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Local currencies have been introduced in thousands of communities around the world in response to the economic crisis because they offer an alternative to money as a way of meeting important human needs. Community leaders can mobilize assets using complementary currencies to address social and economic issues including health care, education, elder care, environmental problems, housing, and food security.
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.
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