This is the continuation and conclusion of my notes from the “Intentional Community Economics” presentation by Gwendolyn Hallsmith, Headwaters Ecovillage in rural Vermont.
A bank or credit union is not the only option for the loan you’ll need to make a land purchase and start community development. For example, an individual or ad hoc investment group could employ one or more of the following.
Innovative Financial Strategies
New construction is expensive! Avoid this when you can.
JOBS Act of 2012
(Jumpstart Our Business Startups)
90% of all new jobs created in the U.S. are from small businesses.
Always, you need a good business plan that allows some return on investment.
In the future, we will have an ecosystem of currencies, including things like
Monetary currency such as dollars are artificially scarce and debt-based. This does not take into account many things of value.
Universal Basic Income (UBI)
A Universal Basic Income (at a basic level) + Universal Health Care would much better allow people to do fulfilling work and work that provides greater benefits to society.
Cryptocurrencies are still tied to the money system and therefore not truly complementary.
Tokenomics: The Future of Money?
There are many problems with cryptocurrencies. For one, they are not disconnected from the existing monetary system with all its scarcity and destruction. All are private and not public, which is also a drawback.
However, cryptocurrencies do point the way towards a new and better monetary system.
Cryptocurrency is essentially a distributed ledger system. Right now, our banks are our centralized ledger system. With cryptocurrency, everybody has the ledger. This eliminates the need for banks to be the central ledger for all monetary exchanges.
Public banking is not an easy thing to do, but when it works it’s great.
In Gwendolyn’s ecovillage in rural Vermont, there are more Europeans than Americans. The idea of living “in community” is foreign to most Americans.
The cooperative idea is more ingrained in Europe than it is here in the U.S.
We have a more individualistic, competitive culture here.
Using different kinds of money for different kinds of purchases (instead of one kind for everything) is a paradigm change.
Alternative currencies: sufficient instead of scarce
We shouldn’t have to worry about “will we have enough?” down the road.
No interest on debt.
There are successful “high end” intentional communities. This is an option, but many would not be able to afford to live there.