Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Name: Paul Glover

What he does: Makes money–literally

LATEST TRIUMPH: Helped 18 cities mint their own currencies

In 1991, struggling graphics designer Paul Glover of Ithaca, N.Y., played out every working Joe’s fantasy: He made his own money. Now, half a million dollars of his money has changed hands, and 18 cities are nurturing similar homegrown plans.

Glover’s idea was simple enough: Community members can earn locally printed money by performing a service or providing a good. The dollar-sized Ithaca HOURS, worth $10 apiece to represent the hourly wage in Tompkins County, can be traded for goods and services. Most importantly, money can’t leave the community by way of chain stores, such as Wal-Mart or McDonald’s.

What started as a barter experiment between Glover and about 90 friends has grown to include 250 businesses and nearly 1,500 participants who support the self-sustaining project. While Ithaca has relatively low unemployment, many residents find work seasonally and for little money, creating a high rate of working poor.

“We’re in a depression,” says Margaret McCasland. Her daycare program accepts HOURS, and she says the currency provides flexible work opportunities during rough times. A while back, she advertised what services she could offer from home (mending clothes, tutoring) through the project’s newspaper, Ithaca Money. Eventually, it helped her save enough to start her daycare program.

Glover’s idea is catching on. Communities in 13 other states have designed their own monetary systems with local flair (Ka’u, Hawaii, uses Pineapple Dollars). Glover says he hopes for more local currencies, with rules that “benefit people, rather than banks and corporate elites.”

For more information, write Paul Glover at P.O. Box 6578, Ithaca, NY 14851.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate