A walk down Main Street in this New England town calls to mind the pictures of Norman Rockwell, who lived nearby and chronicled small-town American life in the mid-20th Century.I don't mind that the Town of Great Barrington is unclear on the concept of "money" because money is a fairly subtle concept. I don't even mind the whiff of fraud of what amounts to "dollarizing" the Great Barrington economy. I flat out admire the indirection they use about the profit they're going to make from collectors; that is, tourists who buy the BerkShares, take them home and never redeem them. But have these people never heard of coupons?
So it is fitting that the artist's face adorns the 50 BerkShares note, one of five denominations in a currency adopted by towns in western Massachusetts to support locally owned businesses over national chains.
"I just love the feel of using a local currency," said Trice Atchison, 43, a teacher who used BerkShares to buy a snack at a cafe in Great Barrington, a town of about 7,400 people. "It keeps the profit within the community."
19 June 2007
Unclear On The Concept
From Reuters, comes news that Great Barrington, Mass, a nice little town just down the highway, has issued its own currency:
Posted by David at 8:49 AM