Parrsboro Council hears about scheme to put money into the hands of elderly and the poor

Mayor Smith and David Howe with Parrsboro Alternate Currency

Mayor Smith and David Howe with Parrsboro Alternate Currency

The President and CEO of the “Central Bank of Parrsboro” met with Town Council on Tuesday to talk about putting more money into the hands of people over age 70 and those receiving social assistance.

“There are a lot of people in the town who are short of money,” retired doctor David Howe told councillors. “There’s a lot of seniors who struggle by in their homes when they would be much more comfortable with more home care.”

Howe explained that he and Lions Club official Frank Hartman have launched the Parrsboro Alternate Currency so that the elderly and the poor will have another way to buy services such as help with house cleaning, gardening or even cooking a meal. They asked the mayor and councillors to help publicize and distribute the new currency that is printed on business-sized cards.

Howe explained that the cards themselves have no monetary value, but could be given to participating businesses or individuals in exchange for goods and services.

“It’s like a kind of extended barter system,” he said. “We are introducing this currency as an alternative to real money.”

Howe added that those who are paid with the currency could, in turn, use it to buy goods or services for themselves instead of spending their scarce dollars, thereby freeing up real money for other things.

DSCF4760“It will only work of course if people use it,” he said. “It’s an experiment, we’ll have to see how it goes.”

As Howe addressed council, it became apparent that he sees the new currency as a way of taking some of the profit-making power away from big banks.

“The financial system, you and I and poor people in Parrsboro, pay interest and the people that get it are financiers in Bay St or Wall St.,” he said. “The financial system sucks money out from the poor to the rich.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the Parrsboro Alternate Currency can talk with Howe or Hartman at 10 a.m. every Monday at the Town Hall or attend a meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 10 at the Parrsboro Lions Den.

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