The Concept: Haverstraw Notes
Local currency is a powerful, local economic development engine. The problem with national currency like the U.S. Dollar is that value is quite often removed from a local economy, as that value is transferred to national retailers (chains) or is spent elsewhere, in other communities. By creating a local currency system value is retained within the community, and additional value may be funneled into the local economy. The United States Constitution explicitly states that bank notes or paper currencies are legal, however, minting coin is prohibited.
How it Works
Village patrons can use the currency in the same way they use the U.S. Dollar; they can use the Haverstraw Notes as a replacement for, or in addition to, the Dollar. They might receive a discount for using the Notes at a local restaurant. The Haverstraw Note will grow in value over time, which is its interest rate. Essentially, a Bank of Haverstraw is created to administer the Haverstraw Notes.
One concept that can provide value to the Bank of Haverstraw, and allow the bank to pay an interest rate on its Notes, would be to invest the Bank’s holdings of U.S. Dollars into growing the fresh produce for the restaurant. The Bank would accept Notes as payment for produce, and can also sell the produce in exchange for U.S. Dollars in order to increase the value of its holdings. This means we are “pegging” the Haverstraw Note to both the value of produce and the U.S. Dollar. The Note’s value is literally backed by fresh produce. Cool huh? Remember the Gold Standard? This is the Produce Standard.
We can start this process by calling the Notes “Gift Certificates.” This allows the conversation to run more smoothly, and more people would feel comfortable adopting this concept. Have any questions?