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Money: Understanding and Creating Alternatives to Legal Tender Paperback – November 1, 2001
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From the Publisher
ARGENTINA DEFAULTS; ISSUES NEW CURRENCY!
NYC FACES SEVERE ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF TERRORIST ATTACKS!
What's in the news today has everything to do with MONEY, from issuance of new currencies, to threats of deflation and spiraling unemployment, to measures for insuring a community's economic security. Tom Greco's new book MONEY: Understanding and Creating Alternatives to Legal Tender covers all this and more.
Think of it as a trade: an exchange in idea currency much like you trade money for food and other life essentials. Because once you've read MONEY, you'll never think the same about what money is, what money does, how it is created, whom it benefits, and how the creation of parallel currencies outside of money as legal tender has the potential to transform community economic life. In effect you'll have traded ignorance for knowledge, an exchange I think you'll agree, is highly in your favor.
Vicki Robin, co-author of the best-selling YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE and writer of the book's Foreword, gives us the metaphor we need: Dorothy's little dog Toto pulling back the curtain to reveal the "wizard" for what he really is, a fraud and a deception. So it is with money. We are dazzled by the glittering Oz of money, banking, and finance, thinking it magical and beyond our comprehension. But wait a minute, like the little man at the controls trying desperately to pull the curtain closed, the financial cognoscenti are happy to keep us uninformed. Money is actually nothing more than a human idea, an agreement about how goods and services are exchanged.
And, guess what? The rules of the money game are made to favor particular groups. They're set and controlled by the banks, (not the government, not the people) where 95% of all money is created as interest-bearing debt. This inherently unstable system (the money supply is always lagging behind the growing amount of debt) creates and fuels the cancerous growth that now threatens to overwhelm the life support systems of the planet. Imagine playing a game of Monopoly in which all money must be borrowed at interest from the bank - who do you think would win?
But, there's hope. "The forgotten history of money is about how people can create their own." Greco shows us how the creation of parallel currency and credit systems can work to sustain and protect communities and their local economies, reinforcing the values of social justice, self-reliance, economic equity, and personal freedom. These alternative money systems have a long history, from depression-era scrip, to the Swiss WIR business group trading system (17% of Swiss businesses and 2.5 billion Swiss Franks in annual trading), to the newer LETS (local employment and trading) systems, Toronto Dollars, YES (youth employment scrip), e-currency models, and more. The growth of alternative currency systems world-wide has been astonishing, from less than 100 in 1990 to over 2000 today.
And in Argentina, currently perched on a mountain of debt and already in default, the RGT (Global Trading Network) is a social money movement that sustains a half a million families and offers insulation and protection from the adverse effects of economic globalization. Perhaps New York City should look to this model as it struggles to counter the severe economic effects of the Trade Center attacks.
Need more reasons to read MONEY? Just keep reading the headline news.
From the Author
Money, to most people is a mystery. This is not surprising given the shallowness with which the subject is treated by the mass media, and the seemingly intentional mystification of the subject by bankers, economists, and politicians. Even within academia there is an amazing degree of confusion of concepts and misunderstanding of terms, and little attention to critical analysis.
The rise of the community currency movement in recent years has provided opportunity to address these issues, providing experiential as well as conceptual learning for a great many people. But there still remains a massive job of education to be done if the subjects of money, banking, and finance are to be generally understood and people are to have the tools they need to bring about their own economic liberation. The intention of my work is to reduce these topics to their simple essence and make them accessible to all.
My purpose in writing this book is threefold:
First, to begin to demystify the subjects of money, banking, and finance so that the ordinary person can understand their workings and the profound effects they have on his or her everyday life and well-being;
Second, to strengthen the on-going monetary reform movement by sharing what I have learned over more than two decades about monetary theory and history;
Third, to inform and help guide the contemporary wave of development of community currencies and private exchange systems.
Top Customer Reviews
Tom Greco has been doing some of that work for you, with integrity, passion and enormous dedication.
The time has come to shed some light on the mysterious workings of our money. Read why it is a losing game for most people, of why it is our master instead of our servant. More important still: what you can do to change it for yourself and for your own community.
with technologies creating enough to feed the world, why do we keep getting deeper in debt? It doesn't take a genius to figure there's somethng rotten in Washington,DC.
But it's not the politicians(okay, maybe indirectly), It's not political platforms, and we're not going to change it with term limits or creating new political parties. And we're not going to change it by voting.
There's one way to bring back freedom in the USA and the world, and that's by creating an economic system that eliminates the present system based on debt and greed.
I'm not talking communism. I'm not talking socialism or Marxism or any ism. I'm talking about every citizen taking control of his own economic and social values by creating alternative currencies.
I met Tom Greco several years ago when I was editor of an economics discussion group. I helped him promote his first insightful book on money and debt, and I was impressed by Tom's quiet integrity and deep grasp of the monetary system. This latest book gives the nuts and bolts of economics and lays bare the whole deception set up by our Federal Reserve System. It is written simply and clearly so that you don't need a degree in economics to understand it. I don't have any special education in economics, but after an education from
people like Tom Greco, I was able to hold my own in any economics discussion and show the whole deceitful process for what it is.
You want to know all about economics without paying for an economics degree? Get Tom's book and start changing the world.
MONEY is the beginning of a long road we have ahead of us. A few aspects, especially at the end, might still be too close to our present paradigm about economy, but this should change as more people around the world experience different systems of Alternatives to Legal Tender and thus see their very lives changed for the better. MONEY is only one step -but perhaps the first step most of us need- in the path towards a more humane future.
Everybody knows, or at least has a lurking suspicion, that there is an inherent unfairness in the ways that money and the financial edifices built upon its manipulation affect the well-being of local economies. The decimation of locally owned producers and regional industries is documented daily in newspapers -- it hardly seems to be news anymore. Many books have been written about the predatory and extractive nature of a global financial system dominated by huge investor syndicates, but very few books present real, doable strategies by which communities can extricate themselves from the "race to the bottom" that global competitive pressure forces on them.
Thomas Greco goes right to the root of the dilemma -- communities suffer from a chronic, artificially enforced scarcity of cash, national currency, and that scarcity suppresses the local exchange of goods and services that is the foundation of a thriving local economy. He says, in effect, that if the existing financial system hampers your community's ability to create wealth, then you and your community must build your own financial system.
Mr. Greco draws on his thirty years of study of local economics to create a blueprint (actually, bluprints) of how this local financial system can be implemented. He explains the true nature of money in terms that anybody can understand, and once understood, how that true nature can serve to build a wealth in the community that is impervious to the financial spins and spasms of remote global masters of money.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Thanks to this book I grasp the fundamentals of money: its essence, its true origin, its issuance, its different forms,its effects at social, economic and environmental levels,... Read morePublished 28 days ago by john willy
Thomas Greco does it again by pulling the curtain back on what makes money *money* while exploring monetary alternatives. Read morePublished 23 months ago by N. D. Bradley
I learned so much reading this book. The only reason I didn't give it a 5 star is because the writing style was old-fashioned a bit. Read morePublished on November 17, 2012 by Aria
Reading this book will give you a paradigm shift. I've read many economics books and have a reasonably good understanding of how the monetary world operates, but the first few... Read morePublished on September 12, 2009 by .999fine
Greco's book is astonishing in what it conveys about the truth and reality of our financial and economic system compared to the illusions we have been consistently led to believe... Read morePublished on March 4, 2009 by Elaine Cornick
The topic of this book is interesting. I read about half of the book in one day but then slogged through the remainder before I started skimming to the end. Read morePublished on December 29, 2008 by RayL
This is the most comprehensive book I've found on the subject of alternative or complementary currencies. Read morePublished on December 12, 2007 by Alexander C. Zorach
Contrary to the enthusiastic reviews, I have to forewarn possible purchasers of this book. It is a mix good information and superficial, misleading, and wrong information which... Read morePublished on September 4, 2005 by D. T. Anderson