ARTICLES & Conference Papers

Transforming Money: From Debt to Empowerment

by Susmita Barua 3/31/05

ABSTRACT: This paper discusses some ideas about transforming money from its current unconscious state that produces increasing poverty, inequality and debt burden on people to a state where money becomes a conscious debtfree and taxfree medium that allows free flow of all human labor and creative energy from community level upwards to global level.

This non-dual non-competitive publicly adopted decentralized form of trust money, as opposed to centralized inaccessible debt-money would foster

  • unprecedented cooperation and true empowerment of all individual and communities irrespective of economic and cultural differences,
  • peaceful participatory democracy
  • sustainable use of both the natural resources and indigenous human capital.

The value of money will be secured democratically by the natural and human capital and collective productive capacities of the people in the community, region or nation. The perennial problem of distribution and allocation of basic goods and services can be eliminated with adoption of Universal Basic Income (UBI) for all.

Changing perception of money from a "store of value" to only a "measure of value" in the same way a coupon, ticket or accounting entry is going to minimize or eliminate all volatility arising out of disparity in principal issued and interest accrued, speculative activity using money (perceived as a store of value) as a commodity, over-building of excess capacity, pollution and abuse of labor and resources due to profit maximization agenda of corporations. Also transforming the perception of money from a "medium of exchange" to energy like "medium of flow" is going to solve the problem of fair allocation of money for both the consumers and producers.

Under such system human energy and free enterprise will increasingly self-organize itself into all manner of creative, cooperative and human-scale enterprises and all businesses would be service oriented rather than profit oriented. Job creation by corporations and government bureaucracy is a necessity only for long term debt servicing and tax-based welfare system.

With true economic empowerment of the bottom half of world's population, many secondary social benefits including substantial reduction in population growth, ecological destruction, and gender-race based inequalities are bound to follow.

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