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Living Without Money For 22 Years! - A German Example!

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posted on Jul, 18 2011 @ 06:44 PM
I think we can all take a lesson from this incredible German Woman who hasn't used money or credit for 22 year.

Also considering the impact the negative Global Economy is about to take on all our lives perhaps this woman's story will inspire us and give us hope for the future.

This is a model of survival that has been advocated in many books and blogs and I thought members would appreciate the tips here along with a short video.

Heidemaries Schwermer has written two books on the subject for those wanting or NEEDING to follow her example.

But be careful you don't get arrested if you're in the US!!!

"Heidemarie’s incredible story began 22 years ago, when she, a middle-aged secondary school teacher emerging from a difficult marriage, took her two children and moved to the city of Dortmund, in Germany’s Ruhr area. One of the first things she noticed was the large number of homeless people, and this shocked her so much that she decided to actually do something about it. She had always believed the homeless didn’t need actual money to be accepted back into society, only a chance to empower themselves by making themselves useful, so she opened a Tauschring (swap shop), called “Gib und Nimm” (Give and Take).

Her small venture was a place where anyone could trade stuff and skills for other things and skills they needed, without a single coin or banknote changing hands. Old clothes could be traded in return for kitchen appliances, and car service rendered in return for plumbing services, and so on. The idea didn’t really attract many of Dortmund’s homeless, because, as some of them told her to her face, they didn’t feel an educated middle-class woman could relate to their situation. Instead, her small shop was assaulted by many of the city’s unemployed and retired folk eager to trade their skills and old stuff for something they needed. Heidemarie Schwermer’s Tauschring eventually became somewhat of a phenomenon in Dortmund and even prompted its creator to ask herself some questions about the life she was living."

Schwermer has written two books about her experience of living without money and asked her publisher to give the money to charity so it can make many people happy instead of just one. She’s just happy being healthier and better off than ever before

posted on Jul, 18 2011 @ 06:48 PM
reply to post by quedup

The ideas of community, valuation of people's work and efforts, and socio-economic disparity, come into mind.

posted on Jul, 18 2011 @ 06:50 PM
reply to post by xacto

sadly community living is none existent people basically don't trust each other

posted on Jul, 18 2011 @ 07:08 PM
reply to post by starwarsisreal

I think this will change as austerity measures begin to bite and the community finds that they only have eachother to rely on! Sad I know but many communities will need to find ways to survive.

posted on Jul, 18 2011 @ 07:10 PM
reply to post by quedup

It was always a dream of mine to live a life like that - then I did it. Living without money is easy until you have to pay rent and bills for utilities, until you have to eat or need to buy anything you can't trade for.

I'd really like to believe there's enough people about that could just move to an agreed area and start living like this but I have no idea how you would go about finding / organizing it. Unless anyone on ATS has a bunch of free land and wouldn't mind a few long term visitors

posted on Jul, 18 2011 @ 07:26 PM
reply to post by quedup

transcript from the vid ,

people send me a ticket

her response to a question on how she travels

says it all really - a pure barter system only works on a small scale , within a limited geographical area , is highly labour intensive , and has many limitations

she may be " living without money " - but she is utterly dependant on those that do

every civilisation in the world , independantly created the concept of money - and for a dammed good reason

posted on Jul, 18 2011 @ 08:18 PM
reply to post by ignorant_ape

I'm sure there are many aspects that can be pulled apart but I'm equally sure that with some research on this kind of model would bring valued information that can be used to the benefit of those who are willing to put in the work.

As for depending of those who have money - it makes a change from them depending on us!!!!

posted on Jul, 18 2011 @ 08:34 PM
I agree Barter does not work for someone which has made their life self sufficient.

That is where an Economy based on Food is better than any fiat/mineral (IE gold, silver) is a better way to work.


My basic idea and principle theory is if you take from our current system to develop a more solid rewarding system, you may get something that works and can't be abused.

You maintain a Wage/Salary of sorts based around this Food backed Economy.
Where the Wage is based on Calories burnt to perform that task.
So if you have manual labor like Mining, than that person has a higher wage than someone who just sits and works behind a computer. (Tho an I.T job wouldn't be required in a self sufficient community)

I still haven't hammered out the details on how it would work or put in a practical test for the afore mentioned reason.
But basically your economy is measured off grams of food.
So let's use Wheat Germ (toasted, plain) as an example.
28.3g of Wheat Germ provides 108 Calories - About - Wheat Germ

Depending on the work, if someone needed 1000 Calories to perform their tasks for the day, then they would need 262g of Wheat Germ.

That would be the wage for day. Or that would be the cost to perform that job for someone.
So in a community where not everyone would be self sufficient, you would then have those people providing their services at a cost of what it would take to perform that task.

Since there is no point in taking more food than you would need because it would only spoil, then there is no greed.

But this cycle is ultimately self defeating - Which is good.

Because if the person did prefer to have more food or would like more of one type, then they would either be happy to do the extra work, or they would look to supplement it themselves.
Which would then give them more work, but take the work off someone else to provide it.
Hence eliminating the extra stress on the community.

Now you also have the argument of;
Well what if the person harvesting the Wheat for the community has all that he needs, and doesn't need the services of an individual? That individual would then go without Wheat and could possibly starve.

The answer would be Yes AND No.
Obviously the Wheat Farmer would be growing more than enough Wheat for the whole community - Or there would be multiple Wheat Farmers, but you would have that Wheat Farmer possibly selling the remaining bulk to someone in the community if he/she didn't want to hold onto it.
So then the starving individual in question would then get the Wheat from that person instead of the farmer.

Considering that the wage/salary/payment for the Wheat is based off Calories used in the task to earn the Wheat, is preset by the economy. The Farmer, the member who has the bulk of Wheat and the starving individual wouldn't be any more out of pocket when they first started due to the cycle of the economy.

Explanation Further;
Wheat Farmer Bob sells his remaining Wheat to Joe because Joe works in Irrigation and can in turn pay for the Wheat by Irrigating Farmer Bob's farm.
Tailor Rachael would then buy what Wheat she needs from Joe because Joe needs some new work clothing at the rate it would cost her to perform the task.

Furthermore, you may ask about mineral costs;
Same thing applies;
Miner Gary sells his produce (minerals) to those in the community that needs them, based on the calories required to attain them.
Farmer Bob needs some of Miner Gary's Steel because he is Irrigating his Farm and needs these supplies for Joe. In turn Miner Gary gets fed for his work and lives to help the community another day.
Farmer Bob gets his steel because Miner Gary needed to be fed and could supply his produce as payment.

Now I am sure you are asking... Isn't this just Barter?
It is, but it isn't as briefly touched on at the start of the post.
It is a centralized economy.
So you would have a coin/paper system as a representative of units in grams of food.
So this is how it would break down in the community.

Everyone in the community who has some sort of produce, bring said produce to a central location.
Instead of standing over it in ownership, the produce is DONATED to the community.
The community then pays for said produced based on what they have earned in their own jobs.
So if Miner Gary has been working 5 days a week and has burned around 20,000 Calories, then he has an account balance of 5,241 (rounding up) grams of Wheat - Based on the initial example of 108 calories per 28.3g of Wheat Germ.
Now this is how it would work for what Miner Gary produces in terms of economy account credit.
If those 20,000 calories produce say 100KG of Steel, then would equate to;
100KG = 100,000g
20,000c / 100,000g = 0.2 calories per gram of Steel.
For Miner Gary, it would cost him 21.6g of Steel to get him 28.3g of Wheat for 108 Calories.
In order to get his 20,000 Calories, he would then have to mine 4,000g of Steel.
So this would give the community a surplus of Steel.
Now in turn, this would give Miner Gary the ability to rest for the next 25 weeks while the Steel stock dwindles down and not go hungry. Or at least until the community needed more Steel.

This would go for any profession in the Community that produces a non edible product.

What about Tailor Rachael who would be needed by the community to constantly produce clothes even though she wouldn't need any more food?
Well... Tailor Rachel would still need to get cloth from the clothier if she didn't make it herself, if she did make it herself, then she would need to get wool or cotton from other farmers. So she could take orders as demanded, or make a surplus and rest for several weeks while her stocks drop.

What about Farmer Bob that doesn't need to produce any more Wheat because he has an excess and doesn't need to work?
Well Farmer Bob needs more than just Wheat to live

No doubt there are some flaws in this system... But show me a system that is perfect?
Maybe I should create my own thread in Economics?

What if everyone is excess of their stock?
Then the Community Wins doesn't it?

edit on 18/7/2011 by Sovaka because: Fixing stuff

edit on 18/7/2011 by Sovaka because: Spelling, Grammar, probably still missed some.

posted on Jul, 18 2011 @ 09:45 PM
Yip, that sure was a wall of text - but hey - no room for lazy buggers in this game lol. I see where you are coming from and this is the kind of talk that we need negotiation with the aim of finding a solution. Your prognosis is similar to others that I've read about and can work.

There is a community in Scotland that works on the same principles but it's some kind of new age thing if I remember right (will have to search it out) The main point is that - EVERYBODY needs something and with some fairness and ingenuity this can be resolved.
edit on 18-7-2011 by quedup because: (no reason given)

I think it depends on People having Credits - if you just work on Calories and the guy on the Computer doesn't earn any well that's not fair - he could be contributing a valuable asset even if it's to place bargaining offers on line or extending the community whatever ..... Credits would need to be based on skill level surely? Those without skills would get less but their labour would be just as valuable - like the guy on the computer yeah.

So you start of with a base level of credits that are enough to live off and the more skilled you are the more credits you achieve otherwise what would be the incentive to gain skills?

There should also be a way of earning bonus credits too - for the extras in life - No?

edit on 18-7-2011 by quedup because: further information

posted on Jul, 18 2011 @ 10:08 PM
reply to post by quedup

Well that is the beauty of it... If there would be a job that isn't as labor intensive, that person would still use calories for the day.

But the problem is you can't have people leeching on the system for little to no input.

It is a reverse paradigm shift of what people expect now... But that is the way life is.
I don't argue that they aren't as important...
Maybe there could be a credit offset based on what those professions need in order to do their job.
Like biological liquids for medicine research et cetera.

Maybe the community built items that would support these professions are built for the community.
So then those professions aren't penalized.
Like computer components in manufacturing plants that the community as a whole would supply and attend.

edit on 18/7/2011 by Sovaka because: Spelling

posted on Jul, 18 2011 @ 10:22 PM
Not completely sure what you mean but will try and absorb it. In Principle I think we're agreed but we need more input on this - I'm sure there are plenty out there with some original thinking that could contribute.

posted on Jul, 18 2011 @ 10:45 PM
Ok, for example, if you take an I.T. job where you are just reinstalling Operating Systems...
A person still requires a certain amount of calories per day.
So on a day that this person works, they would get that calorie in-take for that day as per a minimum wage.

But in an ideal community you will have professions that aren't in 100% need.
So like life, these people will need to diversify their skills in order to get by.

While still maintaining that they don't need to work 60 hrs a week in order to live a good life.
They need to only work as much as they need or would like.

If the community goes in excess with stock, then you will find people will still contribute, because when you are content and happy. You will freely apply your skills.
This is seen in ALL Open Source projects.

That being said, you need to be in a community of like minded individuals who truly wish to be there.
Not just leech the system because they believe they deserve a free ride.
edit on 18/7/2011 by Sovaka because: Spelling

posted on Jul, 18 2011 @ 10:54 PM
reply to post by Sovaka

OK you talk of professions that aren't in 100% Need? Sorry I was thinking from a base line - from the perspective that we all have the same basic needs in life (if your with me). I don't think you would find it easy at all to implement the concept into the current model of society - you will always get those who are unwilling to give up what they already have. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding????

I am thinking more along the lines of not only now in our current climate of change but - at such a point that the financial catastrophe has already happened and we're starting from scratch because that is the scenario that is more likely to be successful due to the fact that we will all be in the same boat. If you're not starting from a level playing field then we have a different scenario and need to look at this very differently.

posted on Jul, 18 2011 @ 11:08 PM

Originally posted by quedup
reply to post by Sovaka

OK you talk of professions that aren't in 100% Need? Sorry I was thinking from a base line - from the perspective that we all have the same basic needs in life (if your with me). I don't think you would find it easy at all to implement the concept into the current model of society - you will always get those who are unwilling to give up what they already have. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding????

I am thinking more along the lines of not only now in our current climate of change but - at such a point that the financial catastrophe has already happened and we're starting from scratch because that is the scenario that is more likely to be successful due to the fact that we will all be in the same boat. If you're not starting from a level playing field then we have a different scenario and need to look at this very differently.

No, I get what you mean.

In a society that has just collapsed and a new economy needs to be established then you would set up a "Grace" period of sorts.
Where anything gained or produced should be distributed equally amongst all those in the community where needed.

This is where the Governing body (consensus of the group) would then figure out where people should be placed on their strengths, past experiences and skill sets.
For the initial start this would give the emerging community the best chance of success and livability.

Then once the supply system is established and possible producing an excess, then the positions of people can be re-evaluated if people want to transition into another area of interest.

Those without any applicable skill sets or experiences, then those will be placed in areas where the community is lacking input. IF that person is capable of performing that task.

posted on Jul, 18 2011 @ 11:11 PM
Capitalism by law, Socialism by free conduct.
Godliness is rare, but evident. Emulate what you can see in your mind's eye.

posted on Jul, 18 2011 @ 11:18 PM
Thanks for your contribution Dasher - would you like to elaborate a little more? Sounds interesting!

posted on Jul, 18 2011 @ 11:38 PM
I think we are all seeing something in our minds eye - trouble is we all see something different but the main thing is that we all want the same result - just different ways to achieve it.

Is this how religion starts?????

I think if we bear in mind that we all ultimately need the same things in life - Yes we would all like the big houses and material things but remembering - the cost of such things helps keep one on track toward the same aims.

I wonder if we will all remember where materialism took us? (another thread perhaps) Living in the NOW is hard enough!

posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 04:51 AM
reply to post by Sovaka

While I like this idea, the only flaw I see is that you mentioned only providing someone with the exact calories they use, therefore never actually gaining anything for their family etc. This would mean even children would have to work for their food.

Wahoo child labor.
Only kidding of course.

Other than that seems like a great idea.

posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 04:53 AM
Money is absolutely fine and necessary but too much emphasis is placed on it: IE: If you have a lot of money it somehow implies you are a better person and therefore a better provider. The latter is true but the previous is not.

Money is money but Mammon is the demon of money (Indeed notice how the words Mammon and Money appear alike).

Mubarak, for one, worshipped Mammon. When his palace was raided they found stacks of money gathering dust around when his countrymen were suffering.

There is more value in a bag of rice, tools, gasoline, actual tangible goods than paper but money is a form of insurance, to insure a continued level of comfort during rainy days or retirement. Nothing wrong with that. What is wrong, however is to have too much of it.

The Rothschilds and Rockefellers, and other top financial families have too much... They have billions, more like zillions, of dollars and goods. It's this way that money becomes a means of control, and if money is a means of control then the reason why billions are poor is that they can be controlled by Mammon, the demon of money.

Mammon is a much more demonic demon than the Devil. Many, many times worse.

The Devil tempts... but Mammon kills.

posted on Jul, 19 2011 @ 04:56 AM
reply to post by star in a jar

I love your reference to mammon, I just watched Constantine again the other night while it was on and that was what they used as the name of the son of the devil or satan if you will.

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