M-Pesa, is a mobile-phone based money transfer service that was started up in Kenya 2007. Since then it’s usage has grown by leaps and bounds. This recent article provides a thorough understanding of how it works and the benefits it provides: 10 Myths About M-PESA: 2014 Update.
In the slums of Kenya, money is especially scarce. Still, the residents are productive and have plenty of goods and services to offer one another. American social entrepreneur Will Ruddick, together with hundreds of local enterprisers, has found a way to create supplemental exchange media that enable them to trade with one another despite the lack of Kenyan shillings.
Here’s a new video about their Bangla-Pesa currency that they have created in Bangladesh, a slum area of Mombasa.
And, here’s a recent TV news report, which is described as follows:
Published on Apr 10, 2014. When news of the complementary currency branded Bangla-pesa first broke out, claims arose that it was linked to the proscribed Mombasa Republican Council, MRC, and its secessionist agenda, almost spelling doom for the project. A year later, we returned to Bangladesh slum in Mombasa county where the vouchers were first launched, and discovered that not only has the program grown in leaps and bounds, but plans were afoot to roll it out in different slum in the region.
Yesterday I wrote about how using a currency strengthens the story and gives value to the acts for which that currency was issued. I suggested that anyone can informally certify socially beneficial behaviour and accept those certificates as recognition of their own contributions. Today I will discuss how that principle might pan out in the macroeconomy.
When we are compelled to use a currency using such violent means as legal tender laws, latterly money transmission laws, taxes, bailiffs, and the throttling of alternatives, it hardly matters where the money gets its value, or if it has value at all. The 'value' of the dollar tends to mean its price expressed in other commercial credit currencies, but the real value is what the paper represents, what justified its issue.
The emission of money is always complemented by an equivalent value exchange somewhere in time.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts is a man with impeccable credentials. Besides having been affiliated with a half dozen universities and think tanks, he served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan administration.
In his latest web post, he recalls the events of 9/11, 2001, debunks the official story, and sums up the changes that have transformed the United States into a “warfare/police state.”–T.H.G.
9/11 After 13 years
Paul Craig Roberts
The tragedy of September 11, 2001, goes far beyond the deaths of those who died in the towers and the deaths of firefighters and first responders who succumbed to illnesses caused by inhalation of toxic dust. For thirteen years a new generation of Americans has been born into the 9/11 myth that has been used to create the American warfare/police state.
The corrupt Bush and Obama regimes used 9/11 to kill, maim, dispossess and displace millions of Muslims in seven countries, none of whom had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11. .. More..
In this talk to the Global Exchange Gathering last week, I show how the competition between timebanking platforms is a result of the software structures, and how even if different platforms can't share code, the can still service their users by becoming more interoperable.
The talk was very well received perhaps because I spent the previous five days in reconnaissance, and thus was able to say what this audience needed to hear.
Living the New Economy is a major event slated for Oakland, California October 23-26.
LNE Oakland is designed to be different from any event you’ve attended before. Drawing inspiration from hackathons, conferences, networking events, festivals, and jams, the result is a unique event that has components of each. More than a conference, this is a convergence.
The first two days will be provide opportunities for you to “hear about thriving New Economy projects, identify gaps and opportunities, and find out how you can plug into the New Economy on a personal level.” During the second two days the New Economy principles will be explored and “participants will collaborate in teams to develop a business idea, program, art project, or anything that supports the transition to a New Economy.”
Get tickets NOW to receive substantial early bird discounts available until August 15. Register and get tickets here.
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I will be giving a free presentation in Tucson on August 18 to show local small businesses how to create liquidity based on their own capacity to produce desired goods and services.
Details can be found at: https://beyondmoney.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/2014-tucson-flyer-local.pdf
Even if you don’t live anywhere near Tucson, I’m sure this will be of interest to many in your network so please help to get the word out. Our communities cannot afford to be complacent. We need new creative approaches to economic development, and locally controlled exchange alternatives are a key requirement to future prosperity, resilience, and a sustainable world.
This presentation will be recorded and made available on this website following the event.
Thomas H. Greco
There is much misunderstanding about the proper basis for issuing currency, especially with regard to somehow limiting the issuance to ensure that the issuers are not over-empowered and the currency tending to worthlessness. With Bitcoin we have a new expression in our vocabulary, 'proof of work'. This too is often misunderstood to mean that work provably done merits a currency reward, but if that were the case the amount of Bitcoin couldn't be fixed.
Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Green, LaRouchite, or consider yourself apolitical, you need to pay attention to what is happening on the money and banking front, because that is the realm in which World War III is now being fought.
We can’t afford to tune out messengers that wear a different party label or with whom we might disagree on other issues. Listen carefully to what Ron Paul has to say in this Alex Jones interview and use your common sense to separate the “wheat from the chaff.”
Swiss nonprofit Community Forge was founded in the aftermath of the 2008 banking implosion. The first mission statement was about giving communities the tools they needed, most especially the monetary tools, to become more independent and resilient. Tim Anderson, from the LETS in Geneva, had teamed up with Matthew Slater, a software developer to build a community web portal and accounting tool suitable for LETS.
- From Visby to Bisbee
- Website improvements, slide shows, and videos
- My upcoming events
- Ecuador leading the way toward a “Commons Economy”
- Kalikalos Summer School/Vacation.
- Bitcoin—the currency and the technology
- J. W. Smith and the Institute for Cooperative Capitalism Worldwide
- More lessons in global economics, finance, and internet access
From Visby to Bisbee
Last year around this time I was in Visby, on the island of Gotland in Sweden where I was privileged to be able to attend the annual Almedalen event, an exciting convergence that brings together a wide variety of business people, politicians, academics, grassroots activists and ordinary folks for several days of presentations, discussions, and festivities.
This year I’m in Bisbee, Arizona, a former mining town turned artist’s mecca and tourist destination where I have the use of a comfortable house while my friends who own it summer in New England. Bisbee is located in Cochise county which is in the southeastern corner of Arizona, close to the Mexican border. I’ve gradually been adjusting to small town living and finding it to my liking. At five thousand feet elevation, the climate is pleasant—not too hot, and the summer monsoons have provided abundant rains over the past couple weeks. The ocotillo plants, which most of the time look like clumps of dead sticks splayed out toward the sky, are now covered with lush green leaves and tipped with red blossom tassels. _____________________________________________________
Website improvements, slide shows, and videos
The slower pace of small town Arizona has given me the opportunity to focus much of my energy and attention on consolidating the considerable body of work that I have built up over the past three decades, work that has taken a variety of forms—articles, books, websites, presentations, and interviews. Thanks to modern technologies, much of this work has been recorded and thus can be made readily available to present and future generations. I’ve spent a lot of time going back over my accumulated material—reworking and updating it, finding ways to make it more accessible, and in some cases, publishing it for the first time. I’m proving (to myself at least) that an old dog can learn new tricks, and I’ve been having a fun doing it.
I’ve been using Power Point for several years but up to this point had not tried to learn more than its basic functions, nor had I made much of an effort to learn how to edit audio and video files. With the acquisition of Power Point 2010, which has some powerful new features, plus some new found motivation on my part, I’m now beginning to master it along with audio editing software like WavePad and Audacity (both are free). Together, these tools are enabling me to create videos of reasonably good quality from many of my Power Point presentations that have been recorded over the years. I am posting these for viewing on my Vimeo channel at https://vimeo.com/tomazg/videos.
One of my best presentations, A New Paradigm in Exchange and Finance: The pathway to peace, justice, freedom, and a dignified life for all, was delivered at the Public Banking Institute conference in Philadelphia in 2012. I’ve made a video of that slide show presentation, which you can view at https://vimeo.com/100765695.
I’ve also done some work on my YouTube channel. I’ve sought out and collected materials in which I am featured. You can find these in my YouTube playlist labeled, My presentations and Interviews.
These links are also provided in a new menu button labeled, My Videos and Sites, that I’ve added at the top of the home page on my website http://beyondmoney.net/. That button also brings up links to my other sites.
As you explore my sites, please let me know if you find any broken links, errors, or other problems. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My upcoming events
I’ve been invited by the Sunbelt World Trade Association to give a presentation in Tucson on Monday, August 18. This presentation will describe how local businesses can create local liquidity on the basis of their own production and collaborative credit, thereby reducing their dependence on bank borrowing and protecting the local economy from the ill effects of national and global monetary policies (Details at http://beyondmoney.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/2014-tucson-flyer-063014.pdf). If there is sufficient interest, I may follow that up with a workshop covering the issues that need to be addressed in preparing to launch a complementary community currency for southeastern Arizona.
In October, I’ll be going to the San Francisco Bay area. I will present at Living the New Economy conference in Oakland, October 23-26 (http://www.bayareaneweconomy.org/), being organized by the people at Bay Bucks, a complementary currency and trade exchange for the SF Bay Area. Their banner reads: “We help local businesses cut costs, increase revenue and in the process, build local resilience.”
Ecuador leading the way toward a “Commons Economy”
In 2013, the government of Ecuador embarked upon a program to rethink the fundamentals of its economy and plan its transition to a free and open knowledge society. Friend and colleague, Michel Bauwens, founder of the P2P Foundation was engaged to lead a ten month process of research and discussion.
David Bollier has provided a good overview of the project and a progress report in his magazine On The Commons.
Kalikalos Summer School/Vacation
If you’re in the market for a European vacation combined with an educational and community-building experience, you must check out Kalikalos Summer School where you can experience “Alternative holistic holidays on Mt Pelion above the sea.” Their three campuses are all in close proximity to one another in one of the most beautiful parts of Greece. This short video will give a good idea of what to expect.
Bitcoin—the currency and the technology
The story of Bitcoin goes way beyond alternative currency. As a “virtual commodity,” Bitcoin represents a step backward toward a more primitive form of currency, but the “block chain” technology that Bitcoin uses has far reaching applicability. An interesting article that speaks to that point appeared in The Telegraph (UK). Titled, The coming digital anarchy, the lead-in to the article reads, “Bitcoin is giving banks a run for their money. Now the same technology threatens to eradicate social networks, stock markets, even national governments. Are we heading towards an anarchic future where centralised power of any kind will dissolve?”
An interesting counterpoint to that one is Matthew Slater’s excellent article, What happens after the crypto-revolution?
And the nerds among us would do well to read Marc Andreesen’s New York Times article, Why Bitcoin Matters. Andreesen has invested almost $50 million in Bitcoin-related start-ups. He begins by painting this picture:
“A mysterious new technology emerges, seemingly out of nowhere, but actually the result of two decades of intense research and development by nearly anonymous researchers.
Political idealists project visions of liberation and revolution onto it; establishment elites heap contempt and scorn on it.
On the other hand, technologists – nerds – are transfixed by it. They see within it enormous potential and spend their nights and weekends tinkering with it.”
J. W. Smith and the Institute for Cooperative Capitalism Worldwide
The Institute for Cooperative Capitalism Worldwide (ICCW) is the latest project of J.W. Smith, a long-time scholar and advocate of economic democracy, who has been writing on “full and equal rights economics” for many decades. I’ve know J.W. for many years and have a high regard for his work. I first became aware of him from reading his book, The Worlds Wasted Wealth. Now in his eighties, J.W. is still going strong and making a difference. His latest book is Periphery of Empire is Free: Empire’s Citizens Soon Will Be Free, which is being offered as an e-book at the bargain price of $5.50, along with books by William Kotke, Alanna Hartzok, and others.
The ICCW seeks to publish e-books by authors who share this full and equal rights philosophy. See their “creative commons” page. For responses and questions you can contact Dr. J.W. Smith at email@example.com or phone 623-875-4624 .
More lessons in global economics, finance, and internet access
Whenever you need to take a short break from whatever you’re doing, Clarke and Dawe’s video can provide you with some deep insights about the global financial crisis, with a few chuckles thrown in.
Wishing you a pleasant summer,