Page Title: Complementary (Voluntary) Currencies
These were first developed in Switzerland during the Great Depression of 1929- 1941, among businesses there which
normally traded with each other anyway.
Like most businesses throughout the earth at that time, they were faced with imminent bankruptcy as banks refused to
lend to them, not even for the 90-day commercial paper that most businesses on earth have to rely upon to cover some
of their variable monthly costs and to pay their bills in a timely manner.
Not only did those businesses survive that Depression, today their voluntary currency has thrived to the point of
accounting for 1/4 of Swiss businesses, they have their own bank, and their Business-To-Business (B2B) Voluntary
Currency is credited with having kept the Swiss currency (the Swiss franc) so stable and highly-valued over many
Complementary Currencies today have evolved to include a wide-variety of local-, regional-, State-, Provincial-, national-,
and even global-voluntary currencies.
Among the USA States which have adopted a complementary currency is Washington State's InTerra Card, a kind of
credit/debit card designed to promote producing and buying locally.
Some 900 local communities in the USA have adopted TimeDollars, whereby residents of their town and neighborhoods
can exchange skills and labor time among themselves. Even the unemployed and the homeless can enter such a
labor-pool, providing all kinds of local goods and services, as humble as de-littering roads, weeding and planting roadside
flower-beds, and as advanced as tutoring the many skills that some of us would be surprised to find are widely-spread
among the unemployed and/or homeless, and with local persons "buying" food, clothing and shelter from participating
persons, agencies and businesses. (See: www.timebanks.org )
Complementary currencies are permitted by the USA Constitution, as they are NOT legal tender, which all citizens and
residents of a given country are required by law to accept as "payment for all debts, public and private". They are
voluntary, and depend on local and regional or sector networks of trust, which is, after all, what all currencies are based
upon. Even gold relies for its effectiveness on mutual trust as to the content, purity, weight, liquibility, portability and
securibility of its units.
Moreover, gold is not necessarily a hedge against inflation or taxes, as its value changes, too, relative to its supply
compared to the quantity of goods available for purchase. Even under a strict gold-system, there can be inflation -- even
hyper-inflation -- as the experience of Spain in the 1500's to 1700's shows.
Complementary currencies are a main way to prosper local and regional economies, even when the national and/or
global economy is in the doldrums. And they do this from the bottom-up, rather than from the government-down. Indeed,
complementary currencies help re-prosper the State, Provincial, national and global economies, by prospering local
economies and without any tax-increases or government deficits or government borrowing !
Moreover, they rely on the main strength of our GOP - small-town and small-city America, where all classes and races
have personal "cheek-by-jowl" relationships, instead of living in ghettos and gated-"communities".
Even urban areas can have a Metro TIME-DOLLAR and B2B network, since most cities are really a network of small
towns we normally call "neighborhoods". An example would be a Metro-St. Louis-TimeDollar, linked to the existing and
other St. Louis neighborhood TIME-DOLLAR areas, (See: TimeBanks USA, 202/686-5200, www.timebanks.org ) and a
Metro-St. Louis B2B "currency" (See: www.lietaer.com )
All it takes is for a few businesses, trades-and-labor assemblies, and public-sector agencies, and at least one area bank,
to agree to accept all or part of any given payment in the Metro-St. Louis InTerra Card ! Or, in Chicago, a Chicago-Land
InTerra Card !
I don't know about other States, but Illinois has Regional Superintendencies of Public Schools, which mainly register,
certify and train the teachers and staff, and test the students, in a group of Public School Districts in one or more
What I propose for Illinois is that the Regional Superintendents of Public Schools inform and encourage the
administra-tions, School Boards, Staff Unions, local Chambers of Commerce and Trades and Labor Councils and the
National Federation of Independent Businesses, to accept part of our pay in Regional TIME-DOLLARS, linked to Regional
or Metro B2B currencies and InTerra Cards accepted by at least a few regional supermarkets, and maybe the local
utilities com-panies and some municipal, county and State and Federal services !!
Further, I propose that when any and all State Public Sector Union contracts expire, the State take a strong negotiating
stance that 30% of State and other Public Sector Employee Pay for the next contracting term be in ROE B2B's tied to the
local economies of their ROE (and perhaps the immediately adjacent ROEs. Likewise, that private unions benefitting from
one or more State Contracts via private contractors, and the private contractors, receive 30% of their pay in area-wide
ROE B2B currency, kept track of by computerized InTerra Cards handled by one or more area bank(s).
And as a US Senator, I would propose the same for Federal Domestic Contracts - and maybe even foreign
That's real Community Self-Help !! And a profoundly REPUBLICAN, non-statist, way to solve Illinois' (and the USA's)
Education-funding and Health-Care-funding crises! !
And it's permitted by the US Constitution, as these currencies are voluntary, like bank checks or credit/debit cards. They
are not legal tender and there is no intent to make them legal tender.The
Campaign Rents Its
Company's URL From