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In Times of Crisis, Why Not Create Your Own Currency?

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In light of the Greek referendum and the “No” vote, Greece’s financial system is uncertain to say the least. 11 million people face, at best, a highly volatile period until the banking and financial system is consolidated and can establish a clear direction as to what currency and system of exchange will be used. While we wait and see whether the European Central Bank will be forthcoming with emergency aid to Greek banks, it is worth exploring alternatives to the current situation. In times of crisis such as this people start to reassess current models and mediums of exchange, as national currencies either become worthless or redundant. When a currency completely fails and people lose faith and trust in national currencies, alternative currencies come into their own.

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Alternative Currencies to the Rescue

Alternative currencies, also known as community or complimentary currencies, are mediums of exchange used as an alternative to national or multinational currency systems. They can be created by an individual, corporation, or organizations, and used either in conjunction with or as a substitute for local, state, or national currencies. Most complementary currencies are developed as local currencies and are limited to certain regions. Throughout history there have been numerous alternative currencies, globally today it is estimated there are at least 4,000 in use. (1)

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The idea behind local currencies is to facilitate trade, keeping the flow of money within local communities. This helps establish an internal trade barrier, as the currencies are useless outside the city or region of issue. Local currencies are not backed by national governments and are strictly intended for use in a specific geographic area. Bitcoin is an example of an alternative currency which allows owners to make transactions without going through a financial intermediary such as a bank. As well as no (or minimal) transaction fees, Bitcoins can be used to purchase goods and services anonymously through various merchandisers without being tied to any currency. Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition movement, suggests the current monetary system is dependent on constant economic growth: “Instability and loss of faith in national currencies could lead to economic paralysis, potential resources and labour going to waste simply because of a lack of reliable trading systems. Local currencies can provide solutions while stimulating local trade and re-localization efforts.” (2)

Berkshares – A Real World Example of an Alternative Currency

Dubbed a “great economic experiment” by The New York Times, BerkShares are a local currency for the Berkshire region of Massachusetts. Federal currency is exchanged for BerkShares at seven branch offices of four local banks and spent at more than 400 locally owned participating businesses. The circulation of BerkShares encourages money to remain within the region, building a greater affinity between the local business community and its citizens. BerkShares serve as a tool for community economic empowerment and development toward regional self-reliance. The currency distinguishes between the local businesses which accept the currency from those that do not, fostering stronger relationships between the responsible business community and the citizens of the region.

Anyone in the Berkshire Region may spend BerkShares or accept BerkShares for payment. BerkShares can be obtained at participating bank branches in exchange for U.S. dollars at a rate of 95 cents per BerkShare. These federal dollars remain on deposit at the BerkShares Exchange Banks in order to allow citizens to redeem them for dollars at the same exchange rate. For example, 95 dollars yield 100 BerkShares and 100 BerkShares yield 95 dollars. BerkShares can be spent at face value to pay for the goods or services offered by participating businesses—for example, 10 BerkShares can be used for a $10 purchase. Every business listed in the BerkShares Directory and displaying the “BerkShares Accepted Here” sign has committed to taking full or partial payment in BerkShares. (3) The circulation of BerkShares encourages money to remain within the region, building a greater affinity between the local business community and its citizens. BerkShares serve as a tool for community economic empowerment and development toward regional self-reliance.

Alternative Currencies Keep Money Circulating in Local Economies

Under the current high energy, long supply chain globalized model of economics, we see an outflow of funds from local communities to centralized hubs where wealth is concentrated. This centralization results in loss of circulation of funds within local communities and a further concentration of wealth to a few. Liquidity escapes from the local system by means of debt funding. When debt is repaid, often to larger centralized financial intermediaries controlled by shareholders, this creates a vacuum. Funds are removed from local economies and distributed to remote lenders who usually have little or no connection and involvement in the local community.

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Re-localization is often cited as a primary objective of local currencies. The Bristol Pound, launched in 2012, states their key objectives as supporting local independent traders (“keep our High Street diverse and distinct”), and boosting the local economy, since “spending Bristol Pounds stops money leaking from the area.” These are objectives shared by all local economies (and arguably by any sub-economy with an identifiable identity such as a developing country). (4)

Decentralization of Currency

Unlike traditional currencies issued by governments or central banks, the potential advantages of this kind of alternative currency is in its decentralization. The lack of faith in both central banks and financial institutions will help promote a gradual shift in the way we manage and store value, hence it is likely we will see more local and alternative currencies popping up.  There are currently thousands of local currencies in circulation around the world outside the national money supply, from Africa, through Asia to Oceania, to Europe to North America. Various communities have taken a stand and established successfully working local currencies. Other communities are experimenting with the idea to help exert greater control over their economies. Local currencies help build support, community, and resilience by fostering re-localization. While alternative currencies are not a cure all, they do enable local communities to continue to exchange and transact when national currencies fail.

Article compiled by Andrew Martin, editor of onenesspublishing  and author of Rethink…Your world, Your future.

RethinkcoverCE2Source: excerpts from Rethink…Your world, Your future.

(1) http://www.hillsdale.edu/document.doc?id=1987

(2) http://www.resilience.org/stories/2006-01-30/local-energy-local-currency-local-power

(3) http://www.berkshares.org/how_to_spend

(4) http://www.resilience.org/stories/2012-02-17/challenge-re-localisation

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Attention Readers: We’ve Moved Our Journalism To The Pulse

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A large portion of our journalism that you’re used to seeing on our Collective Evolution platform has now moved over to The Pulse. We will be publishing most of our news articles there, while Collective Evolution focuses more on personal development.

You can follow The Pulse on Telegram, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  

We’ve done this for a number of reasons, mainly due to the struggles we’ve had with regards to extreme censorship at Collective Evolution. We hope you join us over at The Pulse in our quest to keep doing what we do!

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Abductions & Car Vandalism – Startling Australian UFO Report Unclassified

Gautam Peddada

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An uncovered Australian report performed by their Department of Defence. “Scientific Intelligence — General — Unidentified Flying Objects” is trending again. Those who have done extensive research on UFOs will find the Australian version of disclosure to be far more intellectually honest than the American version. Albeit it was conducted decades ago.

According to ex-US intelligence official Luis Elizondo, the Defense Department’s Inspector General is presently conducting three reviews. The inquiries vary from the Department of Defense’s handling of UFO claims to Elizondo’s alleged whistleblower retribution. The open IG cases are crucial to Australia’s report because they establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that the US Department of Defense is being dishonest and shady when it comes to the UFO subject. For decades, Australia has been a loyal friend of the United States. Within Australia’s boundaries, they share a military installation (Pine Gap). When a close defense ally’s intelligence agencies determined that the US was not being intellectually honest in its approach, perhaps it is reasonable to conclude that there is more to the tale than the 144 incidents studied since 2004 by the UAPTF.

The CIA became alarmed at the overloading of military communications during the mass sightings of 1952 and considered the possibility that the USSR may take advantage of such a situation.

Australian UFO study.

According to the summary, OSI, acting through the Robertson-Panel, encouraged the USAF to use Project Blue Book to publicly “debunk” UFOs. In a tragic twist of fate, when Australian authorities sought explanations from the US Air Force, the allegation was debunked. The authors of the study were depicted as conspiratorial and even crazy by the US Air Force. Ross Coulthart reported this, and it may be heard in a recent Project Unity interview. Courthart is an award-winning investigative journalist who is drawn to forbidden subjects. He also stated on the same podcast that a senior US Navy official identified as Nat Kobitz told him that the US had been in the midst of reverse-engineering numerous non-human craft. According to his obituary, Mr. Kobitz was a former Director of Research and Development at Naval Sea Systems Command.

Continue reading the entire article at The Pulse. 

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PGA Tour To End COVID Testing For Both Vaccinated & Non-Vaccinated Players

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The PGA Tour has announced that it will stop testing players every week, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

  • Reflect On:

    Are PCR tests appropriate to identify infectious people? Should people who are healthy and not sick be tested at all, anywhere?

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The picture you see above is of John Rahm, a professional golfer on the PGA tour being carted off the golf course after tournament officials told him he had COVID. He was healthy and had no symptoms, yet was forced to withdraw from the tournament. He was told in front of the camera’s, and a big scene was made out of the event. You would think something like that, especially when you are a big time sports figure, would be done behind closed doors with some privacy.

Earlier on in June a spokesperson for the PGA Tour said that more than 50 percent of players on the PGA tour have been vaccinated. Although it seems that the majority of players on the tour will be fully vaccinated judging by this statement, it does leave a fairly large minority who won’t be, and that’s something we’re seeing across the globe as COVID vaccine hesitancy remains high for multiple reasons.

We are pleased to announce, after consultation with PGA Tour medical advisors, that due to the high rate of vaccination among all constituents on the PGA Tour, as well as other positively trending factors across the country, testing for COVID-19 will no longer be required as a condition of competition beginning with the 3M Open. – PGA tour Senior VP Tyler Dennis

The tour recently announced that the testing of players every week will stop starting in July for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. This was an unexpected announcement given the fact that, at least it seems in some countries, vaccinated individuals will enjoy previous rights and freedoms that everyone did before the pandemic. Travelling without need to quarantine and possibly in the future not having to be tested could be a few of those privileges. Others may include attending concerts, sporting events, or perhaps even keeping their job depending on whether or not their employer deems it to be mandatory, if that’s even legally possible. We will see what happens.

Luckily for professional golfers, regardless of their vaccination status they won’t have to worry about testing positive for COVID, especially if they’re not sick. This is the appropriate move by the PGA tour, who is represented by their players and it’s a move that the players themselves may have had a say in. It’s important because PCR tests are not designed nor are they appropriate for identifying infectious people. A number of scientists have been emphasizing this since the beginning of the pandemic. More recently, a letter to the editor published in the Journal of infection explain why more than half of al “positive” PCR tests are likely to have been people who are not infectious, otherwise known as “false positives.”

This is why the Swedish Public Health agency has a notice on their website explaining how and why polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are not useful for determining if someone is infected with COVID or if someone can transmit it to others, and it’s better to use someone who is actually showing symptoms as a judgement call of whether or not they could be infected or free from infection.

PCR tests using a high cycle threshold are extremely sensitive. An article published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that among positive PCR samples with a cycle count over 35, only 3 percent of the samples showed viral replication. This can be interpreted as, if someone tests positive via PCR when a Ct of 35 or higher is used, the probability that said person is actually infected is less than 3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97 percent. This begs the question, why has Manitoba, Canada, for example, using cycle thresholds of up to 45 to identify “positive” people?

When it comes to golf, the fact that spread occurring in an outdoor setting is highly unlikely could have been a factor, but it’s also important to mention that asymptomatic spread within one’s own household is also considerably rare. It really makes you wonder what’s going on here, doesn’t it?

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