Ithaca HOURS are, arguably, the most successful of the local currency experiments of the last two decades. At the height of their popularity in the mid-1990s, perhaps as many as 2,000 of Ithaca and region’s 100,000 residents were buying and selling with HOURS. The high profile of HOURS in the Ithaca community has prompted a series of articles, television news segments and documentaries, primarily for the popular media. Though constituting valuable documentation of an intrinsically interesting phenomenon, these reports has tended to be fragmentary and ahistorical, thus lacking in context in terms of the longitudinal evolution of the Ithaca region’s political economy. The present study attempts to remedy these lacunae in our understanding of the genesis and evolution of Ithaca HOURS by presenting a systematic account of Ithaca’s experiment with local currencies over the past decade and a half through the person of Paul Glover, the individual most closely associated with the founding and developing of HOURS. The article follows the activist career of Glover through the end of 2003, thus placing HOURS in the context of Ithaca’s activist community’s efforts to push the local polity and economy in the direction of ecological sustainability.
Jeffrey Jacob, Merlin Brinkerhoff, Emily Jovic and Gerald Wheatley Volume 8(2004) 3
IJCCR vol 8 (2004) 3 Jacob et al
To cite this article: Jacob, J.; Brinkerhoff, M.; Jovic, E.; Wheatley, G. (2004) ‘HOUR Town – Paul Glover and the Genesis and Evolution of Ithaca HOURS’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 8 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2004.003
The intention underlying this short intervention is to raise questions about the objectives of LETS and what activists are seeking to achieve in their LETS development work. The argument in this paper is that there is a need for those active in developing LETS to critically reflect on what they are seeking to achieve and only then will the role of LETS become clearer.
Graeme Taylor Volume 7(2003) 1
IJCCR Vol 7 (2003) 1 Taylor
To cite this article: Taylor, G. (2003) ‘A Currency for Change? one activist’s personal view of LETS’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 7 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2003.002
The literature dealing with LETS has regarded them primarily as economic associations and, in so doing, may have overlooked other features of LETS that are equally important. This paper aims to rectify some of that neglect by focusing upon the motivational values of LETS members. Whilst it has been recognised that a significant proportion of their membership can be identified as ‘Green’, the radical consequences of this membership has been neither fully recognised nor explored. This paper offers a taxonomy that enables us to locate and classify members’ motivations and does so with particular reference to Green ideals. It argues that to dismiss LETS as simply an expression of an alternative lifestyle may ignore the fact that a significant proportion of members are aware of, and wish to promote, the radical Green potential of these schemes. Given the current lack of practical Green alternatives within social policy this potential should not go unrecognised and the paper is presented as an attempt to open up areas for further debate.
Caron Caldwell Volume 4(2000) 1
IJCCR Vol 4 (2000) 1 Caldwell
To cite this article: Caldwell, C. (2000) ‘Why Do People Join Local Exchange Trading Systems?’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 4 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2000.006
Research from New Zealand, Australia and the UK has shown that LETSystems in many instances are dominated by “greens”. This paper presents the results from a survey of four Norwegian LETSystems. The findings show that the situation in these LETSystems is, to a large extent, similar. Members are generally politically radical, and seem to have joined LETS primarily for environmental/ideological reasons. Most have full-time employment, are rather well off in economic terms, and a vast majority have university education. The paper concludes that although such a biased membership profile theoretically hinders full achievement of the aims of LETS, it may be a necessary first step towards more widespread success.
Even Gran Volume 2(1998) 3
IJCCR Vol 2 (1998) 3 Gran
To cite this article: Gran, E. (1998) ‘Green Domination In Norwegian LETSystems: Catalyst For Growth Or Constraint On Development?’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.1998.003
The broad-scale adoption of local currencies by communities around the world has brought with it an equally broad interpretation of the economic principles which govern its operation. Many activists perceive LETS as a form of exchange which promotes abundance within a community. In the face of such a perception though many users experience difficulty in spending their local currency. This paper analyses this disjunction by focusing upon Marx’s conception of use value and exchange value to examine the form of exchange which LETS represents. This interpretation of the structure of LETS is compared with the perceptions which many LETS activists hold about LETS’ exchange form. A case study of a demised LETSystem supports the conclusion that, as a type of money, LETS must conform to well established economic ‘laws’ which identify monetary super-abundance with economic demise.
Mark Jackson Volume 1(1997) 2
IJCCR Vol 1 (1997) 2 Jackson
To cite this article: Jackson, M. (1997) ‘The problem of over-accumulation: examining and theorising the structural form of LETS’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 1 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.1997.003