Letter: Why Acorns are an economic asset

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The Independent Online
THE New Agers may believe that they are escaping the evils of the monetary economy ('From Tiny Acorns', 27 December') but they are only reinventing the wheel, or in this case, the pound. One thing that they are not doing is bartering; the Acorns, Olivers, Kreds are doing exactly the same job as pounds - acting as a medium of exchange to avoid the inconvenience of barter.

The real advantage of alternative currencies is that they give an identity to the sub-culture; they draw like-minded people together, creating trust between them, while facilitating useful exchanges that might not otherwise take place.

If people can't obtain useful employment in the formal economy, then alternative currencies may, in fact, be stimulating labour-intensive production within the alternative local economies.

Howard Waldron

Moseley, Birmingham