Communities are beginning to figure ways of surviving during this time when consumers are tightening their belts, jobs are disappearing, and downtown shops are finding their windows boarded up. A new American paradigm is beginning in a nation that used to be the world's number one exporter of finished goods, and the number one importer of raw materials. Now this picture has been turned upside-down. We now buy stuff at Wal-Mart, which imports over 70% of its inventory from China.
How do suffering communities keep their dollars within their borders. I guess you might want to think "protectionism".
Ithaca, New York, Pittsboro, North Carolina, and Detroit, Michigan are just a few places figuring out a way to survive. They came up with their own currencies. This was done during the Depression. President Lincoln came up with debt-free Greenbacks used to pay down his war debt.
Massachusetts has come up with a currency called BerkShares, and Detroit has begun printing Detroit Cheers and Pittsboro, North Carolina has been circulating their Plenty for the purchase of groceries, fuel, services and a whole lot more. If a person wants to buy BerkShares they can go to one of a dozen local banks and plop down a cool $95 and get $100 in this new local currency, which can be spent in a few hundred places. BerkShares has been going on since 2006, and has circulated over $2 million worth.
These localized domestic currencies are not printed on a inkjet printer down at the print shop, but are actually engraved and printed like the dollar.
It appears that consumerism has found a way to spend their incomes locally instead of the profits finding their way to a parent company outside of town. These currencies stay within the city limits and are circulated.
This is just the beginning of what will evolve into a new American paradigm.