“Don’t worry, it’s a rental.” That’s what we say when we drive that Hertz car smack through a pot hole. The difference between how people keep up rented appartments and owned homes is a standard trope in our culture. We understand that people feel and behave differently about things that they own.
The same must be true for currency. If we create our own currency, instead of rent it from a unknown source, we will treat it differently. In fact, we will probably do a lot of things differently, just because it’s ours and we own it. Probably most importantly, we can begin to thing about the “value” of the currency in a different way. We clearly understand that the value of a home is not encoded simply in the number of dollars we’ll get from it when we sell it. It’s true value is in the home’s utility to us, here and now. Oddly, the same is true of a currency. Selling a currency on an exchange market is like selling a house. It shows one kind of value that it has; it’s value to people who are comparing the overal value of two separate currencies (just like someone about to by a house may be comparing the overall “value” of two houses). But a currency, like a house, has the utility value of those who use it, which is of substantially different form than its exchange value.
There are other things that might be different if we own our currency instead of rent it. Our relationship with debt might be different. For one thing, we would come to a deeper understanding of the connection between debt and money, and thereby be more healthy about it. The monetary experience is by its fundamental nature is the combination of debt and credit. The money I hold in my pocket is positive side of the ledger that elsewhere is written down as a negative number: a.k.a debt. It is not possible to have money without debt. If we owned our own money, the question of what kind and what amount of debt we want to have would become much more crucial to answer well and wisely.
Of course, there would also be risks. It’s risky to own a house. If it burns down, you lost it, not the land-lord.
What other kinds of difference will there be when we become equity stakeholders in our currency system?
[tags]currency, equity, debt, ownership, community currency, money, metaphor[/tags]