Edgar Cahn on Time Banking

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Very clear explanation by the founder of Time Banks

Video via http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8R6VkqvsBY&feature=player_embedded

Printed Interview


"(Q) Approximately how many new Time Banks are in operation here in the U.S.?

(Chris) There are TimeBanks within the TimeBanks' network and then there are TimeBanks for whatever reason don't choose to be formally a part of the network, they don't choose to be affiliate I believe there are about 140 TimeBanks within the network and outside of the network, we obviously can't have a certain knowledge but we think up to 20 more.

(Q) Is the following sentence a true statement? TimeBanks differ from barter systems and LETS because there is no commercial exchange or pricing medium. An hour of your time, is simply an hour of time. The rate for that hour does not change from city to city. Can you please explain this a bit further?

(Edgar) TimeBanks as a community currency was designed to take express exception to the definition of value that market price sets. Price in the market is set by supply and demand, so as a thing is more scarce it's more valuable relative to demand and if it's abundant it's cheap and I realized that what that meant was that every fundamental capacity that defines us as human beings and enabled our species to survive and evolve was worthless in that pricing system. If we were going to start to value the kinds of things that human being need to do for each other, to build community, to raise children, to make democracy work, to fight for social justice we were going to have to find a way of honoring with value the work that was essential to promoting fundamental values.

In the context within which we work it [TimeBanking] sends a message of respect & equality that is a fundamental statement that will particularly will reveal across lines of race, and class or age or people who have been devalued. You can talk the rhetoric of saying I value but what Time Banking does is it says "oh you're real about that aren't you". That is a very important message when dealing with teenagers, when dealing with the elderly, when dealing with people who have been disabled. It really honors who they are and the essence of who they are." (http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/152048)

More Information

See also: Sam Hopley on Time Banking