Back in the great depression of the 1930’s, an entrepreneur-turned crank named Alfred W. lawson came up with a scheme for ending the depression. he reasoned (correctly) that the reason for the economic depression was the shrinkage of the money supply (deflation), so, in a remakably Keynsian solution, he started a movement called the “Direct Credits” society. The basic idea was that the government should expand the money supply by granting these “direct” credit-actually IOUs id issued by the government-to people who had no income (retirees, unemployed people, drunks, etc.). In this way, money would begin to circulate, and commerce would revive.
Now, I believe that we are on the precipice of a huge worldwide depression-and that similar measures are needed to stave off an even worse version of the 1930’s depression.
So, I want to start a movement-I can’t see myself attracting much attention by lecturing on a soapbox-so how do you start a movement?
Former Moonies, ex-scientologists-what’s the secret? This is going to be big-wanna join up?

You oughta get together with whoever has the Alfred Lawson Web Page up. “Jerry Kuntz”?

Here’s the basic premise of the DCS (reverse of the membership card):

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this was considered a crackpot idea even back in the 1930s and was never implemented. It actually sounds like “small-c communism” or “socialism”, in which case, it had already been “done”, by more mainstream folks. And I seriously doubt whether you’d be able to interest many people in it today, outside of the cult-joiner-type talent pool.


Evidently he doesn’t seem to have been fazed by the utter rejection of the Direct Credits Society, as by 1940 he had moved on to other things, including, but not limited to, apparently starting his own religion. Sort of.

This Time article from 1943 sums it up pretty well.

Anyway, you’re asking how you get something like this started. Well, all you need is money–get a website, do some interviews, get some media exposure, buy some ads. Writing a bestseller helps, too. That’s how it works.

At one time, Britain allowed communities to issue their own currency during times of economic hardship. I don’t remember exactly how it worked, but how I found out about it was a news program which showed the government working on a currency exchange rate computer program so that if there was a plumber in one city, that used “thistles” as its currency and someone in another city who wanted to hire him, but their city used “shamrocks” as its currency, they had a way of working out how much to pay the plumber.

Cecil writes about the money supply and other matters in this classic column: