How can we match the untapped social, economic, and cultural wealth of communities with the underutilized capacity of businesses to unmet the needs of individuals and families?
While money is our tool to match buyers and sellers, money is often the only missing ingredient for desired commerce to occur. Similarly, while people have needed skills for community development, money is often missing to hire those people. This “lack of money conundrum” hits economically disadvantaged communities the hardest and hinders the elimination of economic disparities. This incongruity is accepted as normal, and no amount of government spending seems to address it.
This is a transformative era in money history. Transactions once done by exchanging paper and coins are now done through credit cards and electronic commerce with Bits and Bytes moving from one ledger to another. Ledgers can easily account for other forms of capital that we have not tallied previously, representing currently underutilized business and community resources. Plus, there is no such thing as numbers flight from ledgers the way that we endure money flight from communities… and ledgers never crash or suffer inflation, recession, speculation or political controversy.
We propose engaging businesses and communities in a wealth-building prototype to test a new virtual currency termed “Ledger Dollars” to compensate people for offerings the community values: volunteering at schools and churches; raising children; tending to elderly parents; cleaning up vacant lots and so forth. Merchants seeking more customers would agree to accept payment for their goods and services partly in US dollars and partly in Ledger Dollars, selling their excess capacity at the marginal cost of production plus an incremental cash profit. Individuals and families enjoy an increase in purchasing power, businesses profit from selling more goods or services and the community gains a new economic development engine.
Here is how it works: Sofia volunteers in her children’s school and gets rewarded for her time with Ledger Dollars (L$) at L$20.00/hour. She finds “Ledger Dollar Deals” via her mobile app. She goes to a restaurant where a $20.00 meal might cost $12.00 and L$8.00 (comparable to 2-for-1 dining or student discounts). Alternately, a $20.00 weekend pass to a fitness club might cost $6.00 and L$14.00, because off hours at a fitness club has a much lower marginal cost than a restaurant meal.
There is a built-in voluntary sliding-scale, pricing feature in the Ledger Dollar prototype that allows more affluent participants to pay further up the US dollar side of each transaction, making it possible for economically disadvantaged community members to make purchases in fewer US dollars and more Ledger Dollars. For example: on a $20.00 meal priced at $12.00 and L$8.00, one person can choose to pay $18.00 and L$2.00, allowing a lower-income neighbor to pay $6.00 cash and L$14.00 for their meal. In both cases, the merchant gets the full $12.00 dollars that they contracted for, but unlike a traditional discount—where everyone pays the same low price—people pay what they feel is fair. It’s much like rounding up at the co-ops or paying it forward at the drive through. This feature is fully automated and managed by system protocol.
The Ledger Dollar prototype would be a 100% market-based with a people-helping-people approach that can raise up communities, while reducing the tax burden and controversy of government funded programs. It allows communities to decide what they value and what they want to reward with Ledger Dollars. It is entirely voluntary for individuals, merchants, and community organizations, offering a co-creative, wealth-building opportunity, based on community defined goals.
Joel Hodroff Thomas Fisher
1. Check out their new economics white paper at https://www.intechopen.com/chapters/75019 which introduces a for-profit way to repair persistent problems in free enterprise economics and commerce.
2. Also check out a 10 min video on healing our economy and transcending the left versus right polarization by Mr. Joel Hodroff here https://bit.ly/2SfsOG