Similar to how big media has lost it's absolute monopoly on the news, big money is losing it's absolute grip on the money system.

Consignments Wanted!

Lake Area Trader TimeBank

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What is this?

Well, it’s name is really a misnomer, or inaccurate name. It’s not a bank, and it can’t save up time. (Maybe I should change the name and title?)

It’s not a barter system, either, although many would call it that. Barter is the direct trading of something for something else; a done deal. This system records each half of a “swap” separately, just like money does, a half done deal. When we work for money then spend the money for anything we want we are using an accounting system to keep track of the values exchanged, and splitting the barter transaction into two halves – the sell and the buy halves of a barter deal. That is what this thing does, too.

Here is how it works: You, I, and others have accounts in the system with which we record transactions. If you buy something from another account holder your balance goes down and theirs goes up by the amount of the transaction. Besides a couple of rules, that’s it. I’m sure that leaves a question for most readers: Where does the first “money” come from? Good question, and it is answered by the “rules”.

The Rules: Each “member” is assigned a credit line, or minimum balance, based upon their current “willing and able” offers in the marketplace, their sales history (reputation) in the marketplace, and the general demand for their offers by the marketplace. An example or two? If you are willing and able to provide 40 loaves of excellent bread each day, and people want it, your credit line is going to end up larger than the pedicurist who will only do one set of toes per day, and and poorly at that.

The money in the system comes from the credit lines the various account holders have, particularly as they get spent into circulation. The common name for systems like this is “Mutual Credit Clearing”. It’s the same system by which official money is created except no bank is acting as middleman and charging interest for the issuance of your money, and you can’t legally force anyone to accept it unless they are a member with a negative balance. (It does not have “legal tender” status.) This is “free choice” money instead.

Since we are measuring the values in time as opposed to ounces of gold or dollars, it might be good to establish some connection to the “known world” so we roughly value each hour of basic human labor at 12 dollars and that makes each five minutes worth about 1 dollar, so each minute is roughly equivalent to 20 cents. Each trader can apply any value he/she likes, but this is the baseline most will gravitate to early on.