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.........The Sovereign Nation of Shetland
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Currency

Money has two functions. It is a means of exchange and a means to store wealth. Its principal function is as a means of exchange, but it is its ability to be a store of wealth, coupled with interest, that has enabled the bulk of the world's wealth to be concentrated in the hands of a few.

It is easy to see that in a ′recession′ there are no less resources available, no less raw materials to buy, or labour to carry out services - only a lack of money to enable those activities to go on. Similarly, a ′boom′ happens when people feel they have more money to spend. That money is often illusory because it is in the form of debt. Credit has become easier because the banks have lowered the interest rate and made it easier to borrow.

Boom and Bust are both controlled by the amount of money in the system, which is controlled by the banks - private corporations with huge power over our lives. That power is far in excess of anything government wields - see Banking.

The Shetland Gulde combats this problem in two ways. Firstly by being backed by real value and secondly by having negative interest, or demuurrage.

The real value is in the form of commodities - the stuff you want to buy with your money. All today's currencies are called 'fiat' currencies - their value is determined by what the government (or somebody behind government) says. All our notes are fraudulent because of what is written on their face - "I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of X pounds". Pounds of what? It used to be silver, that's why we have the 'pound sterling', but no bank will give you five pounds weight of silver for a 5 note. That's a good indication of how much value our currency has lost through inflation.

We think of inflation as the amount prices rise, but really it's the amount the currency drops, Because it is less valuable, we need more of it to buy the goods we need. In the currency world, you always talk about 'pairs'. The dollar might rise against the pound, or drop against the Euro. If a currency is backed by the commodities needed to make the goods we need, its value cannot rise or fall against the commodities and inflation is halted. All the major economies suffer inflation - their currency is always falling in value against the commodities people want to buy. So, in the long term, the Shetland Gulde will always rise against all the major currencies and will always be desirable because of that.

The prime reason growth is needed in the economy is to pay ever-rising bank interest. It is clear to anyone that permanent growth is unsustainable, but it is the mantra of economists. The Gulde dispenses with that problem. To control how attractive it is and to avoid flooding the Shetland economy with unmanageable amounts of foreign capital, the Gulde will be subject to demurrage - negative interest paid to the Shetland Bank - something akin to a tax. This will make it unattractive to hoard money, keeping it in circulation and doing its proper job. It will also keep the Shetland economy in step with the rest of the world, ensuring our export prices do not spiral out of control and import prices remain stable. The demurrage will come back into the economy for use as society decides rather than line the pockets of those who make no contribution.

None of this prevents anyone who wishes to achieve a high standard of living from doing so, in fact it gives opportunity to everyone by removing the parasites that drain society's life blood in the current system.

In short, the Shetland Gulde brings back honest money, prevents inflation, removes the need for constant unsustainable growth, while encouraging anyone who wants to improve their life.