Can Complementary Currencies be used to bootstrap worker-owend businesses?

Could a municipality/city council impose a tax that required payment in the form of a "digital muni" currency, and then use that generated demand for the "muni" to fund worker-owned businesses? Anchor institutions could provide recurring demand, and a marcora law type equivalent could provide the cash needed to purchase machinery/means of production made outside the muni-area. Have you heard of the "Miracle of Worgl?" What are your views on demurrage currencies? I've come to a realization, which is possibly wrong as they sometimes are, that money underpins all social relations... that the ruling classes have chosen a form of money that accumulates power is no surprise, and I believe that demurrage would be way to nullify that aim. Thank you, -Jon.

Official response from submitted

I would agree that the capitalist system both inherited money and monetary systems from the feudalism or other systems that preceded it but also transformed money and monetary systems so that they were more aligned with, more reproductive of the specifically capitalist organization of enterprises and the economy as a whole. I am less clear on why you would want to go to relatively unusual mechanisms (at least these days) such as digital muni currency or demurrage charges if your goal is to "fund worker-owned/run businesses." Most tax systems could raise the money needed to support what we call WSDEs (workers self-directed enterprises). The support can include one or more of the following: buying WSDE outputs, lending to WSDEs below market rates, investing in WSDEs, subsidizing them by lowering their input costs, providing free or low cost consulting services, training employees, and so on. In doing any or all of these things, government (at any level: municipal, state, federal) would be providing to WSDEs the same set of supports that governments have provided to capitalist enterprises over the last 300 years. One could, of course, explore how muni currencies of various sorts might facilitate the development of a ESDE sector.

Showing 2 reactions

How would you tag this suggestion?
Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Richard Wolff
    responded with submitted 2017-02-01 14:24:26 -0500
  • jon watson
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-02-01 14:09:39 -0500