Tag Archives: currencies

Weeks, Languages, Loans, Aladdin, and Elisha?

As we come up to the holiday of שָׁבוּעוֹת Shavuot, for the seven weeks, or 50 days counted down between Passover and Shavuot, we naturally think of the pleasures of staying up all night long to study languages, er, em, that is, to study Torah, in our Biblical languages of Hebrew and sometimes also Aramaic, with the occasional reference to another Semitic language like old Arabic, or Ugaritic, etc, for difficult words.

Great, so where do the loans come in, and what could the thief Aladdin and the prophet Elisha possibly have in common, apart from having spoken sister languages, you say.

Thank you! I am so glad you asked. It turns out that Aladdin and Elisha had quite a bit in common, being literary figures, young men of action, and you could even say financiers: they both gave Free Financial Assistance in their communities!

We know who and how Aladdin helped in stealing to survive, and in solidarity with other poor souls living in the streets. We also know how the prophet Elisha helped the widow by multiplying her oil and telling her to sell it, saving her and her sons from enslavement by their creditors. But how much better could it have been for both Aladdin, Elisha, and their communities , if crushing long-term debt didn’t exist in the first place? Isn’t that why we were commanded to release debts (and slaves) every seven years, and return property to original owners every 50 years?

This is where the Pro-bono legal aid, free debt and financial consumer education piece of our #PublicDomainInfrastructure is crucial. Knowing your rights and obligations is the first step toward taking responsibility for your own house, and then toward contributing to your community. Our financial and economic infrastructure must help create ways to rectify the structural biases inherent in our system, and encourage both individuals and communities to do the same. One tool for accomplishing this is debt-forgiveness, in circumstances of structural or personal inequity. Another tool is locally created currencies, such as Ithaca Hours or Time Banks. These are most effective when encouraged by local government as a supplement, or a means of complementing the existing federal currency. While local or community issued currencies are useful, they can be more useful in a society that has more fully included all of the population in the economic life of the community. For this reason, local currencies are more fully discussed in conjunction with Phase III of the #fourfreedomsmovement. These tools provide some short and long term solutions to problems that inhibit our democracy from building to full potential. Such solutions can further our ability to encourage every human being to live, contribute, and create to the fullest potential possible.

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure:

1. #libraries,

2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,

3. #UniversalHealthCare, and

4. good #publictransport

Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !

#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19 ShiraDest

May, 12020 HE

Quand t’es amené au cour pour rien avoir fait… When you are brought to court for no crime…

Click here for English…

“-Architecte Numérobis !

-Oh !
C’est pas la peine de me pousser !”

… ça s’appelle (aux états unis) un “Body Attachment” -ce qui permet de t’envoyer au tribunal sans avoir commis un délit. Et le problème avec ça c’est que il y à plein des procès contre le démunies mais pas contre les riches. Souvent, les jugements par défaut sont obtenus sur les dettes qui sont bien au-delà de leurs statuts de limitations, mais les accusés ne pouvaient pas se défendre par un manque de savoir ou un manque de capacité à se défendre, et donc perdu soit par défaut, malgré la poursuite étant techniquement illégal. En suite ça mène à encore plus des soucies d’argent et même en prison, sûr tout quand on à des diversions pour ce qui peuvent payer, mais des procès et aux prison pour ce qui n’ont pas les moyens de payer pour éviter les procès. Après ça, le système de justice criminel a son propre montage des dettes, encore pire.

Des solutions possibles: Qu’on fait pas amené au tribunal pour des dettes, qu’après un temps limite, il n’y aura pas des procès pour des dettes, et sûr tout pas de paiements pour éviter les procès légaux. Et comment se fait-t-on pour éviter tous ces maux ? On incite les gouvernements de donner un Revenu de Base a tout le monde, augmenté par des Monnaies Locales. Et ça, c’est fait par la coopération humain. Même la Reine ne le peut pas nier.


“-Architecte Numérobis !

-Hey!
You don’t need to push me!”

… that is called (in the United States) a “Body Attachment” -which lets you be taken into custody without having committed a crime. The problem with that is that there is a greatly disproportionate rate of civil justice system debt collection litigation against the poor, rather than against wealthier debtors. Often default judgments are obtained on debts which are well past their Statutes of Limitations, but defendants were unable, due to lack of knowledge or lack of ability (illness, fear, no time off from work, lack of transportation, etc…) to defend, and thus lost by default, despite the lawsuit being technically illegal to begin with. This can lead to further financial problems, and even to jail time for those who end up in the Criminal Justice system. Particularly unjust is Pre-Trial Diversion, also known as Pre-Trial Intervention. Those who can afford to pay for Pre-Trial Diversions get all charges dropped, while those who cannot afford to pay go to trial and even to prison. To make matters worse, the criminal justice system has its own structure of debts on top of civil debts.

Some possible solutions to this arbitrary abuse of our justice system are: abolishing “Body Attachment” in the case of civil debt judgments, prohibiting lawsuit filings on time-barred debts, and above all, eliminating payment for Pre-Trial Diversion/Intervention. But how can we potentially prevent all of these problems at their source? We could encourage governments to provide a universal Basic Income, even if only in a Local Currency, potentially backed by partial acceptance for payment of local taxes, as many municipalities have done. This provides a floor on poverty, a floor on desperation, and a chance at avoiding the civil debts that often presage criminal justice system involvement, in our uneven set of systems. Even the Queen could not deny that.

Read, Write, Dream, Walk !

ShiraDest

February 20th, 12018 HE

Las Monedas Sociales y las Cooperativas; Community Currencies and Cooperatives

Click here for English…

“¿Ahora somos soberanos o rendimos pleitesía?

Sí, al Banco Central Europeo.”

Este es un comienzo para mi nueva forma de escribir, lo que voy a seguir mostrando como la Politiqua Publica y los Artes van juntos para el bien de todos, sobre todo cuando apoyado por las Monedas Sociales para empezar cooperativas de trabajadores (como han hecho en Ithaca, en el estado de Nueva York).  Pero estoy pensando en la razones de mi apoyo por las monedas sociales, despues de diez años trabajando en el tema.

En lo que toca a la transparencia, la responsibilidad y la participaciôn en la toma de decisiones sobre la emisiôn del dinero, las monedas sociales ganan el concurso.  Pero, también se puede emitir el dinero de manera mas democratica, y eso pondra fin a esos problemas.  Sobre todo si emitîamos màs dinero en lugares donde se hace falta, las ciudades, por ejemplo.  Una politica de dar el dinero sin costo alguno a las pequeñas emprezas darà recursos para las communidades locales sin necesidad de emitir una moneda local.  Pero, acaso una moneda local la hace mas facil tener una Renta Basica Universal?  Por que me parece, dado lo que ya hemos dicho en respeto a las cooperativas, que el dinero nacional es igual o mejor que la moneda social. Sin embargo, viendo de nuevo mis ensayos de los discursos que he dado, me acuerdo del bien que hace Las Monedas Sociales para la gente en agregando al dinero national, asi que por favor, siguen emitiendo las Monedas Sociales!!

“Are we rulers or do we pay tribute now?

Yes, to the European Central Bank”

This is a template for my new format of posting, which will continue to show how Public Policy and the Arts work together for our common good, particularly when encouraged via complimentary local currencies used to incubate local workers cooperatives (as in Ithaca, NY).  But I am considering my reasons for having supported Local Currencies for the past ten years.

For transparency, accountability and participation in the decisions around issuing money, local currencies win, hands-down.  But, money can be issued more democratically, and that would end those particular problems.  Especially if we issued more money into areas where it was most needed, like inner cities.  A policy of grants for small businesses would provide resources for local communities without needing to issue a local currency.  But would a local currency make it easier to have a Universal Basic Income?  Apparently, with respect to cooperatives, national currencies are as good as or better than Local Currencies, given the above criteria are met. But, looking back at both of my talk hand-outs below, I remember the good for local people that local currencies can do as a complement to national money, and so please, continue issuing those Local Complementary Currencies!!

Read, Write, Dream, Walk !
ShiraDest

February 8th, 12018 HE

Historia de la Declaración Universal de Derechos Humanos

Tying in with Worker’s Cooperatives, via the Pact of Economic Rights:    I didn’t know that the Pact of International Rights is composed of the Declaration and the International Pact of Civil and Political Rights & of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, based on the English Bill of Rights of 1689 and the Founding Documents of the USA and the French 1st Republic.  Local Co-ops are facilitated by Local Currencies, particularly (as Georgina Mercedes Gomez found in her studies) when partial tax payments are accepted in local/community issued currencies: UNMaltEconTalkWhomeSpun  DCBM20AugustReehClass

Humanity’s Last Gasp? Let’s make it a good one for ALL of us: Local Currencies can help!

If Stephen Hawking is right, and this is Humanity’s last century, then let us “make such an end as to be worthy of remembrance. ”

Let us feed, clothe, care for and help release the creative potential of every human being on this earth until such time as we are no more. When others look back on this time, they can say of us, either that we died foolishly, mired in our own inhumanity, or that we died well, making the best life that could be had for each and every one of our fellow human beings.

We have the means easily at hand to allow a Basic Income as called for by Dr. King, Participatory Budgeting, Universal Health Care and Local Currencies, starting with multiple Time Banks and scrip currencies at every level.

Every person should have the help needed to write his or her own story, unlike in Orwell’s 1984 where writing was banned, and the Star Wars films, where writing is neglected, to the delight of a dictator who has that many fewer journalists/poets/novelists to round up and shoot or make disappear.

All we lack is the will.

In Service to Humanity,

Read, Write, Dream, Walk !
ShiraDest

October 24th, 12017 HE

(caption: Image from Walter Swan and his ‘One Book Bookstore’ in Bisbee, AZ -fr. Wikimedia Commons)

 

How the Arts/Media and Public Policy influence one another, and how Time Banks can help!

When I lived in Izmir, a Turkish TV spot shocked me: it showed an image of an elderly Black man, evidently homeless, sleeping in a stairwell directly beneath a sign that pointed up the stairs and read “White House” followed by the caption “Yorum Yok” or “No Comment.” This was about the same time that a major Turkish newspaper criticized the Erdoğan government over the death by hypothermia of an elderly homeless man up in Istanbul, sparking outrage among my Turkish coworkers. These two media pieces, taken together, led me to wonder about the links between the media and public policy.

When I was a kid, PBS School House Rock spots taught me things like the Preamble to the US Constitution, and how bills become law.  These and other PBS shows like Sesame Street demonstrated the concept of cooperation and taught a generation of kids ideas of fairness, social justice, and may have helped pave the way for later laws passed once we became adults on issues ranging from birth control and same-sex marriage to the Affordable Care Act.

In like manner, shows like El Ministerio del Tiempo, in Spain, provide social commentary and critique, while framing various often opposing views on social justice, cooperation, and the policy elements that can encourage those values. Similarly, the Turkish family show Sihirli Annem also showed a generation of kids in Turkey respect for women, social justice and cooperation. That generation is now part of the push-back against radicalism in Turkey today.

All of these shows are examples of how the Arts and Media can influence Public Policy, and vice-versa. Time Banks, when encouraged by local government and community-based organizations, can help in facilitating access to the arts through Open Access Cable, local arts organizations, and extending Time Bank credit to local artists through mural projects and other local culture projects, for the benefit of both local and extended communities.

Join or start one in your community now!

Read, Write, Dream, Walk !
ShiraDest

October 18th, 12017 HE

How Chinese Kung-Fu and Neighborliness Really Do Help Build Community

I’ve been thinking all morning about Kung Fu and Knowaste: two tools which are locally produced and can help build community.

Ski” is one of the founders of Knowaste, and a neighbor who helped me change a stuck lock on my Landlady’s front door: by taking the door off of the hinges.  This community cooperation task gave me the opportunity to practice my out-of-use spinning back-kick on the door’s stubborn hinges while we worked together to dismount the door.

After initially refusing any sort of payment, Ski finally gave in to my insistence on paying him something, accepting payment in a local currency, as we’d spent a solid 5 hours or more working on the door.  What local currency, you ask?  In this case, it was a gift card from a local cooperative, which is now being made to circulate as a local medium of exchange.  I described the benefits of this and other local currencies in my talk on Gandhi’s homespun and salt, last year at UNM.  That talk, like working with Ski the other day, showed how locally issued currencies can build both trust, and sustainable local economies.

Read, Write, Dream, Walk !
ShiraDest

September 24th, 12017 HE