A More Equitable System
One Step Along the Transition from Capitalism to a Gift Economy
Time banking is a trending new economy system that barters your time for points that can be spent within the system. I love the idea of time banking because it evens out the playing field, since we all have the exact same number of hours in a day. It implies that all people are created equal and their service time has equal value.
The problem I saw in my own experience was encountering a professional who seemed to believe that her time was worth more than everyone else's. She charged 2 or 3 hours for 1 hour of her time. In so doing, she was recreating the same disparity that already exists in the present economy. So what did we gain? This website is collecting ideas for economic innovation to solve the economic traps of perpetual poverty.
Other frailties I found was that these timebanking platforms were unable to trade with each other. Their software was not designed to talk to each other. If you earn points in one system, they could not be spent in the other systems, or other towns. Again, this keeps poverty in place, preventing trade outside of your socio-economic sector. This will not assist with eradication of poverty in other countries that so desperately need economic innovation.
The final issue I found with timebanking as I attempted to get involved with it, was the focus on time-based services but not goods. It would be very simple to create a way to do both, and we chose to continue our search for economic solutions that can sell both goods and services.
Recently we discovered the system we use now, which is a combination of open source plugins that provides a way to sell both goods and services for points. As you create your account for the first time, 1000 points are automatically placed into your account. 1 point = $1 This will facilitate buying and selling between members.
You may question why you would have a need for a point system. Especially if you are making enough money to live well. The reason then becomes altruistic. Your participation may make it possible for others in poverty to enjoy services that they need, but couldn't afford, or items, such as a used bicycle or a used phone that would improve quality of life. Your participation may also offer someone starting a business a chance to gain your endorsement and gain much needed experience, by offering their services to you for points until they can find clients who will pay money. It may even help the reintegration of men and women who have been incarcerated.