Prof. Edgar Cahn in Erie Times-News on Time Banking
Monday, May 21, 2012
Posted by: Max Rodriguez
|Professor Edgar Cahn, a Distinguished Professor of Law and founder of TimeBanks, discusses time banks in the Erie Times-News.|
From the Erie Times-News: "Commercial bartering systems are taxed by the government based on the market price of members' skills," said Cahn, 77. "There have been a series of (court rulings) that time banks are not commercial because there is no issue of price. All skills are considered equal. Time bank services are therefore considered charitable acts."
Cahn's time-bank idea was born when he was in intensive care following a heart attack in 1980. The lawyer and social activist said he felt useless.
"That was at a time when (society) was declaring a lot of other people useless," he said. "Ronald Reagan had just said that social programs were a waste of money and didn't work. There was not going to be money to expand the kind of initiatives that we were working on.
"I thought 'Why can't we create a new kind of money?'"
He said large swaths of the population lacked the skills to succeed in the traditional economy. They weren't lazy, but their time didn't pay a living wage.
"We wanted to create a way to value that work," Cahn said.
Read more in the Erie Times-News, "Give a little, get a lot in North East time bank"
Professor Edgar Cahn is a Distinguished Professor of Law and founder of TimeBanks. He teaches Law and Justice, System Change and directs the Community Service Program. With his late wife, Jean Camper Cahn, he founded the National Legal Services program and the Antioch School of Law. Click here to read his full biography.