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Rethinking Money: How New Currencies Turn Scarcity Into Prosperity (BK Currents)by Bernard Lietaer
Synopses & Reviews
There is a way—in fact, thousands of ways—to stop the seemingly inevitable slide toward global self-destruction. Solutions are already in place throughout the world where terrible problems once existed. The changes came about not through the redistribution of wealth, increased taxation, enlightened corporate self-interest, or government handouts but by people simply rethinking the concept of money and acting from this new perspective. With that restructuring, everything changes.
Bernard Lietaer and Jacqui Dunne explain the origins of our current monetary system—built on bank debt and based on scarcity—and how its inherent limitations drive our ongoing social, economic, and ecological debacles. They then take readers on a fascinating expedition that chronicles stories of ordinary people and their communities solving critical issues that affect us all by using new money systems in tandem with conventional money. These accounts are just the tip of the iceberg—over 4,000 cooperative currencies are now in circulation.
Rethinking Money demonstrates that new currencies can not only resolve moneys inadequacies but also energize new behaviors that can deliver the healthier world we fervently desire. For instance, currencies have been designed to strengthen local economies, create work, beautify a city, and provide health care.
The book provides remedies for challenges faced by governments, businesses, nonprofits, local communities, and even banks. It speaks clearly about a complex subject and promises to strike a deep chord with readers eager to find meaningful solutions to the problems that threaten our security, our prosperity, and our future.
Many of the world’s economic ills-- short-termism, compulsory growth pressure, cyclical recessions, unrelenting concentration of wealth, and erosion of social capital --can be traced to our competitive money system, in which there is built-in economic scarcity and never enough money for people to pay off their debts.
We need an economic system that is both cooperative and competitive, with each balancing and complimenting the other. Lietaer and Dunne tell how such a balanced system can be created and, in fact, how it is already being built in many places around the world. Individual citizens, entrepreneurs, businesses, communities, and governments are creating new cooperative money systems that link unused resources with unmet needs. Over the past 30 years there has been a tremendous growth of cooperative currencies— from fewer than 100 in 1980 to over 4,000 today. But we need many more of them spread more consistently all over the globe. We also need more large-scale cooperative currencies. The emergent cooperative currency movement needs to grow up. Dodging the dogma of both left or right Rethinking Money provides the roadmap for this to happen.
As the United States struggles and the economies of Europe stagger, we fail to see a way out of this agonizing cycle of repeated financial meltdowns. In fact, there are thousands of ways to solve not only our recurring fiscal crises but our ongoing social and ecological debacles as well. Solutions are already in place where terrible problems once existed. The changes came about not through increased conventional taxation, enlightened self-interest, or government programs but by people simply rethinking the concept of money. With this restructuring, everything changes.
In this visionary book, Bernard Lietaer and Jacqui Dunne explore the origins of our current monetary system—built on bank debt and scarcity—revealing the surprising and sometimes shocking ways its unconscious limitations give rise to so many serious problems. But there is hope. The authors present stories of ordinary people and their communities using new money, working in cooperation with national currencies, to strengthen local economies, create work, beautify cities, and provide education—and so much more is possible. These real-world examples are just the tip of the iceberg—over 4,000 cooperative currencies are already in existence.
The book provides remedies for challenges faced by governments, businesses, nonprofits, local communities, and even banks. It demystifies a complex and critically important topic and will strike a deep chord with readers eager to find innovative, meaningful solutions that will do far more than restore prosperity—it will provide the framework for an era of sustainable abundance.
About the Author
Bernard Lietaer lives in Brussels, Belgium.
Jacqui Dunne lives in Denver, CO.
Table of Contents
PART ONE - SCARCITY
1: The Failure of Money – The Competitive Society
2: Money Matters
3: A Fate Worse than Debt: Interest’s Hidden Consequences
4: Our Available Future: The Cooperative Society
5: The Flying Fish: A New Perspective on Money
6: The Future Has Arrived But Isn’t Evenly Distriubuted….Yet!
PART TWO - PROSPERITY
7: Strategies for Banking Institutions
8: Strategies for Business and Entrepreneurship
9: A Strategy For Multinational Corporations
10: Strategies for NGOs
11: Strategies for Governments
PART THREE – RETHINKING MONEY
12: An Expensive Tuition
13: An Ancient Future: Governance and Us, The Citizens
14: Rethinking Money!
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