>I know the local is the whole point, and I'm very skeptical that it has
>more than a microscopic local effect. A region is poor because of where
>it's inserted into the larger economic structure. The kinds of labor HOURS
>can buy is strictly local - restaurants, manicurists, etc. - but it's not
>like HOURS is keeping money around that used to leave town. People rarely
>travel far for a routine meal or a nailbuffing. The real dollars still
>leave town to pay taxes or buy any goods or services that can't be
>produced locally. What's changed? The real distribution of resources would
>be almost entirely unaffected.
>As the Old Man said, "Labour time cannot directly be money...precisely
>because in fact labour time always exists only in the form of particular
I would imagine even manicure and lunch money typically leaves town through the banks, which invest where they will, so that some money that used to leave town is now staying - no?
But let the financial effect be microsopic (why is small therefore "silly"?), what's changed more than anything is the (granted, unquantifiable) local citizens's sense that they care about what happens in their town (The Ithaca money rag is called HOUR Town, cornily enough). I should think HOURS help create a sense of community, and I'd hesitate to dismiss that with a wave of the hand simply because it's a "feel good" effect. Places like Ithaca are remarkably chilly and in need of such assistance.
Off to buy the weekly groceries in a town three times the size of Ithaca from little shops where you actually get recognised and greeted with a genuine warm look-in-the-eye after you've shopped there twice... but this is Australia Jo
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