Trading Talents Instead Of Cash
from the local-economies dept
If you ever study alternative economies, "barter economies" or local currencies designed to stimulate the local economy, it's likely that you've come across Ithaca Hours at some point or another. Designed as a way to help build up the local economy in the small city of Ithaca, NY, it was basically a barter system that let local merchants easily manage trade with each other, without involving government sanctioned currency. The system got plenty of hype and has been copied around the world (often with help from those who created Ithaca Hours). It appears that the concept has clearly made its way to South Africa, with an internet twist. According to this article (which doesn't mention Ithaca Hours at all), South Africans are using an online bartering system involving "talents" which are priced per hour, and function quite like Ithaca Hours. The article even quotes someone who claims to have "retired from the conventional money system," and who won't go anyplace that doesn't accept "talents" as payment.