In this hour, the end of money. Really? Are we really on the verge of a coming cashless society?
Next, people do without money in many different ways – from simple bartering to using bitcoin on-line. In 2005, a group of parents in Madison did it by creating a babysitting coop. It’s simple. Colored popsicle sticks are traded per hour of babysitting. All families start with a limited number of sticks. So, once you’re out of popsicle sticks, you have to babysit to get more. Families are added to the group and problems are discussed at potlucks every 4 months. And it’s all organized on-line. Since 2005, the group has traded some 1,250 hours of babysitting worth more than 15,000 dollars.
Then, Ithaca Hours is a local currency from Ithaca, New York, that is the oldest and largest alternative currency in the US. Founded in 1991, by Paul Glover, Ithaca Hours has an estimated circulation of several million dollars and has spawned about 80 imitators around the country.
After that, “Before there was money, there was debt” - boldly states David Graeber in his book Debt: The First 5,000 Years. Now, Graeber brings a lot to the table. He’s considered one of the world’s leading anarchists. He’s a professor of Anthropologyat Goldsmiths, University of London. And he’s one of the founders of that little thing called Occupy Wall Street. Greaber says all those experiences help him understand the role of debt in our lives.
Finally, imagine living an entire year without money. And I mean no money. No cash. No credit cards. Nothing. Where do you live? What do you eat? How do you wash? Mark Boyle did it. And he found out it wasn’t so bad after all. In fact, he loved it. He tells his heart-warming, and funny, story in the book, The Moneyless Man. Steve Paulson spoke with Boyle about the transition from a life with money to one without it. [Broadcast Date: February 8, 2012]
Listen to Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber.
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