Democratizing Money: Historical Role of the U.S. Federal Government in Currency Creation

For two hundred and sixty years the US federal government has claimed that the most democratic money is a scarce form of money. This claim is built off the notion that an abundant supply of money would threaten class relations (the rights of private property) and ultimately the free flow of commerce (capitalist exchange). Since the writing of the federal constitution the government’s focus has always been on creating reliable and abundant supplies of credit. The idea of scarce money and abundant credit has been challenged twice: In the 1860’s by the Greenback Party who claimed the most democratic money is money created by government. The second challenge in the 1980s by the Community Currency movement uniquely focuses not on banks or government instead claiming that democratic money is money created by local communities and/or individuals.

Saul Wainwright

To cite this article: Wainwright, S. (2012) ‘Democratizing Money: The Historical Role of the U.S. Federal Government in Currency Creation’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 5-13  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.007

IJCCR 2012 Wainwright

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