As a Common Good member, you buy things with your Common Good Card, get an every-growing zero-interest line of credit, and occasionally move some money into or out of your account. As a participating business or contractor, or as an employee of a participating business, you accept Common Good Credits as payment.
You (and every other member) have more and more spending power while the system grows. And, as you see on the Community pages when you sign in to your Common Good Account (or here if you are not yet a member), your community as a whole has more and more to spend, invest, grant, or loan.
That's all you really need to know, to use Common Good Credits. But, as Common Good members, we are all responsible for overseeing the system. That means we have to understand it and keep an eye on it. Economic justice demands broad participation and local control.
So what is really going on? How does the Common Good system give everyone more spending power without creating US Dollars?
We can't create US Dollars, but we can create Common Good Credits. The Common Good Agreement is the key. Together we create something that acts like money, simply by signing the agreement. There we promise to accept Common Good Credits as payment for our goods and services. That is, we agree to treat Common Good Credits as money among ourselves. If you're an employee, this includes accepting Common Good Credits as payment for your labor.
The more people and businesses participating, the more places we can use Common Good Credits, so the more they act like money. In practice, this means the credits created by the community are worth just as much as the US Dollars you put into your account, so the Common Good system does not generally distinguish between them (except under the hood).
In today's mainstream economy, we use US Dollars to pay each other for this and that, or we let them sit in a savings account for a rainy day. Common Good Credits are a way to keep track of who has how much and who's paying whom, using our own bookkeeping system instead of the international banking system. Every time you use Common Good Credits, it frees up that many US Dollars for the community to use for something else.
The Common Good system uses a computer database, electronic fund transfers, and the internet, just as commercial banks do.How It Works »