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I have been looking into the idea of setting up a Local Currency (LC) for the Market of Values.
During the CP meeting 13/10/14 we thought it would be an interesting idea to have a LC which could be used to purchase goods and services whilst in the Market. We need to decide whether the LC becomes a fundamental part of the Market experience such that it is used in the majority of transactions or is a side issue?
An idea was raised to engage Participants (Ps) with other aspects of the Market such as Auctions and Casino style activities whereby the Ps could increase or decrease their LC wealth. However in order to encourage Ps to engage with these activities there would need to be some level of desire or jeopardy in relation to what they could then purchase with the LC.
Here are my thoughts at the moment, it has started to develop into a form of social experiment or game. And as such we could then interview the Ps about their experiences as part of the documentation for the Market.
P's enter the market and are given a set amount of LC.
They will be informed that they can exchange this for goods and services within the Market and can trade and engage in activities to add their 'purchasing power'.
Different services will have different values/prices and these may vary during the day(s). Some high value goods/services may be unattainable with the initial allocation of LC.
Participants will have the option to trade, speculate, gamble, join cooperatives and combine funds with associates to acquire the higher value goods/services.(e.g. they could combine resources to send one person to a talk who then receives the information and records it to pass on free to the associates or maybe sells it on. Will the talks etc. be of sufficient value to encourage these activities?
It might be interesting to put a twist on it with a number of additional scenarios:
1-Participants on entry to the Market will be randomly allocated a social status. This social status determines how much LC they start with. i.e. on entry to the market they are immediately confronted with a set of values according to accepted social norms which will continue to effect them during their participation in the Market.
1A - A Simplistic social class Upper, Middle, Working (Lower) or other socio-economic groupings.
Additionally when involved in working scenarios each class would receive a different variable rate for their work. E.g. middle class work accrues more LC than Lower class work etc.
1B – A variation on the 1% and 99% split where every 10th person is allocated as a member of the 1% they would receive much higher amount of LC and also receive preferential and deferential treatment. (i.e. could receive interest for their wealth without having to work).
1C - Another additional variable which could apply to all of above is to have a Celebrity class (these Ps could wear a medallion or other distinguishing accessory stating something like 'famous for being famous') and receive preferential and deferential treatment by the Market facilitators and Ps and be paid for turning up to events.
It may be possible for participants to move up or down the social-economic groups depending on how their purchasing power fluctuates.
2 – Because this is a Market of Values we could charge Ps VAT (with 1%ers and Celebrities paying no VAT)
Duration of the Market and Time - Becuase Ps can come and go into the market freely this is a key issue. How long will the average P attend for? Will they come and go? What is the enticement to remain and return? e.g. Students will have lectures and other activities to attend during the day etc.
For the LC to have any effect Ps will need time to trade/earn/speculate etc. Will Ps be sufficiently interested to engage in this way?
The longer the Market exists for the more likely Ps would have time to return.
And/or there could be a phased approach whereby the desirable activities (to be purchased with the LC) would occur later in the day allowing Ps to generate more of the LC.
Activities for adjusting 'purchasing power'
Work – By taking part in certain activities Ps could earn/accrue more LC.
What can we expect Ps to do, within the limitations of the Market, that are free and require only labour/time?
Some thoughts: Help set up stalls – help deconstruct and clear up Listen to peoples problems (recordings of ) or pay to have someone listen to yours (recordings of ) Give reassurance – confidence – encouragement Hand shakes, pat on back Filling in questionnaires Focus groups / interviews research type Life model for drawing Intellectual property– we will buy your ideas (if you have some thing you want to know / find out Information exchange Drawings Holding banners / sandwich boards Making banners / posters / drawings etc. Performance Tea and sympathy Celebrities' assistants
Trade / Purchasing/ Speculation
Auction – Goods and services of perceived value to be auctioned
Gambling – Casino type activities, Roulette, Cards, or Betting shop
Debt/Loans – a LC bank could loan Ps LC
Design of the Currency
Denominations - Large denominations to give feeling of disconnect with reality.
Materials – Printed paper or cloth?
Construction/Production – needs to be easy to produce but not easily replicated.
Quantities – need to determine how much - likely to need a lot!
The design could be a statement in itself e.g. Artist Filip Markiewicz Created the Lillian Bettencourt bank note 'Banque de Tolerance' Figures on the notes could be Joseph Stiglitz, Thomas Piketty, John Maynard Keynes?
Or from the Dollar bill 'In God we trust' becomes 'In markets we trust' with figure of Adam Smith or Milton Friedman etc.
Some example LCs
File:Lillian Bettencourt Currecypng.png
V&A Disobedient_Objects1.png V&A Disobedient_Objects_2.png Bristol_Pound.png Lewes Pound.png
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