Austerity-ravaged Europe is a breeding ground for new, experimental economies

In Spain, where a recession is expected to get even worse after the government passed $80 billion worth of austerity measures, new economies are springing up all around the country that aren’t dependent on the crippled euro. The economies are based on barter and exchange.

For example, “time banks” are popping up around Spain – that allow workers to trade in their services in hours – and receive services in return. Labor and services are thus exchanged through hours – and not through currencies. Tens of thousands of citizens are participating in more than 325 time banks all around Spain – making it one of the largest modern economic experiments in recent history. Similar time banks can be found in Greece and Portugal, too – as alternatives to the corporate free-market, austerity recovery being pushed by banksters and technocrats.

As the Washington Post describes these new economies, “These experiments aim to take communities back to a time when goods and services were bartered, before things such as interest rates, market speculation, and derivatives complicated the financial world.” Clearly, the globalized, free market experiment of the last thirty years has failed us, and it’s time to look for new alternatives.

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