What would Hamilton say?

On BBC World News America, I saw an interesting piece about “BerkShares”, a local currency being used in Massachusetts. You can read the Wikipedia article about it here.

It is an interesting concept, but I think it’s also somewhat disturbing, because in the early years of the United States, a great deal of pain resulted from such “local currencies”, which meant inflation and difficulties engaging in trade among the States. And even before the Revolution, it was usual for each colony to issue its own currency.

The Constitution forbids the States from issuing their own currency, but since this is not a State but rather private persons in one region, I think it’s probably allowed under the Constitution. It may even prove to be a good idea for them. However, it does suggest a certain drifting apart of the one region from the whole; an issue which the Founders, in their day, worked very hard to remedy. Not that there’s any danger of such currencies posing a major alternative to the U.S. Dollar anytime soon, of course.

What's your stake in this, cowboy?