects that promote the common good?”

Fortunately, people seem increasingly willing to invest their resources in projects that have evident potential for creating a better world, without any promise of providing any direct personal return on investment.

This phenomenon, called crowd sourcing, has spurred the recent emergence of several websites that connect projects with donors. One of the most popular of these is Kickstarter.com.

One of the new offerings on that site is, Symbionomics: Stories of a New Economy, a project of film maker Alan Rosenblith, who produced the film, The Money Fix, which features comments by a number of monetary “experts,” including yours truly.

This project is important because it seeks to change the way people think about economics, politics, and society, as expressed in this excerpt from their project site:

Icons for the Twelve Memes

We’ve outlined 12 patterns (or memes) of the new economy, and are creating simple, memorable icons for each one.

They will help us express new and sometimes abstract ideas. We are inspired by efforts like The Noun Project to create a language of universal symbols licensed into the creative commons.

Alan has become a good friend whose work I admire and support. I am suggesting that others consider supporting this project as well. — t.h.g.

Demurrage: is it a good idea for a local currency or exchange system?

I’ve added a new monograph on the subject of demurrage to this site. You’ll find it in the sidebar to the right under Resources: Monographs: Demurrage: is it a good idea for a local currency or exchange system?

Or click here.