Modern Monetary Theory and Policy
We attended a presentation that explored and debated monetary policy. It included noted economic thinkers from around the world representing a myriad of organizations developing alternative economic models. One such organization is The Kettle Pond Institute, a part of the American Monetary Institute, which focuses on researching economic issues and presenting their findings in language understandable to everyone, not just economists. This organization, and others, envisions economic alternatives that go beyond either capitalism or socialism. Commonomics USA, for example looks to a restored Commons as a basis for economic justice and sustainability.
If you are interested in the topic of money and monetary policy, or just want to learn more about how banking and the money system actually works, to learn about alternatives, look into these additional worthwhile resources as well: The Modern Money Network, New Economic Perspectives, and The Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity
Gar Alperovitz spoke at the Opening Plenary about the movement away from the existing political and Capitalist economic systems. He reflected on the fact that more people are creating alternatives to Capitalism than he has seen before. This is along the lines that we at The Center have said and have been advocating for: Implement The Alternative. An excellent example of an alternative is the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative, in Cleveland, Ohio. We would add Cooperation Jackson as another model of sustainable and just economic development.
The Reality of Banks and The Banking System
The Convention also held several workshops and discussion session around the prospect of public banking. This is an issue that we at The Center is deeply interested in and have been following progress on it for several years. We hope to be partnering with those interested in developing public banks in cities across the country. Marc Armstrong talked about the value of public banks, with the Bank of North Dakota as the prime example. In fact, BND is the only state-own bank in the United States at this time. BND was established in 1919 and is still going strong today. It serves the people of North Dakota with a wide range of banking services. All state funds are deposited in BND and profits are used for loans and other benefits to the state of North Dakota.
Victoria Grant explains how the banking system in Canada works, why it is impoverishing Canada, and how it could be fixed. The U.S. banking system works largely the exact same way and her “solution” would work here as well, eliminating government debt.
Crypto-currencies and The Blockchain
Don’t know very much about this topic? Join the club! Most of us have at least heard of Bitcoin, but there are several more as well, such as Ethereum, Faircoin, and others. Using crypto-currency and the Blockchain, one can begin to develop economic exchange activity completely outside the exploitative Capitalist system. Exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken allow people to buy and sell crypto-currencies. These technologies allow for the creation of businesses without the need for “investors” or “venture capitalists”. In effect, one is ablet to “create an UBER without the UBER”; a network, for example, of taxi drivers who run their own network, creating value for customers and income for themselves. In fact, an entirely new type of relationship between people and “nations” is being created in the virtual world, where borders are expanded and people control their own lives. The Blockchain has many uses in addition to managing financial transactions. There are now law firms specializing in Blockchain transactions. Using the Blockchain, people can establish worker-owned coops, for example where everything is coded into the Blockchain, even how profits are to be distributed to the coop owners. By the transformation of work, business ownership models, the nature of exchange, and the currencies used, the entire nature of economics and economic activity is being revised into a more cooperative, global and local system that can help build the sustainable and just society we all want and deserve.