One of the neatest things about Monday and Tuesday’s event at Wake Forest was meeting  BJ Lawson, a former congressional candidate and member of both the Campaign for Liberty and the GOP Board of Directors in Wake County, NC.  I talked with Lawson for awhile about a local currency which is on the rise in Pittsboro, NC, called the PLENTY (Piedmont Local Economy Tender.)  He gave me a variety of wonderful justifications for the use of local currency, but instead of trying to sum these up myself, I’ll just give you‘s answer to this question – why local currency?

Local Economy A local currency provides real support for our local economy and the unique goods and services it provides. This boost to local commerce safeguards jobs, keeps our locally-owned businesses thriving, promotes the production of local goods and services and differentiates our local culture from big-box stores and “Generic Americana.”

Sustainability The local economic model promoted by the PLENTY affords greater use of recycled materials, locally available material, and renewable resources. Decreasing the distance between producers and consumers reduces the need for long-distance transportation. Keeping our downtown businesses and local markets vibrant also preserves the options of walking, cycling, and busing to nearby stores.

Community Members seek each other out, meet face-to-face, and get to know their neighbors. The PLENTY allows the “small town values” of neighborliness, generosity and self-reliance to blend with our community’s traditional support for diversity, social justice, and responsible development.

This is a very interesting initiative that I will be keeping my eye on.  I plan on getting a Wake Forest YAL trip together soon to drive over to Pittsboro, just to spend some PLENTYs!  Anyone else interested?  One friend suggested that I go to Pittsboro and hold up a sign that says “Will work for PLENTYs.”

Also, the PLENTY has been receiving national media attention from a variety of outlets, including CNN and USA Today.  I’ll be keeping my eyes open for ways that YAL can support this and similar private/local money efforts.

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