On April 12, 2012 I presented the following paper “Redesigning Money to Serve Economies of Well-being and Happiness” at a conference on Creating Money in a Finite World at the Claremont School of Theology, with my mentor John Cobb Jr. (co-author of For the Common Good, with Herman Daly), Ellen Brown (attorney and author of The Web of Debt), ecological economist Josh Farley, and others.

The paper builds on a similar proposal I made April 2, 2012 at the United Nations in New York at a high-level meeting, hosted by the Prime Minister of Bhutan, on developing a new economic paradigm based on wellbeing and happiness. I presented a similar proposal to George Soros and Ciao Koch-Weser (Vice Chairman of Deutsche Bank) at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2011.

In this paper I explore the potential redesign of the world’s money and banking system such that the creation of money is no longer in the form of unrepayable debt (with compounding interest costs) but aligned with the goal of optimizing well-being and happiness for a good life. I proposed the money creation could be aligned with well-being and happiness, using the Genuine Wealth Model. This would align with Abraham Lincoln’s vision who said in 1865:

“Money is the creature of law, and the creation of the original issue of money should be maintained as the exclusive monopoly of national government. …The monetary needs of increasing numbers of people advancing towards higher standards of living can and should be met by the government. Such needs can be met by the issue of national currency and credit through the operation of a national banking system. The circulation of a medium of exchange issued and backed by the government can be properly regulated and redundancy of issue avoided by withdrawing from circulation such amounts as may be necessary by taxation, re-deposit and otherwise. Government, possessing the power to create and issue currency and credit as money…need not and should not borrow capital at interest….The financing of all public enterprises, the maintenance of stable government and ordered progress, and the conduct of the Treasury will become matters of practical administration…Money will cease to be the master and become the servant of humanity. Democracy will rise superior to the money power.”

In this global debt crisis it is time for courageous leaders that would follow in the steps of the practical wisdom of Lincoln.

Redesigning Money to Serve Economies of Wellbeing

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