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Generosity Economy is a gift for all

In her letter to the editor, Susan Bachelder of Egremont writes: "New England is blessed with great resources in culture, education and many working farms. We are also Yankees and the Generosity Economy is based on an old saying of my Aunt Julia – 'Use a little; Save a little; Pass a little on'. "

To the Editor:

From Walter Isaacson, CEO of Aspen Institute comes word that Bitcoin and its ilk will be a disruptive factor in the finance sector in 2015. An inexpensive micropayment system that will allow direct purchase of news, entertainment, and small item exchange, thereby disrupting the money trail that generates handling fees for banks or PayPal, Amazon and Apple, bitcoin-style systems will upend our method of small exchanges. This would allow artists, small entrepreneurs, newspapers, and journals, to charge a fee per use, rather than looking for subscriptions.

Isaacson has his sights on the cable industry as the next “too big to fail” failure when micropayment takes off and we can pay a reasonable price per show, and not pay for channels we don’t watch. I hope he is right.

At the other end of the spectrum is “The Generosity Economy,” a group of fellow citizens you highlighted here in The Edge. New England is blessed with great resources in culture, education and many working farms. We are also Yankees and the Generosity Economy is based on an old saying of my Aunt Julia – “Use a little; Save a little; Pass a little on.”

Before the Templars invented banking and “credit cards,” more was done through barter and gifting. Gifting items through the local community several times based on use and personal need, the Generosity Economy is another re-ordering of our relationship to our labor and the method of exchange we choose to employ in its transfer.

But whether we continue to swipe the plastic, spend our Bitcoin online, or trade home made sauerkraut (yum!) for lessons in calligraphy, the financial ground is shifting in the way we come to market and how we meet our needs. What is essential is a free and secure Internet upon which to act. I have just sent a contribution to my IP Mozilla. I would urge all of us to remember the wind beneath our collective wings as global and local economies share space on the Internet.

With best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year.

Susan Bachelder

Egremont

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