Community organized currencies, like COjacks, provide a real incentive to buy local. The benefits of local currencies include, but are not limited to:
- An increase in the experienced wealth of all parties involved.
- Increased self-sufficiency for the region.
- Renewed interest in forming relationships with those who provide for our needs.
How does Colorado Benefit from COjacks?
Anyone who has COjacks has an immediate incentive to prefer participating local businesses. That’s a pretty big deal when you think about it. Most “competition” in many business sectors happens in the arena of price, as we’ve all come to expect mediocre standards in manufacturing and service, all that is left is the question of whose cheap crap is the cheapest.
Well, that’s much less true when you deal with fewer national and multinational corporations. Smaller business focus on more specific groups of customers, and tend to relate more closely to their needs and preferences. For this reason many of us already prefer to do business with smaller craft merchants, but can’t always afford to spend $5 a bar for soap, or $200 for a hand knit sweater. COjacks erode the power of big-box stores to price out these mom and pops, by giving local businesses increased circulation between each other, as well as increased purchasing power without debt or interest.The Velocity of Money
Have you ever watched figure skating, spun around in a free spinning stool, or just spun around for any reason in any way? Do you know how you spin faster when you shorten the radius of your spin. If your arms and legs are sticking way out than you go slowly, but when you pull them in everything gets more fun. Money works in much the same way.
Both at the point of issuance and because of increased local recirculation Coloradans get more money for participating in the COjacks network. If you were to always spend your money with the same people, and they always spent their money with each other - and with you, than every dollar you spend may as well be a boomerang. It will, by some path or another, come back to you because you’re a part of that network. This means that you get paid more often, effectively making more money. If the same money moves around more times within one group of people than everyone involved receives more money. That’s what COjacks is designed to do. They move money through a set group of people more times, and faster.Collapse Resilience
And there are secondary benefits as well. Say your local grocer gets most of their apples from out of state, or even from out of the country. We eat a lot of apples from Fiji and New Zealand here. How many mutable factors allow for that food to reach you? That line of supply is tenuous, supported by a complex lattice of subsidies and externalities. If you’re a drinker of gin and tonics than you probably noticed the spike in lime prices in 2014. Limes tripled in price almost overnight because of civil unrest in the regions in which most of our limes are grown. Food prices are rising, already. How would we be affected by a truckers strike, a cut in oil subsidies, or just a fuel shortage? A primary line of supply closer to home means increased resilience to natural - and unnatural - disasters.Fewer Strangers, More Allies
COjacks is a small network and certainly it aims to grow, but the growth of COjacks is not indiscriminate. The number of businesses which accept COjacks will always be much smaller than the total number of businesses accepting the U.S. dollar. Many have pointed to this as a weakness, but it is the greatest strength of the system. COjacks business members are more likely to have substantial relationships with their customers, vendors, and clients. Simply using COjacks at the counter tells a business owner that you are more likely to come back than you otherwise might be, that you have a common interest in furthering Colorado’s self-sufficiency, and that you would like your money to be kept nearby.
So, those are the benefits of spending within a tight-knit group of people. Of course that’s a tough thing to organize. Fortunately we don’t need a perfectly self-contained system to experience these benefits. Every step toward a more localized economy exponentially increases each of those social and economic benefits, as with each new member the number of potential recirculation patterns increases by more than with the one before - none of them going very far away.
COjacks are issued to the businesses and people of Colorado. Coloradans exchange dollars for COjacks, showing their commitment to the local economy, and receiving an increase in spendable cash in the process.
|How COjacks are Issued|
|Member Type||Acceptance Commitment||Purchase Rate||Issued for Referral of Business Member|
When a business or individual purchases COjacks that money is issued to them, just like when you get a loan from a bank. That money didn’t exist until that moment, and then it is created. But when you get a loan from a bank that money is issued along with a promise of repayment at interest - for which no money is created. So the money to pay back the interest on your loan has to come from someone else’s loan. It’s no wonder our society is increasingly alienated and competitive. A lot of good media has been created about this issue, some of our favorite documentaries are The Money Fix, and Money & Life. Some of our favorite books are Rethinking Money, Sacred Economics, Plenitude, and Economic Resilience.
So, both business and Coloradans receive a little extra money to work with, but more money is just the superficial benefit of COjacks. It is exhausted at the first point of spending. The real benefit of COjacks comes in the form of the tight knit recirculation between real makers and doers. COjacks do not direct resources toward the ever increasing speculation of the financial sector because it only circulates between businesses that actually provide real goods and services.
How do I get COjacks?
The simplest way to get COjacks to spend is to buy them right here on the website. Interested in testing the waters of local currency? Buy a small number of COjacks, like fifty. It���ll cost you forty bucks, you can try out some new businesses, and see how it works. You’ll save ten bucks, see a little more of the city, and meet new people.
We don’t charge for shipping, and if your delivery address is in state than you may purchase COjacks at a rate of $4:Cj5. Business members purchase at their rate. COjacks may also be obtained at any event where COjacks is tabling, such as Warm Cookies of the Revolution, or the Handmade Homemade Market.
Alternately, you can ask for change in COjacks, but –especially at this early stage – we can’t guarantee that any particular member will have COjacks on hand at all times.Why would I take COjacks as change, or buy COjacks at a 1:1 ratio from a member business?
The reason to take COjacks as change is the same reason that a person would wear a buy local T-shirt, because you believe in the cause. You know that circulating COjacks will help goad others into localizing the economy. When we get really good about that we’ll have an incredibly resilient economy, and a more robust community.
Where do I spend them? How do I get the most out of them?
Spend them with COjacks member businesses and with our individual members who have goods and services to offer. Our new directory is highly searchable, and we’ll be adding features to aid in the circulation of COjacks consistently. Stay tuned.Three things will allow you to get the most out of COjacks:
- Spend a little time poking at the directory. You might be surprised at what you find. Also, it’s keyword searchable, and - while it might not be perfectly populated - there are hundreds of products and services which can be found there.
- Talk to the owners at the businesses you frequent and love. We talk to a lot of businesses, but the truth is that there are a lot of programs out there which are functionally the opposite of what we’re doing, but may look and sound a lot like what we’re doing - businesses designed to further stratify the economy, and extract more resources and wealth from the earth and working classes. Your third party endorsement, as a customer, or as a friend, may go a lot farther than our explanation.
- Call us. Frequently a brief chat with one of us will generate a lead or two to help you with whatever you’re doing. Our job is to solve business and economic problems for our members, so call us anytime and we’ll do our best to help you with whatever you’ve got going.
So, when do we cash COjacks in for dollars?
Well . . . you don’t. COjacks don’t come back to us. Members spend COjacks with each other. We started the network out with B2B service providers, and there aren’t many general business needs that can’t be sourced in the network, some of our business members are even paying 10% of their rent for commercial space in COjacks. As the network has grown we’ve added cafes, salons, funeral homes, bakeries, bike shops, beekeepers (okay, only one beekeeper, but you get the point). We’ve added all kinds of businesses. Can’t find what you’re looking for, give us a ring. If you’ve got COjacks burning a hole in your pocket we’ll find a way to help you out.
Can one spend more than 10% or 30% in COjacks for anything?
Yes you can! Many of our members have 100% COjacks offerings. Those offers may be found in the member directory. All of the members listed in blue fields (as opposed to gray ones) have 100% COjacks offers visible at the bottom of their listings - once expanded.
Aside from that, it’s always up to the individual business if they’d like to accept more than their committed percentage in COjacks for some particular sale. Some businesses, though, have good reason to. If getting massage therapy for an old injury is something that you often neglect because of the expense, but you have a bunch of COjacks, and a therapist has an empty time slot, it could be mutually beneficial for them to take 50% in COjacks so that the time slot doesn’t go wasted - and they’re still getting paid. Some businesses in the network are donation based non-profits, and are already accepting sliding scale payments for what they offer. Those organizations are pretty amenable to accepting more of a transaction in COjacks.
Are COjacks a reduction in my buying power?
Buying power is the total amount of capital you have on hand multiplied by the maximum rate at which you can leverage that capital. So, that’s not exactly the term you’re looking for. The term for the range of acceptance of a currency is liquidity. The degree to which a thing is denominate-able (divisible into smaller pieces), and exchangeable at a commonly recognized value is the degree to which a thing is liquid. That being said, the liquidity of COjacks is intentionally limited, for the same reasons as mall gift certificates, or arcade tokens, but on a much bigger scale. The same way that the mall or arcade may do better business because of the gift certificates or tokens so can Colorado because of COjacks. The difference is that if you don't live in the mall than you won't gain much from that system, only the shopping mall and its business win. If you do live in Colorado than the benefit of increased localization extends to you as well.
If those are the positive effects of COjacks what are the negative effects of COjacks?
The truth is that there aren't any real negative effects which are likely to result from COjacks implementation. That is, if by 'negative effects' we mean 'negative consequences'. There are a lot of challenges, some sticking points, and some limitations that apply to COjacks. There are negative consequences to a number of other currency models - with central banks, metal backed currencies, and cryptocurrencies: concentrations of power, volatile value fluctuations leading to rampant speculation and massive rewards for unproductive roles in society, etc. COjacks only really have problems they can solve and problems that they can't, not problems they create - or contribute to. If there are any, neither us nor any of our critics have managed to find one. And there have been attempts, so many attempts.
Do I have to be a member to use COjacks?
COjacks is a cash currency, and as such anyone may receive it, spend it, destroy it, eat it, whatever. We can't control what people do with their money. The only requisite behavior that we keep tabs on is business member acceptance for their commercially offered goods and services. If someone asks for COjacks in change, or to buy COjacks from a business member, they should expect to exchange $1:Cj1. Anything else would threaten to throw off the businesses register counts, and create other inconsistency of use issues.
Why not just use dollars?
Student of economics are told several things which are - quite frankly - obviously false. One of those things is that money is value neutral within the economy. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Every currency has, from its point of issuance, a qualitative influence on the all of the activities of that economy. Think about musical chairs, it’s a simple game of economics. A currency is issued, chairs, and the terms, that you must have one when the music stops, dictate the entire set of behaviours within the game. If the terms, or rates of issuance for chairs were changed then the game play would be entirely different. Every aspect of our relationships to others is framed by the fact that all social access is granted through the issuance of money along with interest bearing debt. If there were any other way for the dominant currency in our economy to be created than the world could not be the same as it is.
We do not wish for the world to go on being the same, not if we can make it better. COjacks are a software patch. They are a edit to the system. They are not a negation of the dollar, but rather they are born out of the simple observation that we need more types of money, carefully crafted to solve problems within the foundational design of the economy.
COjacks aren’t here to replace the dollar. COjacks are like a software patch that makes the dollar work in more favorable ways. COjacks aren’t designed to replace the dollar, but to work intermingled with them. For the foreseeable future many of our obligations will be due in dollars - or mostly in dollars. COjacks encourage local spending, which means more people spending COjacks - as well as dollars - at local businesses. This helps local business to meet their dollar obligations in two ways - an increase in dollar income, as well as income in local currency which ties them into a more resilient support network. Those businesses have increased exposure to customers with a tangible reason to be loyal to them and the greater network of businesses on which they rely, and they have extra money to spend within that network.What do you mean by ���software patch’? If it’s just more paper money how can it be any different?
Every type of currency is designed differently. The way that a form of money is issued ultimately determines its fate and how it will affect those it meets along its path. Whoa. Let�������������s break that down. If I write you an I.O.U. we pretty well know where it’ll end up - back with me. Even if you give it to someone else as a form of payment for some unrelated thing, it still comes back to me. However, if a prison commissary sells a package of cigarettes that go into circulation as currency those cigarettes may change hands for any number of goods and services, but they aren’t going back to the commissary for redemption. They will slowly lose value, and eventually be consumed. If I pay you a large sum of money in U.S. dollars and you put it in a checking account which accrues no interest for five years you will effectively have less money in five years (due to inflation) than if I had paid you in gold bonds which you put in a safe deposit box. Every form of currency has different mechanics, and those mechanics change how we behave in the environments in which they are at play.
COjacks are systemically designed to be the minority currency in your wallet, but the one which guides your other currencies to continually return to you and the people you know. Furthermore, the design of COjacks is such that it has no volatility greater than dollars U.S., unlike cryptocurrencies and precious metals. This makes COjacks easier to spend and receive.
How much does it cost for a business to join?
*Really, we justed wanted to have one question with a single word answer. But, now that I’ve ruined that, I’ll throw in the qualifier: COjacks will be going invite only once we reach 150 business members. So, it’ll soon cost you one invitation to become a COjacks member. Invitations will be issued in small, finite, amounts to members, and - just like the Cj Notes themselves - we won’t self-issue.
How does my business get COjacks?
Buy them on the site, or receive them from customers.
The starting business purchase limit is Cj6,000. That limit may be raised if the member business shows us their tax records. The purchase cap is then adjusted to 10-30% of that business’s annual revenue, by Cj acceptance agreement. If a business grosses $200,000/yr. and commits to accept 10% in COjacks for any given sale (terms of Basic Membership) than their purchase cap becomes Cj20,000. That's not a per year limit, that's a total limit. If they purchase Cj20,000 than they will not be able to purchase more COjacks unless their revenue increases.
You may also purchase COjacks for barter credit through the CCTA.