Economic textbooks say that money has three characteristics – medium of exchange, a unit of account, and standard of value. In this chapter, we covered the medium of exchange – money must be accepted and valued by society. We will include a unit of account and standard of value later in the next chapter. Everyone uses electricity, but can we figure a way to make it the basis for money.
You say, ‘Stop! ‘We can’t do that! You are messing with THE MAN, the IRS, Uncle Sam, Big Oil, Wall Street! They will never allow it! I want my money back!’
You are right, and we need to make sure things are legal. You see the ‘Liberty Dollar’ in Table 1.1. The founder of that is in jail. He went a bit too far and challenged both the money monopoly and the Government. These proposals assume that the necessary legal steps are finished, and Congress can pass laws. States can issue money under some restrictions. Some alternative funds can exist if done the proper way.
Now, with modern technology and our energy backed economy, kilowatt-hours can be a new widely accepted form of money. As alternative money, it could be as legal as Facebook credits or Disney dollars – it is used in certain situations. As Government-backed money, it can have the strength of gold and the acceptance of paper money. The many States already allow some minimal form of this through ‘Net Metering’ or ‘feed-in tariffs’ where electric utilities are required to purchase excess energy from homeowners who have solar energy systems. It would not take too much to take this to the next level. It has the potential to change the game and the economy.