Annual Meeting of the Adirondack Cooperative Economy
Last night (January 16) members of ACE met to review last year’s activities and discuss proposals for 2014.
Among the biggest accomplishments of ACE is the involvement of its Warrensbu…rg members in the town’s Economic Development Committee which is presently analyzing its townwide economic survey, the Business Alliance with its recent Buy Local Saturday and the reforming of the Chamber of Commerce board.
The membership has doubled in size over the past year, bringing in many businesses rather than only individuals. The currency in circulation has increased from 1000 to 4000 ADK Bucks.
However, Anna Busser (founder of ACE) after many discussions with participating businesses and an ACE survey in December, feels the need to make some adjustments in the system to make it easier to use.
1. Participating businesses need to be able to accept and spend ADK Bucks between each other without limitations.
2. In the present financial situation where people live from paycheck to paycheck without any surplus, businesses that collect more Bucks than they can easily spend need to be able to redeem their surplus Bucks for US$, for a redemption fee.
3. Potential customers that are willing to bring ADK Bucks into the system (convert $ to Bucks) need a motivation factor (a discount) which could be created by offering them (for instance) 105 ADK Bucks for $100.
However, this system proposed above, as practiced by the “Berkshares” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bP0iSnygyhU
) and the German “Chiemgauer” is not an ultimate solution as it does not address the issue of “scarcity” It really only addresses the issue and financial benefits of “buying local”
A much more radical solution as practiced by the Mountain Hours of Colorado (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wklaW4LwotM
) is ultimately necessary. Another future solution could be an online mutual credit system such as Tom Greco proposed in his book “The End of Money and the Future of Civilization”
However, in this climate of survival fear for businesses, a “safe” start needs to be made. That is why emphasis, at present, has to be placed on giving the ADK Bucks “credibility” We ended the meeting with this thought.
A lot more education needs to happen before we can take larger steps.