Segments in this Video

What Is a Timebank? (03:14)


Timebanks serve a useful purpose in communities where people traditionally hesitate to ask for help. In timebank systems, currency is referred to as "talent," which is linked in value to the existing currency system of the country.

Individual Economic Strength Through Timebank Systems (03:06)

In timebank systems, "talents," earned units of timebank currency, lie idle until one wants to exchange them for goods and services. This segment looks at the German LETS timebank system.

Great Britain's Timebank System (02:17)

Timebank concept in Britain started in mid-1990s. Now over 100 local entities provide opportunities for "reciprocal volunteering" in a cashless system. What are the significant changes the timebank system brings to welfare states?

London's Timebank System for Senior Citizens (03:03)

New Economics Foundation finds possibilities within the social contract to design new economies. Making their talents available through a local timebank, London's senior citizens maintain social contacts in the timebank's activities center.

Timebanks: Political Power (05:07)

Germany's timebank system, the LETS system, seeks political clout to influence decisions about alternative economies. The value of timebank currency--people's talents-- is an issue for the annual meeting of LETS.

Timebank Systems as Social Safety Nets (02:19)

German's call their LETS timebank system a social market economy, providing a social safety net for people who do not always benefit from national economic policies.

Global Cash Economy (02:34)

The global cash economy is based on the belief that money has intrinsic value. Money, however, was only meant to be a measure of the value of work. Can the cash economy accept a cashless economic system?

A Cashless System That Works (05:18)

Timebank USA chairman Edgar S. Cahn describes his involvement in timebanks after a massive heart attack nearly immobilized him. A woman with a severe skin disorder uses Portland's timebank to get help with personal and domestic issues.

Cash Society vs. Cashless Society (03:43)

In a cashless timebank economy, it is possible to maintain a balance between taking and giving. In a capitalistic system, money and power combine to disenfranchise certain parts of the population. Distribution of goods and services is not equitable.

Value of Production and Welfare State (03:23)

It is essential for a society to redefine what is productive and significant work. In cashless economies, nearly everyone can "produce" value. In welfare states, people are not motivated or required to help make a better society.

Timebank System: Personal Satisfaction and Fulfillment (02:48)

A member of Berlin's timebank LETS expresses his satisfaction with helping others. His health has improved and his level of self-fulfillment is the highest in his life.

Timebank System: Relationships and Security for Members (02:40)

By participating in timebank systems, "time" dollars are really "relationship dollars." People gain a kind of security in that a community looks out for other members in times of need.

Free Market Economy vs. Market Economy (02:54)

Timebank systems function like free market economies for the poor. Market economies of globalized countries cannot provide societal equity or improve the environment and personal satisfaction of their citizens.

Value of Timebank Communities (02:09)

A German economist discusses the "upside down" nature of most globalized societies. For example, money should serve people, but today, people serve money. In timebank communities, people focus on possibilities, not limitations.

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The Timebank: An Economy for Everyone

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Transactions that use “time dollars,” or currency offered and consumed in the form of services, have become more than just a novelty. This program looks at organized systems known as time banks, through which thousands of people—many of whom would likely subsist on charity or government aid in the traditional cash economy—now maintain rewarding and productive lives. Taking a global approach, the program examines two institutions that were created independently of each other but which have developed along similar lines: Timebank, in the U.S. and Great Britain, and the LETS system in Germany. Interviews with Timebank USA chairman Edgar S. Cahn, Timebank London chairman Martin Farrell, and several participants and administrators from both systems illustrate their innovative, community-based approach. (47 minutes)

Length: 48 minutes

Item#: BVL38711

ISBN: 978-1-4213-8499-3

Copyright date: ©2007

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.