Friday, April 20, 2012

Chapter 5 – Let’s get going!

Excerpt from the book »Gradido – Natural Economy of Life«

»In this life anybody who doesn’t give up is courageous.«
– Paul McCartney
English pop musician, ex-Beatle

In this chapter we speak about how we can manage the transition. What can each of us do with very simple means so that we can introduce the Natural Economy of Life on this earth within a very short time and be able to enjoy worldwide prosperity in peace and in harmony with nature?

You, dear reader, are sure to have a lot to do. Presumably you have to earn your living and perhaps you have a family to support and have to take care of your children’s upbringing and education. You possibly have a hobby or are involved in good causes. To manage all this you sometimes wish the day had more than 24 hours. And now you are supposed to campaign for a new monetary and economic system as well!

The prospect that the Natural Economy of Life could solve all economic problems connected with money in this world will not make more time available to you in the here and now. However important all this may be, your time is completely taken up.

That’s why I now have good news for you. Do you know the expression »wu wei – doing by doing nothing«? Even if you cannot invest any extra time at all, it is possible for you to do a lot by »doing nothing« in the truest sense.

Yet there is one very small thing left we beg you to do: pass on the information! That is really easy today and if you have a computer it can be done with just a few mouse clicks. The e-book of the »Free Edition« is free of charge and its dissemination is explicitly desired. Here you can download the free e-book:

Send emails to your friends and relatives with the free e-book attached. Ask the recipient to study the information and, in their turn, send it so as many friends as possible. Post the free e-book on your social networks and ask your friends to pass it on.

If you have friends who speak another language have a look on our website to see what languages the book is already available in. Now, as I write, we are starting in German and English. We welcome anybody who would like to help translate it into other languages.

You do not have to agree with everything you have read here. The gradido is a research project and the content of this book contains the present state of research. It is important for as many people as possible to know about the solutions described here as soon as possible. After that we will still be able to develop the system further.

Have you heard how fast news can spread on the internet? When the time is ripe, it spreads like wildfire. It can go extremely quickly: when ten people send it to ten of their friends, that already makes 100. When they send it on, it multiplies to 1,000, 10,000, 100,000, millions…, and after just a few days the information has gone round the world.

A few mouse clicks and a few friendly words are all that is necessary –  no more than what you do anyway to keep in touch with your friends and acquaintances.

The world is in a state of change and more and more people are waking up. Some change their opinions or even their views of the world in a moment when they receive the appropriate information. Don’t be too choosy about who you send the e-book to. Someone who was not interested in this subject yesterday can be raving about it today. Yesterday’s declared enemy may be open for it today and an enthusiastic advocate tomorrow. If you send the book to too many people you run the risk of it landing up in the trash but if you send it to too few, you put our common future at risk.

What will happen if the Natural Economy of Life becomes more and more known? People will form opinions about it, communicate about it and discuss it. Possible weaknesses will be found and corrected, as is usual in a research project. Nature, environmental, peace and other organisations study it, the media report on it and politicians discuss it. The Natural Economy of Life becomes part of party manifestos. The first countries offer themselves as pilot regions and introduce the step-by-step plan with other countries following. The model continues to be improved more and more: then it is introduced in major nations or even entire continents and finally in the whole world.

You will also have contributed to this wonderful transformation, dear reader! With a few mouse clicks you have helped to ignite a wildfire, whose impacts benefit everybody and harm nobody. Just as the proverbial flutter of a butterfly’s wing can set off a hurricane, you have helped to bring about a gentle revolution of love by passing on this information verbally or in writing – information that has the potential to transform our beautiful earth back into the paradise we humans were once expelled from.

And with this we are already at the end of this chapter. At the beginning I promised you it would be the shortest chapter in the whole book and I have kept my promise. You do not need to do more than what was described above. However, if you have the wish to make a contribution with your inclinations and abilities, cooperate with us more intensively or join the gradido network, you will find information in the appendix to this book.

We will conclude by taking a look into the future together…

Thursday, April 19, 2012

In place of a conclusion

Excerpt from the book »Gradido – Natural Economy of Life«

»What you start writing as science fiction today
you may have to finish as a press report tomorrow.«
– Norman Mailer
American writer

Dear Reader

Many thanks for having had the courage and stamina to stay with us as far as this point! And maybe you have already guessed that with the end of this book we have only reached the beginning of our journey – a journey into a common future worth living in prosperity and peace and in harmony with nature.

Where exactly will this journey take us? The future presents a field of infinite possibilities, some of which are more likely than others. Up until recently horror scenarios were likely – the limits of growth, peak oil, monetary crash, worldwide poverty and hunger calamities, Third World War…, going as far as the destruction of humanity in its entirety.

With the discovery of the Natural Economy of Life another possibility has emerged – the rise of humanity towards responsible stewardship of the planet earth, with which we have been entrusted. The Bible verse »…replenish the earth, and subdue it« (Genesis 1:28) never meant that we were supposed to exploit the earth in a barbaric manner. Such a wicked »devil's bargain« as Joni Mitchell sings about in the song »Woodstock« quoted in the beginning of chapter 1 was certainly not our maker’s intention. As the much cited »crown of creation« we have the responsible duty to do everything humanly possible to save »Mother Earth« from harm.

Nature teaches us that this is possible in prosperity and peace. By disseminating the Natural Economy of Life we alter the ranking list in the field of possibilities we call the future. The more people who learn about it in time and actively support it, the greater the likelihood that we will make it together. Of course, we do not know exactly what the world will look like.

Instead of a conclusion, I am going to take leave of you with a short science fiction story. I hope you will enjoy reading it and wish us all much luck in our joint enterprise.

With my very best wishes

Bernd Hückstädt

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pia asks : “How did you manage it?“ – Part 1

Excerpt from the book »Gradido – Natural Economy of Life«

A story from the future

Part 1: The new time

The visit

“Oh Pia, it’s nice that you’ve come to see your grandmother.”

“Hallo Granny, look what I’ve bought! That’s Joy, my new bio-robot from the Far East. They’re on special offer at the moment at Alibi and only cost 2,999 gradidos. Joy, come here! Joy to Pia!!! – Good!”

<!-- Joy is very good friend -->

“All right. – It’s still switched to English. – Joy, speak German!!”

<!-- Joy sprechen Deutsch -->

“Whoops, they’re still working on the translation. – Where is Grandpa?”

“At senior citizens sport.”

“Oh, what’s he doing today?”

“Parachute jumping! He’s still fit as a fiddle. No wonder with our healthy diet of spring water, organic fruit and vegetables, wild plants and hardly any meat…”

“Do you know what we had in History today? The waste age! That was in your youth, wasn’t it? Was everything really toxic waste? Your clothes, houses, computers, TV sets, vehicles, fuel and tarmac? Our teacher said people even had to take toxic waste when they were ill! Is that true, Granny?“

“Well, Pia, we called it medicine. But you’re right. When we had medicine left over, we weren’t allowed to just throw it away; we had to dispose of it as toxic waste, for the sake of the environment.”

“My bio-robot is 100% recyclable. Most of its parts can be composted and the others will be recycled. It is driven by free energy and is absolutely eco-friendly. Joy, show what you can do! Clean the kitchen, Joy,!”

<!—Clean kitchen menu: dust, hoover or wash up? -->


<!—Compost collected dust: yes/no? -->


“Well, Pia, it’s just fantastic what technology can do nowadays!“

“All that came through the Natural Economy of Life. We owe it to this brilliant economic model that poverty was eradicated and prosperity for all was created worldwide. And completely in harmony with nature. NEL is my favourite subject at school.“

The natural law of growth and decay

“Well, Pia, you must explain something to me. I find everything wonderful – our active basic income that provides for everyone, our health service, our generous national budget and the subsidies for the environment. But one thing still puzzles me: how does the Natural Economy of Life work? Where does the money come from when we don’t have any taxes or levies?”

“Yes, Granny, that’s still strange for you, isn’t it? After all, you went to school in the waste age, didn’t you? The economy of that time ignored the most elementary natural laws like the cycle of growth and decay. But decay is inevitable, as every child knows nowadays. Because they ignored it, it surprised them in the form of inflation, monetary crashes, wars and so on. Although you were still faring well in Europe, people on other continents were starving. And you nearly destroyed the whole earth!“

“That’s right, Pia. You’ll reproach us with that as long as we live. Fortunately the Natural Economy of Life spread like wildfire over the internet and because of that there was a quantum leap in the development of humanity. But how does it work exactly?”

“I’ll be pleased to explain that to you, Granny. I have to make a presentation about it at school next week. The Natural Economy of Life is based on the natural law of growth and decay. As you know, we now have »living money« called gradidos. Our money is created through life itself. And it decays, like all of nature’s products.”

“Money is created and decays?”

“Exactly! Society creates 3,000 gradidos for each person per month. One gradido is equivalent to the former euro. The first 1,000 gradidos are intended for the active basic income that every person can earn through unconditional participation. The second 1,000 gradidos go to the government and the third 1,000 are for the Equalisation and Environment Fund, the EEF.”

“The EEF does a lot of good for people and nature.”

“Yes, the Equalisation and Environment Fund serves to make good the damage to the environment that unfortunately still exists today. So an extra pool of money of the same amount as the national budget is available for the environment. Protection and decontamination of the environment are the most lucrative branches of the economy.”

“So that’s the reason for the good development! – Pia, you said our »living money« comes from life and society creates money every month. How am I to understand that?”

“Depending of the form of government, the money is created in the municipalities or a central bank. Every person has one creation account and the amount is the same for everyone. Creation of money starts at birth and ends with death so that the living money is created by human life. All people and all nations have the same conditions.”

“So money is virtually created from nothing? What is the money covered by?”

“By the most precious thing we have – human life itself. Economically speaking, every person serves the community as a worker and a customer. The community is all of us. Everyone can contribute to the community through unconditional participation in a way consistent with their inclinations and abilities, meaning in accordance with their nature. Everybody can do what they love doing and they earn 20 gradidos an hour for it, up to a maximum of 1,000 gradidos a month. Gradido means »thanks« and with the 1,000 gradidos we say to each person: “A thousand thanks for being with us!”

“But if money is created every month, it will get more and more. Why don’t we have any inflation?”

“Inflation is enforced decay. Our decay operates according to a schedule and roughly 5% of the balance is debited from each account every month, making about 50% a year.”

“So after a year half of each gradido has gone from my account, right?”

“That’s correct.”

“In return I get an active basic income of 1,000 gradidos a month? After all, I do a lot of work for the community, for example in the Citizens Advice Bureau, looking after children, giving music lessons…”

“Yes, exactly, Granny.”

“So everyone always has the same amount of money at their disposal?”

“No, they don’t. Someone who works in addition or does business earns extra tax-free income. Some people do without unconditional participation because they earn more money in business. As you know, there are millionaires but there isn’t any poverty anymore.”

Let’s see if it adds up!

“I’m not a mathematician or an economist, Pia. Can you explain to me in a simple and plausible way how the whole thing works on a big scale?”

“Gladly, but we will have to do a few calculations. Today, like under the old system, we have some 80 million inhabitants in Germany, a government budget of about a trillion gradidos or euros respectively, including the health service, and a total amount of four or five trillion gradidos or euros on all accounts. Are you following me, Granny?”

“Yes I still am, so far.“

“The money supply is constant because of the interplay of money creation and decay. It evens out at the value where the creation of 3,000 gradidos per citizen and 5% decay are in balance. That makes 60,000 gradidos per citizen since 5% of 60,000 is 3,000.”

“I see. Decay belongs to money creation and that’s why the money supply stays constant and the value of money stable. Everybody has their basic income, every country has a national income and the environment is decontaminated. Is that right, Pia?”

“Exactly. The total money supply is more or less the same as it used to be. In Germany, for example, it is 80 million citizens times 60,000 gradidos, totalling 4.8 trillion gradidos. That’s why our prices are so similar to what they were before.”

“And the state budget?”

“We have 12 months times 1,000 gradidos times 80 million citizens. That makes a state budget of 960 billion gradidos a year, or a little less than one trillion. That has stayed the same as well. And in addition we have the Equalisation and Environment Fund of the same amount.”

“Ah, that’s why there’s enough money for all expenses, including the necessary decontamination of the environment and all without taxes, insurances or other deductions. Fantastic!”

Unemployment? Provision for old age? No problem!

“A lot of old problems have thus been solved: unemployment, illegal work, pension problems… are all things of the past. Everyone, from little children to the elderly, is provided for with the active basic income. Anyone who works as well earns extra tax-free money. A lot of people independently pursue their inclinations, for example art, crafts, research and education or simply have time for each other. Everything is possible without any problems. The working climate is excellent as nobody is compelled to work. Employers and customers who place orders court their employees and suppliers. Work is meaningful and enjoyable, or it doesn’t happen. Illegal work doesn’t exist anymore by definition because there are no taxes.”

“And the unpleasant jobs?”

“The hard, inhuman jobs have long since been done by machines. – Oh, by the way, what about my little friend? – Everything all right, Joy???”

<!— Kitchen hoovered. Dust put in compost bin-->

“Super, Joy, you’re wonderful!”

<!-- Joy is very good friend -->

“Yes, that you are, Joy. – You see, more and more work is being done by machines, Granny. The conditions of the other jobs are so good that it’s always possible to find people who like doing them. More dangerous jobs are very popular with adventurers as they are the best paid. By the way, they are less dangerous than they used to be because all the safety precautions are taken.”

The system regulates itself.

“But there were still bottlenecks sometimes for a short time. Food was in short supply during the changeover to organic farming but that problem was soon solved.”

“That’s right, Granny. Food got more expensive and the basic income was tight. A lot of  people looked for additional work. The EEF promoted organic farming and offered courses in permaculture. Numerous families built a country house and sold organic foods. So prices fell to a healthy level again.”

“Exactly. Today food costs a bit more than in the waste age but, in return, it is organic and its quality is excellent. Everybody can afford this good and healthy food.”

“The system regulates itself, as you see, Granny: if goods become scarce, prices rise. As a consequence, people want to work more. The best job offers are in connection with scarce goods, which now have to be produced in bigger quantities. Then prices fall until the balance is restored.”

“It’s plausible and amazingly simple.”

Both lenders and borrowers win with loans.


“But tell me, Pia, your bio-robot was awfully expensive, nearly 3,000 gradidos. How can you afford something like that?”

“ Joy is an investment. I bought it with a loan.”

“You have got into debt, Pia???”

“No, I got a loan from my classmates to finance the investment. We learnt how that works in NEL and, after all, I’m very business-minded!”

“Just listen to my 13-year-old granddaughter!”

“Shall I explain my calculation to you, Granny?”

“I see you’re absolutely dying to, so go ahead.”

“You know I get a basic income of 1,000 gradidos a month and in return I have taken on some interesting tasks at school. Among other things, I have organised a NEL study group and inform my schoolmates. I give my parents 600 gradidos for rent and board, I need 200 for current expenses and I have 200 left over.”

“And you could save them for the future.”

“Basically you’re right, Granny. Only you don’t save for the future, you invest in it.”

“Well, what’s the difference?”

“If I tried to save money for the future, it would soon be gone because of the decay. We can invest by giving or taking loans. I decided to take a loan and buy the bio-robot. I take it to the neighbours and help in their household for 20 gradidos an hour. In that way I can soon repay the loan and after that the money will be my profit.”

“My little Pia has become a clever businesswoman!”

“At the same time I’m investing in people since Joy can do nearly everything on its own. I only have to train it. Then I can talk to my neighbours or entertain their guests. Good neighbours become friends who help each other privately and professionally. I call that neighbourly help in the best sense!”

“I’m more and more amazed, Pia! – But what about your classmates who lent you the money?”

“Both of them happened to have some money to spare and offered to lend it to me. The two of them are really professional: by giving frequent loans they preserve the value of their money and are already accumulating a small fortune. I’m sure they’ll become bankers later.”

“Do they charge interest?”

“No! A lot of people want to preserve the value of their money and that’s why they grant interest-free loans.”

“So the girls also benefit without charging interest.“

“Yes, Granny. The Natural Economy of Life is a plus-sum game with win-win situations everywhere.”

“Are all your schoolmates so good at doing business?”

“Some of them have other interests like sport, art, music, science, research, development, crafts... Every pupil is involved in at least one project. They all win, as even if the project doesn’t bring in any extra money, they are all provided for through their active basic income. It’s just the same with adults as well.”

“I remember, Pia, we also financed our house with an interest-free loan. A bank arranged it for us for a fee. Because we were working and had tax-free earnings as well as our basic income, we were able to repay the money in just a few years. In the waste age would have had to pay it back our whole life long.”

Open source for all

“I can hear a flymo.”

“That must be Grandpa coming back from his parachute jumping. Since these public flymobiles started parachuting has become a national sport.”

“There he is. – Hallo, Grandpa!”

“Hallo, my sweetie! That was a wonderful day outdoors in nature.”

“Just imagine, Sven, your granddaughter has become a businesswoman. She has bought a bio-robot that has already hoovered our kitchen.”

“That’s wonderful, Pia. Then I insist on becoming your first regular customer.”

“You’re too late, Grandpa! The Meiers next door are already my customers.”

“My word, you really are a good businesswoman!”

“Pia and Sven, I’m afraid I have to leave you now because there’s going to be a LAN party in the Senior Citizens Centre.”

“Granny, do you still play with your old computers that emit EMFs?”

“My dear Pia, we do in fact still have the old nostalgic computers but we have linked them up to G-Com, which works without any EMFs just like your bio-mobile phone and Grandpa’s bio-computer.”

“I’m proud of you, Granny. Have a good time and see you again soon! – It’s amazing, Grandpa, that your old computers already have G-Com.”

“G-Com – communication over the gravity wave – has been known for a long time but the development of unconventional technologies used to be slow and laborious. As you know, I myself am an inventor and for a long time suffered from the patent law, which really obstructs innovations. It was quite different with software, where open-source software was often the best choice.”

“Exactly. With the introduction of the Natural Economy of Life patent law was amended and the general open-source principle was decided on. We learnt that in NEL.”

“Yes, Pia, all knowledge belongs to everyone. Only in that way was humankind able to survive. The general open-source principle wasn’t possible until the active basic income was introduced and everyone could have a good life at last. Unconventional thinkers, researchers, artists and craftsmen were also able to pursue their inner destiny. A quantum leap in the development of humankind followed. Just think of the flymos – flymobiles propelled by free energy and autopilot. They don’t need any roads, parking spaces or petrol.”

“And they’re perfect for parachute jumping, aren’t they, Grandpa?

“Yes, that they are, Pia!”

“Since the amendment of patent law there can be no patent on life anymore.”

“That’s right, Pia. The spook of patented seeds and dangerous genetic technology is a thing of the past, thank goodness. It was only just in time as corn feed had been almost completely destroyed by genetic modification.”

“Tell me, Grandpa, you used to work for the Equalisation and Environment Fund and helped to organise a lot of things. Can you help me with my presentation for school next week?”

“I’d be only too pleased to, my love.”

Equalisation between poor and rich countries

“Besides decontaminating and preserving the environment the EEF has other tasks, doesn’t it? Specifically, they are equalising previously poor and rich countries and asset exchange.”

“Yes, it does, Pia. I was in the team that saw through the equalisation of poor and rich countries. It wasn’t enough for all countries to create their money themselves. First of all, food supplies had to be assured for the population. We collected some facts and came to an astonishing conclusion.”

“What kind of facts were they?”

“We examined people’s meat consumption and its consequences. At that time 20% of the world population ate 80% of the total meat production. The huge meat consumption in the industrialised nations was the cause of considerable environmental damage. For a piece of meat 30 times more natural resources were used than for vegetable food with the same nutritional value. The largest number of diseases caused by diet were to be found in the countries with the highest meat consumption.”

“Ah, I can already guess the result.”

“Our thinking was that people in the industrialised nations would be healthier if they reduced their enormous meat consumption. Environmental damage decreases and enough food can be grown for everybody. It’s a great win-win situation for everyone.”

“For the meat industry as well?”

“Yes, indeed. We financed the changeover of the food production businesses and farming. We created an advertising campaign with the slogan »culinary – vegetarian – solidly united« with cookery books, gourmet guides and much more. By the way, there were no problems with ethnic or religious groups as vegetable food is allowed in all cultures.”

“But how were the poor countries able to catch up economically?”

“It happened almost automatically; the industrialised nations had a surplus of goods and were looking for new markets. Because money is created every month the poor countries had enough money to buy goods, technology and know-how and thus to gently align their development. Now they produce what they need themselves. The economy cooled down, sparing the environment.”

“But some companies had to close down, Grandpa.”

“That happened in the waste age as well. But now one thing is quite different: when companies close, nobody suffers from poverty. Employees and employers have hardly any risk as everybody has their basic income.”

“And incomes have equalised worldwide.”

“Exactly. After taxes were abolished labour costs in the industrialised nations decreased. Wages in the other countries caught up and so there are no low-wage countries anymore.”

“So there’s prosperity for all.”

Land and property

“Grandpa, you also drafted laws, for example the environmental requirements for property.”

“That’s right, Pia. Land is not sold anymore but leased over a long period because of the decay of money. This generates continual income for the owner. But ownership of land is linked to stringent environmental requirements. A person who lives on or farms their own or leased land easily meets these requirements. But large estates that are not ecologically farmed can quickly become a burden and are not worthwhile investments. So it happens that many owners of large estates give their land back to the community which then takes care of renaturalising it.”

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pia asks: “How did you manage it?“ – Part 2

Excerpt from the book »Gradido – Natural Economy of Life«

Part 2: The peaceful transition

How can it succeed?

“Tell me one thing, Grandpa. All that is logical and simple for us today and we know that the transition was peaceful. But what was it like in the waste age? At that time people thought quite differently from us. How did it succeed?”

“It was hardly to be expected that the entire world would introduce the new system all at once. Neither would a single country have been able to get out of the economic entwinements all on its own. Ways had to be found for individual countries to begin without risk within the existing system.”

“Were they able to introduce the Natural Economy of Life step by step, restructure their economies and motivate other countries to follow their example?“

“That was the objective but it wasn’t quite so simple. All the nations were highly in debt with the debts increasing from year to year. The countries had to spend more money than they earned. Some people thought the system of interest was to blame but that was only half the truth.”

“So what was the reason for it?”

An error in reasoning in the tax system becomes a chance.


“We found a crucial error in reasoning in the previous system that had been overlooked by economists: it was always cash flows that were taxed. Whether if was income tax, VAT or excise duty, the state was always biting the hand that fed it.”

“It’s clear that taxes on cash flows put a brake on business transactions.”

“Today we know that, Pia. But a lot of economists couldn’t see the wood for the trees. And what did the countries that spent more than they earned and got into greater and greater debt do? They tried to cut their expenditure and increase their earnings. They reduced state benefits and increased taxes. What do you think the result was?”

“Did it improve the national budget?”

“Only for a short time, if at all. It always deteriorated in the long term. There are simple reasons for that.”

“What are they?”

“Higher taxes lead to increased prices and people bought less. They tried to make everything themselves or help themselves by moonlighting. Industry produced abroad. In any case the economy was harmed and jobs were lost. The government had less revenue and more expenditure on welfare benefits.”

“And reduced government services also brought only disadvantages: industry had fewer orders, resulting in less tax revenue. Might it have been better to lower taxes?”

“Tax cuts wouldn’t have reversed the development. They would only have led to even lower government revenue in the short term, a classic dilemma.”

“And then your big chance came?”

“Yes, it did. That was the beginning of the Natural Economy of Life, which assures the national budget without taxing cash flows. We developed a plan to phase in the Natural Economy of Life.”

“A step-by-step introduction?”

Start small...

“Our challenge consisted in developing a project that observed the laws of that time and was able to begin on a small scale. It was supposed to solve acute economic problems on a regional level or at least help to mitigate them. In that way it would become self-propelling and the Natural Economy of Life would spread by word of mouth.”

“A big challenge!”

“We analysed the acute economic problems: the municipalities had hardly any money. Necessary work remained undone or was done by volunteers. There were even mayors who worked on a voluntary basis without pay. A lot of people were unemployed through no fault of their own, in spite of having skills they could have usefully contributed. Firms and the self-employed didn’t have enough orders although they provided good services. There was a need for their services but people didn’t have enough money.”

“So you printed new money?”

“No, of course we couldn’t print any money, Pia. Only the central banks were allowed to do that. But systems of discounts and bonuses were widespread. So we created a discount system, which we called the »gradido«.”

“And how did it work?”

“Every member of the network was credited with 100 gradidos a month on their gradido account: »gradidos for being with us!«. In this way people were able to thank a supplier who had given them a discount, cut their selling prices, and so on.”

“When you got a discount of 50 euros did you give the person who granted it 50 gradidos?”

“Generally, yes. Some people gave more, some less as the equalisation in gradidos was voluntary at first. After all, the gradido wasn’t a state-recognised means of payment at that time.

You also had the possibility to thank neighbours for their help. Mr A mowed Ms B’s lawn and she gave him gradidos for it. Mr A was able to thank the person who coached his son. Young and old strengthened their social contacts and networks. They enjoyed helping and thanking each other and a new feeling of togetherness emerged.”

“And how did it benefit the municipalities?”

“Municipalities and charitable institutions were able to create more gradidos to thank citizens for their voluntary work. Important services that were no longer affordable because of shortage of money could be performed by volunteers, who then enjoyed many benefits.”

“So the municipalities were able to economise?”

“Yes, and when the government joined in, even the state coffers were disencumbered.”

...and let it grow

“Did the penny drop with the politicians then?”

“Yes, it did. Soon there was a majority in favour of the gradido and it was decided to phase it in as a parallel currency alongside the euro. Sales in gradidos were tax-free like today. It started with a minimum gradido share of 10%. We increased it 10% every year up to 50%. In that way everyone could gradually get used to the Natural Economy of Life. If problems had arisen we would have had enough time to take counter-measures.”

“That means that after five years every supplier had to accept at least half of all payments in gradidos?”

“That’s right. In that way all prices in euros had fallen by at least half and so had the labour and unit costs. The other half was paid in gradidos. Some suppliers even accepted more gradidos so as to do better business. Domestic products became more competitive. That’s why even foreign suppliers began to accept gradidos.”

Restructuring of state finances and securing of private assets

“And what about the state?”

“State expenditure in euros also fell by half. The good thing was that the tax revenues did not decrease so fast as more was sold because of the favourable euro prices. The increased added value enhanced quality of life for all citizens. But that was by no means all. We had resolved to pay back the state debts in a few years – in euros, of course!”

“Pay back the state debts in a few years?”

“Yes, really. It has to be mentioned here that the world was once again in the throes of an economic crisis. The monetary system was threatening to collapse at any moment as the exponential growth of assets and debts couldn’t go on much longer. Whether a stock market crash, a war or inflation – it was very likely that something would happen but nobody knew when. People could have lost their assets at any moment. We looked for a possibility to secure the citizens’ assets and repay the state debt at the same time. We developed asset exchange (AE), a mutual commitment that served both the government and the citizens.”

“So it was another win-win situation.”

“Yes, it was, Pia. The asset exchange planned for a compulsory conversion of part of all euro assets into gradidos. The percentage increased again every year in five phases. After five years 5% of all assets had been changed into gradidos annually.”

“Didn’t rich people take their money abroad?”

“Then they wouldn’t have been able to benefit from the securing of assets provided for by the asset exchange. In the case of an economic crash the most recently declared assets were recorded and paid out in gradidos over a period of 20 years. In this way all assets were secured for at least 20 years.”

“Let’s assume I had a million euros at that time. Then I would have had to change 50,000 euros into gradidos every year?”


“So my euro assets decreased as long as the euro was stable?”

“It depends. Clever investors were able to invest their money for more than 5%.”

“And if there was a monetary crash?”

“The value of the gradido stayed stable since it was determined for that case: 20 gradidos is the price of an averagely skilled hour of work.”

“Aha. My euro assets would have been gone, but I would have got 50,000 gradidos annually for 20 years. – And who from?”

“From the Equalisation and Environment Fund.”

“If I had secretly taken my money abroad I wouldn’t have got anything?”

“Correct. And as nobody knew when the crash would happen, it was worth being honest. Besides that, most people had realised that the gradido had the great advantage that you could do business with it tax-free.”

It worked out!

“And Germany became free of debt?”

“Yes. The total assets of four trillion euros resulted in an exchange of 200 billion euros annually. The entire state debts were repaid in a few years.”

“What did the other countries say about it?”

“At first the world reacted with scepticism. But as international trade went on, there were soon imitators, who also introduced the gradido.”

“How was international trade able to go on?”

“Prices in international trade stayed the same. Buyers from abroad could either pay the full amount in euros or part in gradidos. In that way countries that had also introduced the gradido had a competitive advantage over the others.”

“Then all countries must actually have introduced the gradido.”

“They did it gradually. One day the big financial crash came. But it didn’t really interest anybody anymore as they were all very well provided for. In the end we had gradidos and the Natural Economy of Life.”

– – – End – – –

Monday, April 16, 2012

Annexe 1 – How you can contribute

Excerpt from the book »Gradido – Natural Economy of Life«

»Actions speak louder than words.«
– proverb

In chapter 5 you learnt how important and effective it is to pass on the information by sending the free e-book to your friends and acquaintances. You have already done the most important thing of all with a few mouse clicks. Many thanks!

The following information is intended for those of you who want to contribute your personal inclinations, skills and resources to the success of the joint enterprise.

Book website

We have set up the following website specially for this book:

Here you can find everything worth knowing about this book, for example information about the printed version, translations, corrections and current developments.


Gradido network

The open-source platform »« makes the gradido available as a community currency. Here the gradido first of all functions as a discount point. Members of the gradido network give each other gradido discounts of their choice. Membership is free of charge.

You are warmly invited to open a gradido account:

Social networks

If you are a member of social networks, such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Xing, LinkedIn or others, start talking about Gradido – The Natural Economy of Life. Set up discussion groups on the subject or participate in already existing groups. You can also establish regional gradido groups for networking regionally or arrange joint activities.

The gradido in networks, organisations, etc.

The gradido is excellently suited to be a community currency in social networks, organisations, initiatives, communes and communities. The individual communities can either install their own gradido server or their members can register on an existing portal. The first of these portals is


Gradido Academy, Institute for Economic Bionics

The Gradido Academy (formerly Joytopia Academy) is the core of the research project »Natural Economy of Life«. Here the main work is done, for example research, development, programming of the gradido software, initiating and managing the gradido network, presentations, writing of this book, coordination, etc.

At present we are still doing everything on a voluntary basis at our own expense and with donations. That is why we urgently need your financial help. Every amount of money helps us to continue the work. We also warmly invite you to become a paying member of the Gradido Academy and support our work.

As a member of the Gradido Academy you belong to the inner circle of the gradido movement. You receive first-hand information and can participate directly in creating content if you wish.

Our email address:

If you would like to support our work with a donation, here are our bank details:

Volksbank Hohenlohe
BLZ 620 918 00
Account No. 54 444 004
IBAN: DE51 6209 1800 0054 444004
Account holder: Joytopia / Gradido


Networking with other organisations

We can only realise a project such as the peaceful transformation of our economic system in cooperation with many other organisations. If you are already active in other organisations, we would be pleased to have your help in networking.


Both this book and our internet websites need to be translated into other languages. Please contact us if you want to and are able to help with this.


As the world’s largest online encyclopaedia Wikipedia is anxious to be objective and balanced. For that reason Wikipedia articles about people and projects should be written by third parties. If you have experience with Wikipedia and write articles about the Natural Economy of Life, the gradido, Joytopia or the authors or contribute to existing articles, you can help make the joint project known.


Gradido EASy (Electronic Accounting System), the software for the gradido portal, is open source. It is already prepared for decentral operation, i.e. in future many instances of gradido can be installed and communicate with each other.

If you are a programmer (php, JavaScript) and would like to contribute to the further development, we would be very glad to hear from you.

Has something been forgotten?

Would you like to help in an area that is not yet listed here? Then please don’t hesitate to contact us. Gradido is a unique holistic project. Nothing comparable exists in this form. Every person has their very personal inclinations and abilities and we can do with any kind of help. We will manage it together. Many thanks!