Someone pointed out Ithaca Hours to me and asked me my thoughts about it.
Ithaca Hours is a unit of currency used around Ithaca, New York. It’s base unit is the “Hour”, which is pegged to (or worth) $10.00 in Federal Reserve Points or Notes, whose base unit is the “dollar” – an arbitrary term that has it’s purchasing power arbitrarily set by the State/Banking cartel.
From the introduction, people in Ithaca buy and sell things to each other using Hours. Hours are printed up by a group of people who, of course, state that they issue it in “appropriate amounts”. Apparently, they tout the Hour as pretty widely accepted by businesses/individuals in the local area. They call it “local tender” as opposed to “legal tender”.
If there is a small amount of credit I can give to this system, it is at least that it is exposing people to thinking about currency issuance – albeit primarily the currency issuers. True monetary theory is a subject banned by State provided public education camps, so people don’t think about where money comes from – or where it goes to – at all. I also liked the fact that it seems that this Hour creates feelings of camaraderie amongst residents who use it.
After that, I lost interest. The people running the Ithaca Hour are missing the point. They stressed that the currency system is legal (i.e. the State has expressed no interest in shutting it down), as long as people meet their taxation – extortion – payments in trading with each other using Hours.
Both the State inflation/taxation system still operate with full force on the Hour currency. Since they are pegging the Hour to $10.00 of Federal Reserve Notes, the Hour will decline in purchasing power alongside the dollar via inflation. The State still steals the purchasing power out of the Hour as they do with the dollar. On the taxation side, people have to pay their taxes in Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs), so they either (a) work part time earning FRNs to pay taxes or (b) cash out Hours in return for FRNs as the State will not accept payment in any other form, circumventing their currency monopoly.
If Hours bypassed either system, the State would have violently shut them down.
In addition, since Hours are printed up by a group of people, the temptation to exploit this function is great. Their is no reason why this group can’t print it up and give it to themselves or well connected insiders.
Gold and Silver cannot be exploited this way. That is why, in a free market, these elements EVOLVED into money, not FORCED onto players in the market by the State.
FSK has convinced me that agorism is the solution to move towards to create any meaningful way of preserving my labour (i.e. my money) from being taxed, confiscated, or regulated by the State.