I have just started reading an excellent book on Alternative Currencies which is understandable, comprehensive and compelling. Its message is that we must develop local and/or regional currencies to supplement our U.S. national currency if we are to truly meet the unprecedented challenges of social justice, income inequities and ecological sustainability. Our present monetary system continues to aggravate social wellbeing and ecological damage in its very functioning (not its intent); it operates on outdated principles which no longer serve human or ecological needs.
The book is New Money for a New World, by Bernard Lietaer and Stephen Belgin (2012). The authors write clearly and concisely about this often complex topic. They are blunt and direct in describing the need to get beyond the present limitations of our national money system. This book is a joy to read, also, because of the lucid writing style.
Here are some other recent related titles:
Occupy Money: Creating an Economy Where Everybody Wins, by Margrit Kennedy – this 2012 book is a concise (93 small pages), readable introduction to the same topic.
Rethinking Money: How New Currencies Turn Scarcity into Prosperity, by Bernard Lietaer and Jacqui Dunne, 2013
People Money: The promise of regional currencies, by Margrit Kennedy, Bernard Lietaer and John Rogers, 2012
Creating Wealth: Growing Local Economies with Local Currencies, by Gwendolyn Hallsmith and Bernard Lietaer, 2011