No money? No problem! Pay with time instead. Pay with "time dollars" on everything. In a modern twist on the ancient practice of barter, people are joining time banks to help them get the things they need or want without having to spend cash. In a time bank members get credit for services they provide to other members, from cooking to housekeeping to car rides to home repair. For each hour of work, one time dollar is deposited into a member's account, good for services offered by other members.


Scores of time banks have been started in hard-hit communities around the nation - and thousands of devotees are helping each other survive tough financial times. Community Exchange, a 10-year-old time bank in Allentown, PA. with 500 members offers everything from electrical work to tai chi. Because of stubbornly high unemployment, newer banks with names like ‘Back On Track’ have joined Community Exchange in offering an alternative to cash. Time Banks USA, an advocacy group, says interest in time banking has surged: About 115 now operate nationwide, with 100 more in early stages of development. Membership fluctuates but is believed to total more than 15,000. People see time banking as a way to deal with the economic pressures they are experiencing.  In South Carolina, Back on Track Charleston was launched recently. It already has 80 members. In Maine, where paper mills and shoe manufacturers have closed, time dollars buy everything from guitar lessons to yard work. In California, they buy haircuts, tax help and aromatherapy. In Michigan, child care, plumbing and yoga.


Unlike bartering, transactions in time banking are not usually reciprocal. Instead, Jane baby-sits for John, John fixes Mary's leaky faucet, Mary drives Tom to the doctor's office, and so on, all of them earning and spending time dollars. Their labor is valued equally: One hour is always worth one time dollar. (Time dollars are not taxable, according to Time Banks USA)


People often join for economic reasons but wind up getting more out of it. Among the benefits: networking, getting to know neighbors, building a sense of community and keeping skills sharp. Part of it is very practical and another part that's ideological. People believe the best way to survive in a debt-based economic system and unpredictable world is to forge local ties to support local economies.


Time banks are labor intensive but worth the effort. People need to be a little more creative about using resources within a community that might not have been considered resources in the past. Time dollar members use time dollars to pay for services that would typically cost hundreds of dollars.

Views: 65

Comment by Terry Bain on March 26, 2012 at 5:09pm

You might be interested in the work of Josiah Warren at New Harmony, IN.

Comment by tony human on March 26, 2012 at 11:37pm


Comment by Amaterasu Solar on March 29, 2012 at 4:38am

Hoe about We eliminate the need for money in all its forms?  That would include:  barter, trade, work exchange, cash, electronic funds AND time dollars!  It can be done.

Because money (in all its forms) represents meaningful energy expended in an energy-scarce society, adding abundantly what money represents will eliminate the need to account for the energy.

Add robots to do all necessary work no One WANTS to do, and Humanity will be freed to follow Their bliss.  No One will HAVE to contribute, but many will choose to.

As for where that free energy might come from, I know of the technology of electrogravitics.  My father used to come home all excited by His work experimenting in electrogravitics and tell Me about the successful attempts to get discs to fly, objects to levitate, and achieving overunity ("free energy").  He said I would grow up in a world where cars would fly, cities would float, and We would have all the energy We could use.

He came home late one night and woke Me up to tell Me We couldn't talk about flying cars, floating cities, or free energy any more because, "They want it secret for now."  He never mentioned His work after that night.

So...  We need to raise awareness both that the energy is there for the taking, and...the awareness of a better world We can build.

I started a petition to do both those things:

Please spread the link far and wide!


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