THE DAVIS DOLLAR – AND HOW IT COULD CHANGE OUR COUNTRY

When I saw on the news yesterday that Davis, California (population: 65,622 according to the 2010 US Census) and home to UC Davis (it’s hard to tell how much of that number is due to the 32,290 student body, since only about 5700 live on campus) was printing its own currency, I stopped playing Slingo and started paying attention.

When the news report was over, I hopped onto the Huffington Post site and found an article that had just been released. Davis, California is getting it right. They’re printing money that can only be spent in Davis. It’s designed to give a financial advantage to the local business. Here’s part of the article:

 

“Spend one dollar at a big box store and only about 6 to 10 cents of that stays local. And if you spend that money at a local mom and pop shop, about 60 cents stay local … And if you spend one Davis Dollar locally, 100 cents of that stay local,” Barry told Fox News. Since the currency is only accepted inside the city, it ensures that the entire value stays local.

People can buy the dollars through the movement’s website or at a weekly farmers market. Business can redeem a single Davis Dollar for $0.95.

 

Here’s the bigger picture.  If you consider that only 40% of gift certificates are ever redeemed, and the store gets to keep the money anyway, this is huge.  How many trips have you taken abroad and come home with foreign currency and coins. You’re never going to spend them because even if you went back to Russia tomorrow, you’d forget you had money from the last trip. They got your dollars the first time at the currency exchange, and you’re handing over more for this trip.

So, I started thinking.

What if states started doing the same — or bigger — what if the states started seceding (I think big) and clumped together to form new states.

For instance, what if West Virginia and Pennsylvania formed WestVirpennia(because Pennsylginia just sounds strange) and sold their coal without government regulation?

Or Nevada seceded and didn’t have to share the wealth. They could even keep the money from the over 5,000,000 visitors to their 3 national parks. Hawaii makes its money off of tourists. Except for purchasing a house, it was cheaper for our family to live in Pacific Palisades, HI  than after we got transferred to Denver. No state tax. Rebates on electric bills at the end of the year. Local discounts at hotels, attractions, etc.  Why should they be responsible for paying other states’ debts?

Or Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana merged to form Oklatexla and threw their oil into the world market. Unregulated. Granted, that would hurt the Middle East and Halliburten, but I’m willing to make that sacrifice. Add Arkansas for Branson and some scenery and you get Oktexarkla.  They would then be able to regulate what foreign oil companies were — or were not — allowed to clutter their landscapes or be given the opportunity to pollute our Gulf or oceans. And tax the hell out of them for the privilege of doing so.

Of course, there are some downsides to this one:  my friend, John Hefner would have to start growing something on all the land he’s bought up in Oklahoma that — you’re gonna love this — the government pays him not to plant. Yup, my friends, the you and I  made my friend a millionaire by paying him not to plant anything. But the good news for John is that he could now sell that land to people who want to be self-sustaining like the beautiful Samantha Joelle Honey Lamb, and once again everyone wins.

Another downside would be that The Bush Boys might decide to run for office and bankrupt us again (I know, I know. You blame Obama. But he inherited the bankruptcy and it’s his fault because he hasn’t pulled us out of it in four years), but I’ve got a solution for that one, too.

Since, according to the US Congress, a woman is only worth 77% of what a man is worth in the workplace, these new states/commonwealths/nations could be run by women. We’ve been cleaning up mens messes since the beginning of time anyway, so the big, strong men could be out doing whatever the hell it is they do all day while we’re working our cute little butts off at the desk next to them for 23% less pay.  The new area could be run by a committee rather than elected offices, and since women control most of the money and all of the sex anyway, they could have their areas out of debt in no time flat.

And within a couple of years, we could make enough profit to get our veterans, women and children and the men who want to work off the streets and into jobs, and those who need medical care could get it if we worked things right. And I believe a committee of strong, independent women could pull that off.  Hell. Oktexarkla could buy up California’s debt and designate it as their recreation area.  “Redneck Retreat” and Oktexarkla would become even more healthy because of the tourist industry that’s already there. Since they’d govern their own airports, we could mandate airlines to give direct flights so people in (formerly) Oklahoma wouldn’t have to survive a layover in Pittsburgh to get there.

I believe that on a smaller level, without having to attach paragraphs to bills to fund treadmills for shrimp, the individual conglomorates could handle themselves just fine. Together, our localized economies could contribute to paying off the federal government’s debt — because it would be the right thing to do. Each new state could determine its own tax structure: percentage of earnings? flat sales tax?  And, like Hawaii and Nevada, each could charge tourist taxes. If a new area didn’t handle its budget well enough to stay in business, it could be purchased by another unit. Responsibility, my friends, not excuses.

And the currency exchanges would mean that each state would get to keep the proceeds from those “foreign” coins/paper money that tourists took home with them and now clutter a drawer in their dressers.

I know there are glitches. This only came to me at three o’clock this morning. But what we’ve got now isn’t working. The people who are qualified to run this country are too busy running their own lives to be bothered with messing with mine — so they don’t run for office. We’ve got a system where promises are made during campaigns, but there’s no power to make those dreams a reality because once that person is elected, he/she is slurped into a blue or red suit and expected to vote along party lines — or not get any help for their own state. The President has no authority to make his campaign promises a reality unless his party controls the legislative branch of our government. He can only sign into law what comes across his desk. Cooperation got flushed down the toilet a long time ago. Lobbyists have more power than constituents. We have a clump of legislative bullies who won’t vote for anything the President wants, no matter how much sense it makes. We’re bailing out big business’s BAD business while ignoring education, the homeless, our veterans……No one at that level is thinking about what’s best for The Good Old U S of A anymore. They’re too busy measuring dicks (with apologies to the females in office, who may or may not have the guts to – as My Princess would say — pull their balls out of their purses) to make a difference.

I don’t know how we can get the country back on track again, but something has to happen pretty damned quickly or China is going to call in its debt and we’ll all be speaking Mandarin.

And now, I’m going to the pool.

See you tomorrow.