Discussion in 'Brixton' started by qwertyjjj, Apr 13, 2012.
I bet you'd be a barrel of laughs at any kind of activist meeting.
By that logic, keeping all your wages to yourself/your family is form of protectionism. Therefore you are a facist. Unless you share your wages with us.
Tim Herford, Undercover Economist for the Financial Times and presenter of Radio 4's More or Less puts it best:
The Brixton Pound is a clever marketing scheme for the area, nothing more.
I bet I wouldn't be. I'd be too busy sticking to the facts rather than throwing about pointless, inane comments.
"Facts" like ludicrous, pointless, irrelevant and disruptive comparisons with fascism, perhaps?
It might seem like that cos it's early days.....but if some sort of critical mass is reached and traders started giving out Brixton pounds in change, which could then encourage shoppers to seek out new local businesses, that would be progress.
I didn't know about the text pay thing and will investigate. I spend quite a bit locally anyway so could benefit from the 10% bonus.
Just remember that the 10% bonus is at the expense of the local traders. They have to pay it in transaction costs. If you really wanted to help local traders then you should pay them the full price in real money.
I'm on a bulletin board, putting across my firmy-held views about protectionism and local currencies. Just because you disagree with them hardly makes them disruptive.
I'm not so sure Mom and Pop means more expensive especially in Brixton. I've found the local veg stores to be much cheaper and better quality than Tesco.
There's also another argument, which is that because Tesco, Asda, etc. are easier to get to and shop in that people become lazy. Over time you are almost trained into buying their stuff and the quality just reduces over time. Most of the food in Tesco and Sainsburys is just diluted rubbish compared to the real thing in other countries. People shop there because they've trained themselves into the habit of shopping at a supermarket rather than in an open food market, ie the old way.
protectionist definition: the advocacy, system or theory of protecting domestic producers by impeding or limiting, as by tariffs or quotas, the importation of goods or services. ....does this term really fit the use (or not) - unlike 'facism', one does have a choice here of the B£? I'm not sure it does....
Every government in the world has 'protectionist' policies in place by that loose a definition, even today. And most of them have their own currency as well. They also, more or less by definition, have a nationalist element which you could use to draw another loose comparison to fascism. You might as well argue that all governments are fascist but all you'd achieve is sounding like Rick from the Young Ones.
Although at the moment you sound a bit like you've read the wiki page on Hayek and got carried away tbh.
You'll wish you'd heeded wurlycurly's warning when they get together and annexe all the corner shops and greengrocers in Streatham, you mark my words.
Up to a point. If you end up spending 10% more with local traders than you otherwise would, it's not quite 10% at our cost.
If you put money in your Be£ account when you're feeling all warm and cosy about local traders, then it will help you make the little extra effort to use us instead of Tesco when it actually comes to going shopping.
The freer the market the freer the people, eh?
(and all that shite)
Yes. Amartya Sen argues in his book 'Development as Freedom' that a free market increases people's personal freedoms.
He won a Nobel Prize in economics. I'm assuming you haven't won a Nobel Prize.
Milton Friedman also has a Nobel Prize: doesn't meant that most of this thinking wasn't disastrously misconceived. Arguing from authority is always a dangerous tactic. In this case, however, Sen's argument - as you would expect - is considerably more nuanced than you make out, and it's hardly fair to portray him as a champion of unrestrained free-enterprise capitalism. In any case, all of this is rather off the point. It is ridiculous to suggest that protectionism is 'a diluted form of fascism,' but it's also inappropriate, since there's nothing very protectionist about a local currency scheme anyway.
Is that the same free market which has hugely benefitted us all by trashing our high streets and allowing the domination of the huge supermarkets? The same free market that has allowed the rich to reduce their tax bills whilst the rest of us are imprisioned in debt?
What's your interest in this anyway Alo? You seem very opposed to the B£....
That's a massive understatement to say the least.
FWIW I have reservations about local currencies too, mostly in terms of whether the circulation of the currency can be maintained. It seems to me the big risk is that a lot of it gradually drains out of the system, ending up sitting in people's drawers or wherever, and results in a minor loss to those involved, as well as being a bit of a waste of time. It's been going a while now though and still seems to be working, and the only actual Brixton small trader here is broadly supportive, so fair play.
It's kind of interesting that it seems to be threatening enough to the free market nutters to be drawing them out here.
Probably, but it's along time since I read Development as Freedom, so I was being a little cautious!
Indeed. It's what's keeping me watching the thread too, since I'm not a Brixton resident! Well, that and the fact I'm generally interested in local currency schemes and interested to see how the Brixton one works out.
As I don't go to Tesco, preferring to use the market and local shops, I will continue paying in cold, hard cash.
The usual: somebody on the internet is WRONG and I feel obliged to correct them.
Oh, fairplay, I'd better let you get on with your work then. There's plenty of it...
This unredeemed reserve is a significant part of the CIC's balance sheet, and if written off (which is contentious) is a potential source of revenue. The first-issue paper B£s are now technically worthless (in practice the CIC will redeem or replace them) as they had an expiry date of September 2011. Lots are bought as souvenirs, and will never be spent or redeemed, but the CIC holds sterling equivalent for every one - originally with HSBC, now with the Credit Union. It seems a waste to have that money sitting idly doing nothing, while the organisation struggles to pay its own expenses. In keeping with the spirit of the thing, in my opinion it should be used as capital for local social enterprises (rather, than, say, paying staff salaries), but in practice the sums involved are so tiny it's not going to be able to work as a community investment bank any time soon.
The B£ people did at one time seriously consider using the principal of the unredeemed money (rather than any interest it might have earned) to cover revenue expenses.
Fortyplus, I'll be happy to update you on how we resolved this issue sometime - and in fact our reserves are now being used as capital, as we have most of them deposited with LMCU (London Mutual Credit Union, which has a branch in Brixton, as of six months ago.
It's also worth noting that our "pay-by-text" scheme prevents this leakage issue - another reason why we introduced it last year.
Right, I must be off now. Got some swastikas to touch up . . . .
Not true I'm afraid.
Traders pay a transaction fee - just like they do with any form of card payment - but it's much less than 10%. Do you really think any of them would have signed up for it if it wasn't ?!
The 10% bonus is designed to encourage people to put money into the e-currency, and then to keep it there. If you transfer your money back out of the e-currency you get hit with an exchange fee, which is the flip-side of the 10% bonus.
That's fine if it is the same group trading in and then back out of B£. Isn't it true that most B£ are currently purchased by the consumers incentivised by the 10% discount, who spend them locally so that they end up in the hands of the traders. If the traders receive more B£ than they can spend with their suppliers then they have no choice but to turn them back into sterling - which comes at a 10% cost. I don't imagine that many consumers will be trading them back into sterling themselves so the cost of converting any back is almost entirely suffered by the businesses. Or am I missing something?
If the trader were to accept sterling instead of Brixton ePounds then he could exchange it himself and keep the 10% bonus. As fortyplus has pointed out, it makes good business sense to give some of his customers this 10% discount, for marketing reasons, if nothing else. He seems to know exactly what he's doing, and is generally supportive for the time being.
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