Is there money in a Participatory Economy?

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There is a currency in a Participatory Economy. However, there are some important differences to money today.

Income, and therefore currency in a Participatory Economy is non-transferrable. You cannot transfer your income to another person or organisation (with the exception of redistribution of income within one’s consumer council for special needs requests). Whenever you purchase a good or service you are not transferring your income to the workers of the workplace who you have purchased the good from. Income and sales are separate accounts in a participatory economy. The income workers receive is from the society account, not from their workplace’s sales account. For more information on accounting in a participatory economy, see the book Anarchist Accounting.

In a Participatory Economy, currency is simply an accounting unit used to keep track of consumption rights. Currency can only be used as a means accepted as payment for goods and services. Every citizen has an account which is credited whenever they receive income and debited whenever they pay for a good or service and every citizen would have an electronic debit card for making payments.

An important difference to a capitalist economy is that income is distributed fairly in a participatory economy and capital is socially owned. Therefore differences in people’s incomes across society would be small compared to today. The only way to receive income is from work, from needs based allowances or for compensation from pollution. It is not possible to purchase shares or gain income from rent or interest.

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