Time is Money

The National Bureau of Economic Research recently made it official. We have been in a recession since December of last year. The longest recession since the Great Depression. Up and down we go: gas prices, Fannie, Freddie, stocks, your 401k, the auto industry. What if we could change the idea of “economy?” What if your ability to rake leaves for an hour could earn you a haircut?

Dr. Karen Werner

Dr. Karen Werner is changing the economy of Orange, Massachusetts one hour at a time. Werner and some of her students from Goddard College developed a Time Bank in Orange. A Time Bank deals in a form of alternative currency. The Orange Time Bank, doles out a web-based currency, meaning, that people list the services that can render and the services they wish to receive. One hour of raking someone’s lawn could earn you enough virtual capital for a 60 minute massage. “We are turning strangers into neighbors,” said Werner.

If there is one thing I have learned from the many Great Depression survivors who have shared their stories in the MobileBooth, it is that the kindness of strangers and neighbors pulled many people through tough times. Community is, indeed, something to bank on.



2 Responses to “Time is Money”

To preserve the StoryCorps mission and experience for our readers and participants, comments are subject to the StoryCorps Terms of Service. Comments may be held for moderation or removed if deemed offensive or off-topic. Please do not resubmit your comment if you don't see it right away, it will be approved as soon as possible. Thank you.

  • Wow! What an informative blog and wonderful concept. I think it would be great to create another form of exchange outside the monetary system, especially if it allows for a community to grow around such and exchange.

    Comment from Jeremy on December 2, 2008 at 10:45 pm - Reply to this Comment
  • If this is what comes out of our devastating economic times, it might be worth it.

    Comment from Nzingha Garner on December 2, 2008 at 6:31 pm - Reply to this Comment

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