As a Common Good member, you may receive tentative Incentive Rewards, if your community chooses to offer them. Communities may offer incentives for signing up, for buying or selling through the Common Good system, or as a monthly "inflation adjustment" to offset the shrinking value of the US Dollar. Spend these rewards at any participating business.
These rewards are a form of community currency, issued automatically and managed by your local community. As an autonomous, self-governing Common Good Community, you can also issue Common Good Credits together more deliberately as investments, grants, and strategic incentives (for example to subsidize buying local organic food or renewable energy).
Many community currency systems have failed because the currency got stuck somewhere. Popular businesses couldn't find anywhere to spend their currency, so they dropped out, beginning a chain reaction of successive failures. How does the Common Good system avoid this pitfall? In particular, what if you get more Common Good Credits than you can spend?
In the Common Good system, some members may receive more Common Good Credits than they can spend. On the other hand, some members want more Common Good Credits than they receive as payment. Members with excess Common Good Credits simply move funds to their bank account (or trade for cash). Members who want more Common Good Credits simply bring funds in from their bank account (or trade cash for them). US Dollars and Common Good Credits are thus exchanged easily between these two groups, as needed, to keep the Common Good Credits moving. So Common Good Credits can never get stuck anywhere as long as some people want more Common Good Credits than they have — that is, as long as there is a "demand" for Common Good Credits. Common Good Communities issue Common Good Credits carefully, and only when there is a demand, to be sure there is always a demand for more.
You can cash out Common Good Credits you receive as payment for your goods or services, but you cannot cash out your tentative Incentive Rewards (if your community offers them). You can only spend them — as a community currency, they must continue to circulate in the community.
The simple answer is: as many as we "want"; that is, the total of how many we want to have and use, each for our own individual purposes. For example, if I have only $100 in my Common Good Account, but I want to buy $200 worth of something at a participating store, then I want to put $100 more in my Common Good Account. Add up these amounts for all the current members and we know how many Common Good Credits are wanted (the total "demand" for Common Good Credits).
How many Common Good Credits we can create depends on the demand for them. The demand, in turn, depends on the amount of wanted goods and services offered by members. The more members, the more goods and services are offered, so the more Common Good Credits we can issue. The amount we can issue may be higher still, based on how many Common Good Credits people want to hold as savings for future expenses, and how much new productivity Common Good funding enables.
If you want more Common Good Credits, trade US Dollars for them at a participating business or transfer some money from your bank account (on the Bank page in your Common Good Account). If you need the money elsewhere, transfer it to your bank account or trade someone Common Good Credits for cash.
You may find it convenient to set a target balance (in the Bank Info section of your account settings) so that when you buy something and your Common Good Account balance goes below your target, funds will be transferred from your bank account automatically. This lets you use your Common Good Card just like a debit card. As you use the system, you are given a growing line of credit, a "cash reserve", that allows your Coomon Good Card to act also as a credit card.Community Funding »