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Just ran across this http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-talk_moneydec03,0,2902061.story


Something like this might be the way a community comes back to life after a major economic meltdown. I personally see bartering as an initial form of exchanging goods and services but this maybe the next step after that, or a way a community could survive. The part that was most shocking to me was that it is legal. While the dollar still has value I have been converting it into durable goods I need now and for the future b/c I feel one day soon it will not be worth the paper it is printed on.
 

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Who is John Galt?
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Just ran across this http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-talk_moneydec03,0,2902061.story


Something like this might be the way a community comes back to life after a major economic meltdown. I personally see bartering as an initial form of exchanging goods and services but this maybe the next step after that, or a way a community could survive. The part that was most shocking to me was that it is legal. While the dollar still has value I have been converting it into durable goods I need now and for the future b/c I feel one day soon it will not be worth the paper it is printed on.
Soon.........how about now.....hasn't been for years.
 

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New England Town Prints Up Its Own Currency
'Berkshares' Are Intended to Encourage Local Commerce
By STEPHANIE SY
SOUTHERN BERKSHIRE, Mass., Feb. 25, 2007
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RSS Susan Witt is an unassuming middle-aged woman who drives a Volvo around her quaint Rockwell-esque town and has somehow managed to foment a small revolution.

Berkshares are available in five denominations. The bills are printed on high-quality paper and feature local heroes and landscapes of Southern Berkshire. $835,000-worth of Berkshares have been printed.
(ABC News)
After years of planning, Witt started printing her own money and spending it around town.


She is not a counterfeiter. She is the founder of Berkshares, a local currency that was introduced last fall in Southern Berkshire, Mass. (where Normal Rockwell lived out his later years).


"The Berkshares are pretty simple to operate," she said. "You walk into a local bank, put down $90 federal and get 100 Berkshares, and then those Berkshares are spent at full value at regional stores."


$835,000-worth of notes were printed on fine-grain paper and distributed to banks that agreed to participate. The notes are now accepted at 225 businesses in the area, and the program continues to grow.


Berkshares were created to stimulate the local economy by giving people incentive to shop in their own neighborhood, rather than drive the distance to large chain stores.


"We want to encourage everybody to do their business locally rather than going to a mall or shopping online," said Sharon Palma, executive director of the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce. "Using Berkshares, you have to do business locally, and the other really nice piece of that is it's face-to-face business."


Several communities across the U.S., Canada and Europe have developed similar programs, but only Berkshares are fully-backed by the U.S. dollar. Several banks in Southern Berkshire have agreed to exchange Berkshares for dollars.


Ursula Cliff was spotted using Berkshares at Guido's grocery store, a 27-year-old family business in the town of Great Barrington.


"I don't think that whether or not a merchant accepts Berkshares really affects my decision if it's something I really want to buy," she said. "On the other hand, almost everywhere I go the stores use Berkshares, and I do certainly have a warmer feeling for them when they do that."



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Member Comments (2)
I just read this article about local private money for your community. I think it is a FANTASTIC idea and a great way for the smaller communities which are somewhat old fashioned and dying to revitalize their town. Ours is one of them which I believe could benefit from such a program and wish they would try it. Our country really needs local revitalization in many areas. Thank you for your courage and initiative in starting such a program. May others be as bold.
polllyyd47 3/18/08 I recently heard of private currencies from a friend and thought he was crazy. However, after reading this article and seeing the movie I conducted my own research and found over 40 private currencies in the US alone. The most interesting project is the "The United Cities Private Dollars" currency project created by TUC - The United Cities. This project is not only providing immediate benefits to the local community but, is launching this project nationwide. Some of the benefits offered are incredible!! Such as: guaranteed employment for 30 yrs, transportation, 100% healthcare, retirement plan, 28 basic services paid for by your employer through a TUC grant program.I'm hoping you can look into this for the benefit of the general public like myself.Thank you,Daniel
provenperformer 6/15/07
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