Tax Anticipation Scrip as a Form of Local Currency in the USA during the 1930s

During the world economic crisis of the 1930s, the United States experienced widespread use of local currency or “scrip”. The most significant form of scrip, both in terms of the longevity and size of the issues, was tax anticipation scrip. This article surveys the varieties of tax anticipation scrip issue during this period, and suggests some applications to non-crisis circumstances. After outlining the general experience with depression-era scrip, this article describes the nature and origins of tax anticipation scrip as a particular form of local currency. It also examines specific local arrangements that affected the successful circulation of such scrip. The American jurisprudence concerning non-national currency is assessed insofar as it puts into legal context scrip issued during the 1930s. The article concludes by relating the significance of the American experience of the 1930s to neo-chartalist interpretations of the origins and functions of money.

Loren Gatch

To cite this article: Gatch, L. (2012) ‘Tax Anticipation Scrip as a Form of Local Currency in the USA during the 1930s’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 22-35  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.009

IJCCR 2012 Gatch

Selling Scrip to America: Ideology, Self-help and the experiments of the Great Depression

Although there was no single pattern to the use of alternative currency in America during the Great Depression, the arguments used by supporters of scrip often played on common themes.  Support for scrip reflected the belief that local resources could be marshaled to combat the economic situation.  Although the Depression was a national (and international) crisis, many scrip advocates believed that they would be able to focus improvement within one particular community.  Scrip appealed to American notions of self-help and individualism.  Even faced with the challenges of the Depression, few Americans were willing to embrace radical change.  Advocates of alternative currency had to walk a fine line between emphasizing the innovative possibilities of scrip and reassuring the public that these plans were simply a means to “prime the pump” of an essentially sound economic system.

Sarah Elvins

To cite this article: Elvins, S. (2012) ‘Selling Scrip To America: Ideology, Self-help and the Experiments of the Great Depression’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 14-21  <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.008

Downtown Dollars: Community currency or discount coupon?

The literature on community currencies builds on the idea that communities can create their own currency to maintain the importance of place and build social and cultural capital.  Using interviews, questionnaires, and a survey, this case study reports on the ability of one experiment with community currency, Downtown Dollars, a scrip program in Ardmore, Pennsylvania to facilitate relationships, keep wealth local, and invigorate the community with a sense of place and pride.  The outcome that Ardmore, through its first experiment with Downtown Dollars, succeeded in adding value to the community and making people feel proud to live and shop in Ardmore is demonstrated. The study points out, however, that while Downtown Dollars met each of the program’s stated goals, it could have succeeded to a greater extent if it had incorporated larger social goals into its strategy from the outset.

Naomi Kaplan Vol 15(2011) A69-77

IJCCR 2011 Kaplan

To cite this article: Kaplan, N. (2011) ‘Downtown Dollars: Community currency or discount coupon?’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (A) 69-77 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.007

Time for Each Other: Working Towards a Complementary Currency Model to Serve the Anti-Poverty Policies of the Municipality of Landgraaf, the Netherlands

In 2007, the Dutch municipality of Landgraaf requested an investigation into whether a community currency could support its anti-poverty policies. The literature research assembled empirical data on scrip, LETS and Time Banks. Their effects were evaluated against a set of specific goals: poverty relief, provision of care, social integration and return of long-term unemployed to the labour market. Complementary currencies have still to prove themselves on all objectives, and the last one is particularly hard to achieve. However, for the most part, the systems being investigated have not been set up in a professional way or with longer-term finances available. With these prerequisites in place, and a formal, trustworthy organisation taking the initiative, a complementary currency could still be a useful policy instrument. A Time Bank-like construction would work best, with a professional broker and a limited working area.

Miranda van Kuik Volume 13(2009) A3-18

IJCCRvol13(2009)pp3-18vanKuik

To cite this article: van Kuik, M. (2009) ‘Time for Each Other: Working Towards a Complementary Currency Model to Serve the Anti-Poverty Policies of the Municipality of Landgraaf, the Netherlands’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 13 3-18 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2009.002