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Ithaca, NY Has Its Own Currency???

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Re: Ithaca, NY Has Its Own Currency???

Postby Amazinz » Sat May 09, 2009 6:25 pm

Yeah and I bet that they aren't trying to circumvent the tax system either.
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Re: Ithaca, NY Has Its Own Currency???

Postby thedude » Sat May 09, 2009 9:14 pm

thedude wrote:
Amazinz wrote:Not sure I understand? Businesses opt in.


But if a business does not want to opt in (like a big box retailer) and other competing businesses due that business could potentially lose revenue and therefore suffer an injury and be able to sue.

One of the predominant reasons for creating the Constitution was to standardize currency and promote commerce that is why those clauses were put into the Constitution. If you look at the intent of the framers it was quite clear what they were doing, outlawing any currency that wasn't the US Dollar.

The only defense the town can try to use is that currency they are passing is not a coin. But that was not the intent of the framers, who did not consider the possibility that the US would use anything but a coin as currency.



Actually i did a little research on this subject. There are several law review articles that back up my interpretation of the Constitution. However, I should note it appears that it is perfectly constitutional for private citizens to make their own paper money.
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Re: Ithaca, NY Has Its Own Currency???

Postby knapplc » Sat May 09, 2009 10:35 pm

This is not uncommon at all. In fact, from 1999-2001, I worked for dotcom startup in San Francisco that was doing exactly this. Alternative economies are very much NOT unconstitutional, as long as they provide the government with one very important thing - taxes. The IRS requires you to declare your trade income, and as long as you do, it's all legit.

US currency is essentially a barter system, and it functions very similarly to the barter system we're talking about here. Dollar bills are essentially worthless - they're just paper. We all collectively agree that $1 is worth something, and attach a value to it. Essentially this is what they're doing with Ithaca Hours.

The panel of the comic where they talk about interest is a huge key to why people barter today. Say you own a restaurant and your water line breaks and you need new carpet, NOW. You have zero cash, and you don't want to pay interest on a quickie loan to get the carpet. So you go to someone in your barter system, they give you carpet, and in exchange you give out meals to people in the system. There's no interest, and you still get your carpet.

Barter will never replace cash, but there's a reason barter still exists today. It has its uses, as a secondary economy to the standard economy we all know.
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