Posted by steve on March 18, 2012
This is a subject I have thought a lot about. Would it be possible to completely side-step the toxic, debt/credit-based system we are living in and just invest the money we have in local, sustainable and resilient businesses?
Well, we could give it a go. It is all to do with bonds. A bond is a simple certificate that for example says “if you give me £500 now, I will serve you bread for £530 – that is an effective interest rate of 6%”. The baker can offer better rates as it is easier for the baker to give you product than actual money. A win-win for both.
This white paper is a more complicated discussion of how to set up such a system locally, and suggests that everyone uses the same monetary value as a starting point, so consumers can easily compare offers. Download the white paper here.
Posted by steve on March 16, 2012
But what about the balance of trade?
By Anders Höglund with Stephen Hinton
Trade imbalances which persist for long periods of time tend to warp the infrastructure of the economy and create imbalances which will harm the economy in the long run. Sooner or later these structural imbalances will have to be remedied at a cost.
The sole purpose of the export is to pay for the import. Just like the need for a household budget to balance outgoings with incomings, Acting according to this principle is the only long-term, responsible and sustainable way of handling the trade between countries.
Viewing a large trade surplus as positive indicators in the economy and failing to take action or even worse; trying to increase the amount of exported goods and services by various means, above what is needed to pay for the import, is harmful. The harmful side effects include warping the structure of the economy both in countries with an export surplus and in countries with an import surplus.
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