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[Slashdot] - A Small US Town is Now Printing Its Own Currency

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Tenino, Washington (population: 1,884) has launched its own local currency, reports the Hustle: Mayor Wayne Fournier decided that Tenino would set aside $10k to give out to low-income residents hurt by the pandemic. But instead of using federal dollars, he'd print the money on thin sheets of wood designed exclusively for use in Tenino. His mint? A 130-year-old newspaper printer from a local museum... Residents below the poverty line can apply to receive money from the $10k fund that Tenino has set aside. Fournier says they also have to prove that the pandemic has impacted them, but "we're pretty open to what that means." Once they're approved, they can pick up their stipends, printed in wooden notes worth $25 each. The city is capping the amount each resident can accrue at 12 wooden notes — or $300 — per month. According to Fournier, each note features a Latin inscription that means, basically, 'We've got this handled'... By creating its own local currency, Tenino keeps the money in the community. As Fournier puts it, "Amazon will not be accepting wooden dollars." "The money stays in the city. It doesn't go out to Walmart and Costco and all those places," says Joyce Worrell, who has run the antique shop Iron Works Boutiques for the past decade. The article notes that during the 1930s hundreds of scrips were issued by American municipalities, worker co-ops, and business associations -- estimated to be worth as much as $1 billion. And it adds that at least a few small towns in Italy and Mexico are now giving the idea another try.

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