In 1936, the Alberta Social Credit Party-led government of the Province of Alberta, Canada, introduced prosperity certificates in an attempt to alleviate the effects of the Great Depression. Social Credit Premier William Aberhart's government had won power in the 1935 provincial election partly on the scheme.
The certificates were not issued to the general public as Aberhart had promised in his election platform but instead were used to pay relief workers on provincial public works projects and were put into circulation via special agreements with municipalities.
Although not technically money, each certificate was marked with a value of one dollar, and redeemable for $1 Canadian at the end of its life or on certain dates during the course of the program. Other certificates were in the amount of $5. $239,000 worth of scrip was issued in August 1936.
A goal of the program was to encourage spending and circulation of the spending power. To achieve this, hoarding of the money was discouraged by requiring that a holder had to affix to the back of a certificate a 1-cent stamp every week, for the certificate to maintain its validity. Thus people were encouraged to spend whatever certificates they had each week, to avoid having to make too many payments of the one-percent tax. As the program intended, possessors of the certificates tried to avoid having to purchase and affix the stamps, by spending the certificates before the week's validity expired. This stamp scrip, innovated by Silvio Gesell, was not part of the theories of Aberhart's mentor, Social Credit big-wig Major C.H. Douglas.
The hassle and expense of the stamps made the certificates unpopular with the public. To make matters worse, the tiny gummed postage-style stamps (smaller than 1 cm2 (0.16 sq in)) were prone to falling off.
Another issue was finding a seller who would accept the unusual currency. The Army & Navy stores, a chain of landmark department stores, was famous for accepting the currency when some other merchants would not. Oddly, the currency was not accepted by the government itself for payment of taxes.
The notes were intended to be redeemed after two years of issue, when 104 stamps would have been affixed. But the program was cancelled after only about one year.The notes could be returned to the government for redeeming in Canadian currency.
Alberta's Prosperity Certificates have never been listed in the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money.
The Ithaca HOUR is a local currency formerly used in Ithaca, New York and was one of the longest-running local currency systems, though it is now no longer in circulation. It has inspired other similar systems in Madison, Wisconsin; Santa Barbara, California, Corvallis, Oregon; and a proposed system in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. One Ithaca HOUR is valued at US$10 and is generally recommended to be used as payment for one hour's work, although the rate is negotiable.
Seigniorage, also spelled seignorage or seigneurage, is the difference between the value of money and the cost to produce and distribute it. The term can be applied in two ways:
As part of the theory of Freiwirtschaft, Freigeld is a monetary unit proposed by Silvio Gesell.
Social credit is an interdisciplinary and distributive philosophy developed by C. H. Douglas. It encompasses economics, political science, history, and accounting. Its policies are designed, according to Douglas, to disperse economic and political power to individuals. Douglas wrote, "Systems were made for men, and not men for systems, and the interest of man which is self-development, is above all systems, whether theological, political or economic." Douglas said that Social Crediters want to build a new civilization based upon "absolute economic security" for the individual, where "they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid." In his words, "what we really demand of existence is not that we shall be put into somebody else's Utopia, but we shall be put in a position to construct a Utopia of our own."
Ernest Charles Manning,, a Canadian politician, was the eighth premier of Alberta between 1943 and 1968 for the Social Credit Party of Alberta. He served longer than any other premier in the province's history and was the second longest serving provincial premier in Canadian history. He was also the only member of the Social Credit Party of Canada to sit in the Senate and, with the party shut out of the House of Commons in 1980, was its last representative in Parliament when he retired from the Senate in 1983.
William Aberhart, also known as "Bible Bill" for his outspoken Baptist views, was a Canadian politician and the seventh Premier of Alberta. He was the founder and first leader of the Alberta Social Credit Party, which believed the Great Depression was caused by ordinary people not having enough to spend. Therefore, Aberhart argued that the government should give each Albertan $25 per month to spend to stimulate the economy, by providing needed purchasing power to allow needy customers to buy from waiting businesses.
Richard Gavin "Dick" Reid was a Canadian politician who served as the sixth Premier of Alberta from 1934 to 1935. He was the last member of the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) to hold the office, and that party's defeat at the hands of the upstart Social Credit League in the 1935 election made him the shortest serving premier to that point in Alberta's history.
The Alberta Social Credit Party was a provincial political party in Alberta, Canada, that was founded on social credit monetary policy put forward by Clifford Hugh Douglas and on conservative Christian social values. The Canadian social credit movement was largely an out-growth of the Alberta Social Credit Party. The Social Credit Party of Canada was strongest in Alberta, before developing a base in Quebec when Réal Caouette agreed to merge his Ralliement créditiste movement into the federal party. The British Columbia Social Credit Party formed the government for many years in neighbouring British Columbia, although this was effectively a coalition of centre-right forces in the province that had no interest in social credit monetary policies.
The worldwide Great Depression of the early 1930s was a social and economic shock that left millions of Canadians unemployed, hungry and often homeless. Few countries were affected as severely as Canada during what became known as the "Dirty Thirties," due to Canada's heavy dependence on raw material and farm exports, combined with a crippling Prairies drought known as the Dust Bowl. Widespread losses of jobs and savings ultimately transformed the country by triggering the birth of social welfare, a variety of populist political movements, and a more activist role for government in the economy.
A scrip is any substitute for legal tender. It is often a form of credit. Scrips have been created for payment of employees under truck systems, and for use in local commerce at times when regular currency was unavailable, for example in remote coal towns, military bases, ships on long voyages, or occupied countries in wartime. Besides company scrip, other forms of scrip include land scrip, vouchers, token coins such as subway tokens, IOUs, arcade tokens and tickets, and points on some credit cards.
Silver certificates are a type of representative money issued between 1878 and 1964 in the United States as part of its circulation of paper currency. They were produced in response to silver agitation by citizens who were angered by the Fourth Coinage Act, which had effectively placed the United States on a gold standard. The certificates were initially redeemable for their face value of silver dollar coins and later in raw silver bullion. Since 1968 they have been redeemable only in Federal Reserve Notes and are thus obsolete, but still valid legal tender at their face value and thus are still an accepted form of currency.
A complementary currency is a currency or medium of exchange that is not necessarily a national currency, but that is thought of as supplementing or complementing national currencies. Complementary currencies are usually not legal tender and their use is based on agreement between the parties exchanging the currency. According to Jérôme Blanc of Laboratoire d'Économie de la Firme et des Institutions, complementary currencies aim to protect, stimulate or orientate the economy. They may also be used to advance particular social, environmental, or political goals.
Chiemgauer is a regional local currency started in 2003 in Prien am Chiemsee, Bavaria, Germany. Named after the Chiemgau, a region around the Chiemsee lake, it is intended to increase local employment, supporting local culture, and make the local food supply more resilient. The Chiemgauer operates with a fixed exchange rate, tied to the value of the euro: 1 Chiemgauer = €1.
Canadian Tire money, officially Canadian Tire 'money' or CTM is a loyalty program operated by the Canadian retail chain Canadian Tire. It consists of coupons, issued by the company, which resemble real banknotes. It can be used as scrip in Canadian Tire stores, but is not considered a private currency. The notes are printed on paper similar to what Canadian currency was printed on when they were still paper, and were jointly produced by two of the country's long-established security printers, British American Banknote Company (BABN) and Canadian Bank Note Company (CBN). Some privately owned businesses in Canada accept CTM as payment, since the owners of many such businesses shop at Canadian Tire. In Canadian Tire stores, CTM is accepted for Canadian money at par.
Demurrage is the cost associated with owning or holding currency over a given period. It is sometimes referred to as a carrying cost of money. For commodity money such as gold, demurrage is the cost of storing and securing the gold. For paper currency, it can take the form of a periodic tax, such as a stamp tax, on currency holdings. Demurrage is sometimes cited as economically advantageous, usually in the context of complementary currency systems.
Wörgl is a city in the Austrian state of Tyrol, in the Kufstein district. It is 20 km (12 mi) from the international border with Bavaria, Germany.
Abeille is the name of a community currency started in 2010 in Villeneuve-sur-Lot, France. It is named after the French word for bee. The Abeille program is intended to promote local commerce. The Abeille operates with a fixed exchange rate: 1 Abeille = €1.
Occitan is the name of a community currency started in 2010 in Pézenas, Languedoc-Roussillon, France. It is named after the Occitan language.
The Wära was a demurrage-charged currency used in Germany introduced in 1926 as a free economy experiment. It was introduced by Hans Timm and Helmut Rödiger, who were followers of Silvio Gesell. The Wära is comparable to current models of local currencies.
The Zhuangpiao, alternatively known as Yinqianpiao, Huipiao, Pingtie (憑帖), Duitie (兌帖), Shangtie (上帖), Hupingtie (壺瓶帖), or Qitie (期帖) in different contexts, refer to privately produced paper money made in China during the Qing dynasty and early Republic of China periods issued by small private banks known as qianzhuang. Other than banknotes qianzhuang also issued Tiexian.