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Ithaca HOURS: Quotations

everyone has something to offer"If you ever travel to the City of Ithaca, New York, be prepared to accept some unusual currency. People in Ithaca decided the economy needed a boost-- so they printed their own money-- called Ithaca HOURS. A One HOUR note is worth ten dollars. Some people in Ithaca use U.S. dollars reluctantly. They think their own colorful currency-- which bears the motto 'In Ithaca We Trust'-- is better for the local economy. We talked with Margaret McCasland, who's on the Advisory Board of the local group that prints the money..." --Voice of America, 2/27/96

"Residents of Ithaca, a city in Upstate New York, have come up with a unique method to deal with their strapped economy-- they're printing their own money. Hundreds of Ithaca businesses now accept it, and many residents take a portion of their pay in the local currency. Steve Inskeep reports the system is legal and it seems to be working..." --National Public Radio's Morning Edition, 3/18/96

"As a visitor to Ithaca, I bought HOURS from a store and went out to find what I could do with these unusual bills. To transact HOURS is to engage in person-to-person relationships, and to build community in the process." -- Hudson Valley Green Times, Winter 1994

"Ithaca HOURS stimulates the local economy because they... offer a customer base to start up cottage industries. They encourage accountability because the people who use them are more likely to care about environmental practices in an orchard in Newfield than, say, a rice paddy in China. And because you can't invest HOURS... they circulate faster than dollars. All of which translates into renewed faith in the local economy." --Cornell Magazine, December 1994

see what you can do with your own hands"This extraordinary idea was inspired by a very ordinary need for more money. Now, by advertising their talents or goods in the project's newsletter, HOUR Town, consumers can find themselves in the money. And small businesses are reaping rewards, too, since the currency gives residents more incentive to shop locally." --Entrepreneur Magazine, April 1996

"The growth of such exciting new community schemes as Ithaca's HOURS... illustrates the way the corporate economy has marginalized so many that these people have erected alternative economic schemes. As masses of people are abandoned to joblessness-- already the 200 largest corporations in the world, which control over 25 percent of global economic activity, employ less than one-hundredth of 1 percent of the global work force-- alternative economic schemes will become key ingredients in survival strategies for hundreds of millions. While creating these survival schemes, we must also dismantle the powers of the global corporations that have made such changes necessary." --The Nation, 10/21/96

"The HOUR system seems stable and well-managed... and is an interesting mix of social conscience and capitalism. Merchants who have used HOURS to attract customers, raise the profits of their businesses and bolster their bottom lines speak first about the money-making benefits of the currency. And if those large zero-interest loans to build commerce, if those community organizations supported by HOURS increase the standard of living for the town, and if those in the system felt a tangible effect from those projects, the crystal ball might explode from the influence of HOURS." --Durrell Journal of Money and Banking, Spring 1996

"Part bartering system, part economic strategy to skirt the tentacles of big business, the new currencies-- in use in 30 cities from coast to coast, plus Canada and Mexico-- are patterned after an Ithaca, New York-based organization that five years ago began issuing Ithaca HOURS. --Dallas Morning News, 6/3/96

"Many laborers-- who want to pick up some extra income moonlighting-- like the Ithaca HOUR because it sets the minimum value of an hour's worth of work at $10.00" --National Enquirer, 3/12/96

"Ithaca HOURS continues to capture the imagination of our local business community,' says Linda Daybell, president of the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce." --Central New York Business Journal, 4/96

"Local currency is legal, but the government stipulates that the notes must be different size than dollar bills, issued in denominations valued at a minimum of one dollar, and reported as taxable income to the IRS. Instead of winding up in the coffers of distant corporations, however, Ithaca HOURS must be spent locally." --Wall Street Journal, 6/27/96

"Ithaca's HOURS have spawned imitators in rural town across Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. the scheme has been welcomed by communities increasingly wary of the flow of 'federal funny money'-- the dollar-- out of their communities into the hands of big corporations and banks. And the issue of interest-free loans goes to the heart of the HOURS' appeal to U.S. rural communities, with their unhappy memories of bank failures and foreclosures on loans." --London Observer, 8/18/96

"Despite the government's spiffy new hundred-dollar bill, some people are rejecting the Fed's scrip in favor of their their own. Ithaca's HOURS were created to better the lives of people with more time than money, whose niche skills were marginalized in the mainstream economy, the idea was the stimulate regional commerce and make the region more self-reliant." --Across the Board July/August 1996

"This is textbook grassroots empowerment-- people improving their lives through their own initiative, free of the federal currency system and the traditional labor market." --Ithaca Journal editorial, 5/23/96

"With the trend in corporate downsizing, local HOUR money seems like an idea whose time has come." --New York Times, 1/21/96

"One of the most impressive results of the Ithaca HOUR system is the bimonthly list of local goods and services. The county can see how rich it is in human resources, and how many of its own needs it can meet-- something that too few towns, valuing themselves in terms defined by federal money and multinational corporations, appreciate about themselves." --Plain Magazine, October, 1995

"Ithaca HOURS, the grandparent of perhaps some 20-30 local currency systems up and about in North America, provides one path to what might be called "self-reliant" or "self-generated" funding. Its success strongly suggests that we can look within ourselves and our neighbors, at our own resources, to begin the long journey towards a new and democratized economy." --Grassroots Economic Organizing, 1995

"Local currency is being credited with reviving the sagging economies of small and large communities across the U.S." --Coin World, 5/13/96

"Take another look at that Ithaca HOUR. That's no George Washington peering out at you. It's not any of the old white men who traditionally grace currency in this country. The front of a special commemorative HOUR pictures Beverly J. Martin, an African-American and former teacher, principal and school administrator in Ithaca." --Syracuse Herald-American, 8/28/94

"At a time when giant banks and credit card companies are working to perfect electronic cash that leaps national boundaries instantly and invisibly, groups in 30 U.S. cities are going in the opposite direction and trying to keep money on Main Street by printing their own." --Winston-Salem Journal, 7/1/96

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