Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Case for a Pagan Time Bank

I did a good bit of research on Time Banks early last year as I was developing a plan for an alternative currency in my neighborhood. I preferred a fiat currency for that plan, but read up on everything before I chose that option. (FYI, it didn't go anywhere, but it might someday...sing along, now: Sooomme-daaaay....)

A Time Bank is basically a way to trade hours of labor where all hours of labor are valued exactly the same. It is non-taxable and by its nature values labor that has been un- or under-valued by the market. It builds wealth and interpersonal connections in the community, and functions best with 50-150 people.

I have recently been pondering the fact that pagans in this part of the country are poorer than pagans elsewhere, and that we are also poorer than the surrounding community. I think a big part of this is the fact that we do not have a culture of financial support, largely because we are small and scattered. We are factional based on geography, ideology, and interpersonal conflicts. I think that if we can shortcut these divisions by focusing not on how we are all different (and we are all quite individuals in our pagan practice), but on how we can support each other economically, then we can build community spirit and wealth.

My first step is to develop talking points in order to best explain what a Time Bank is and how and why I think it will be of benefit. The next step will be to initiate conversations with the members of the pagan community closest to me, see how they go, and ask them for referrals to other contacts. I will also make sure to survey their level of commitment/excitement.

Now to go refresh myself on the salient facts.

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