Here are the key questions to ask of any money system. It is helpful to clarify the answers before a group moves on to discuss the pros, cons, and specifics.
- What community will use this money?
- Who will decide on the money system?
- How will agreement be reached?
These are questions answered by types of governance. It is also part of the answer to the question of how money will be authenticated and made trustworthy.
What kind of money system?
- What will be the money token?
- How will the money be authenticated and made trustworthy?
- Will the money be a fixed or elastic measure and store of value?
- Will the system be designed for a steadily decreasing, steadily increasing, or stable money value?
- Will the money be created as an IOU (debt/credit) or as equity?
These questions are answered by types of money systems.
WHO creates new money?
This is the critical question, because whoever has the power to create and destroy money will ultimately rule, no matter what kind of government is in place by law.
HOW will new money enter the economy? – be withdrawn?
- Will new money be given, spent, lent, or invested into the economy?
- How will money be withdrawn?
Ideas about wealth and power
Last, but not least, as we look at different kinds of money systems, please think about the underlying assumptions about wealth and power. What does a particular money system choice tell us about the underlying ideas about wealth and power?
What is wealth?
- In a particular system, what is considered wealth?
- Is wealth material, tangible, real – land, food, precious metals, property?
- Is wealth intangible and about the quality of life?
- A combination? How so?
- Should wealth be shared? How?
Who should have power?
- Should power be hierarchical, distributed, some of each? How?
- Should power be a dominator model (some have power over others)?
- Or, should power be a partnership model (shared)? – equal or unequal partnership?
Let’s look at a few of these important questions in a little more depth.