Monday, September 18, 2017

More UBI

For any reader unfamiliar with the UBI idea, here is a link to an article from (inevitably) The Guardian. 

Do not expect me to explicate cryptocurrency, though, for I must confess that Bitcoin baffles me! The storyteller that I am, however, draws me to Silvio Gesell, German merchant, theoretical economistsocial activistanarchist, libertarian socialist and, in the earliest days of the twentieth century, formulated his FreiwirtschaftAccording to Gesell, all human-produced goods are subject to expensive storage, whereas money is not. Grain loses its weight, metal products rust, housing deteriorates. 

In 1932 the 'Miracle of Wörgl' saw the introduction of a local currency in an Austrian commune that had been ravaged by the Great Depression. It was a currency inspired by Gesell that was taxed if hoarded. The incentive, therefore, was to spend or invest in order to avoid the punitive and non-productive taxation. The result was a period of prosperity in the Tyrolean town.

The experiment was short-lived. Gesell had died in 1930 and had by no means prevailed with his unorthodox theories. After the collapse of the Bavarian Soviet Republic, in which he participated, had come to a violent end, Gesell was detained for several months on a charge of treason but was acquitted by a Munich court.

I think he's worth a novel!

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