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On a brief skimming of the article and attached link, it strikes me as a riduculus idea. Trying to eliminate storing of money (not just as cash, but also in banks) strikes me as a scheme with little benefit and large cost to society. Jrincayc 13:21, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Please study the idea more before criticizing. --Erauch 16:34, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)
It has been very successfull in Wörgl/Austria during 14 months from 1932 to 1933. Irving Fisher even suggested to the U.S. Administration to bring it to the U.S. under the name "Stamp Scrip". See the German articles about Wörgl and Freiwirtschaft for more information. Since English is not my mothertongue I will not dare to edit English articles. Maybe there are some people, who can translate from German. Trillian 3 (talk) 19:52, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Postscriptum to that: I have just recovered, that there is an English article about Wörgl, which describes the Wörgl experiment. Trillian 3 (talk) 20:07, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Isn't the usual idea to have a charge for holding money, like 5% a year? Rather than having it expire.

Also, how is this different from inflation? Under inflation, money also loses value the longer you hold onto it. --Erauch 16:34, 4 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Yes, the idea is to lower the value of cash by 0.5% per month for example. It will not expire! The difference from inflation is, that if inflation is low people tend to keep money rather than to invest because interest rates decrease together with inflation rates. The result is a market which is not liquid, falling growth of economy and raising unemployment. The charge for holding money is regulated by the central bank instead. This may prevent the perodically change of economy growth.--Mandavi 23:28, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
But still, the effect is the same as inflation. --Erauch 23:10, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)
The idea is only to decrease the value of cash, not when you deposit your money in a bank. The decrease of value only shall people motivate to make their money usable for economy (let them bring it to a bank), to keep the market liquid.--Mandavi 11:17, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
If true that would make it irrelevant. Who holds on to substantial quantities of cash nowadays? I believe the Freiwirtschaft idea applies to money in banks too. --Erauch 03:34, Apr 24, 2005 (UTC)
Well, the bank in that case has to make the money available for economy in order to have a liquid market. In fact, everyone who keeps money away from investment (because interest/profit is too low) has to pay the "fee". The problem nowadays with fluctuations of economy growth is based on the problem of keeping the money away from the market because interst is low. (Fed#Interest_rates) If worked with value decrease, an organisation can set the "interest" in form of the decease speed and may get a steady (and higher) growth rate. --Mandavi 22:55, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Difference between inflation and Umlaufsicherung: An inflation will also reduce the value of any sort of credit you give out, therefore totally negating any advantage lending money out and investing it has over keeping it in a safe. Umlaufsicherung with Schwundgeld measures however, will leave credits untouched - When you keep your money in a safe, you are economically punished, but not if you lend it out as a credit. Hence, you have an incentive to lend it out without interest.
Note: In our current system, interest rates are required as a type of Umlaufsicherung. Because without interest, you would have no incentive of giving a credit to anyone since you can only lose in the long run. Schwundgeld tries to replace this interest, as it is damaging for the economy and economically unfair, allowing one to attain an income out of mere property. Freiwirtschaft and Freigeld use this Umlaufsicherung through Schwundgeld to make sure the money still flows, without the need for damaging interest rates. Dabljuh 18:29, 19 October 2005 (UTC)


How does money in banks work under this system? If I deposit, say, a $100 bill in the bank, does it lose value there, too, the same way it would if I just held on to the bill? Nik42 23:00, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

That's decided by the market. Banks need to hold substantial amounts of hard cash to do their banking. An Umlaufsicherung would cause expenses to banks proportional to the amount of money held by the bank, and thus proportional to the amount of money people store at the bank. To put it simple, a bank might charge you 1% a year on a savings account, when holding your currency that would otherwise lose 5% as cash. Or they might give you +2%. Supply and demand. (talk)

Banks don't hold large amounts of cash anymore, they hold almost equally liquid assets instead (assets which can easily be transfered into cash- such as government bonds)- I would imagine we could have current accounts offering negative interest and savings accounts offering small positive interest rates. Also, there has been a lot of talk about it being 'life inflation'- though it is similar in theory the fact is it is 'honest inflation'- you know the amount it will go up by and can react rationally; inflation is an 'expectation' which is why it is more problematic overall.

General quality issues[edit]

This page needs a lot of work to bring it up to Wikipedia's quality standards. On a quick read, the following issues stand out:


It's not clear that this theory is widely known or studied, or had any proponents other than Gesell. Perhaps this page could be merged into Silvio Gesell as a subsection.


The following topic or assertions need references:

  • Gesell's seminal work
  • founding and purpose of WIR
  • 'economic miracle' of WIR and link to Swiss economic stability
  • Gogo as a realization of Freigeld
  • 'self-stabilizing' price system (Adam Smith)
  • Marxian criticism of Freiwirtschaft
  • most common arguments against Freiwirtschaft
  • benefits of sector-specific deflation

Potential errors[edit]

  • date of founding of WIR: the linked article gives it as 1934
  • the word 'Marxist' is used to describe an economic analysis; if this is meant to refer to the school of economics following the ideas of Karl Marx, this should be 'Marxian'


Many assertions made in this article seem highly contestable, and at the very least should be adequately referenced. A few examples:

  • 'economic miracle' of WIR
  • mainstream support for and opposition to Free Trade
  • proposed results of Freiwirtschaft
  • flaws of the money system: criticism of a particular economic theory, presented as fact

Missing information[edit]

  • the meaning of 'constant value' with regard to money
  • a proper description of Freihandel
  • justification of proposed results of Freiwirtschaft: these read as a grab-bag of non-sequiturs
  • any development of the theory since 1932

Please note: this is not intended as a criticism of the theory of Freiwirtschaft, but of the style of the article. The theory may well have merit... but from this article, it is difficult for the reader to understand the theory, make a critical assessment of the information provided, or find out more about the subject. miracleworker5263 (talk) 03:09, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Mischaracterization of "anti-globalization movement"[edit]

As far as I know, the "anti-globalization movement" does not oppose free trade, certainly not categorically, and I would argue that the exact opposite is true. The problem is that, as stated in, "free trade agreements" are not examples of free trade. It is government interference in free trade that the "anti-globalization movement" is opposed to.Whatsitgonnabe (talk) 19:01, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Yes, today's "Free Trade" Agreements are simply investors rights agreements and have nothing to do with "free trade". It becomes hard to understand older scholars when the definition of words like "libertarian", "free trade" and "free market" have been inverted over the last 50 odd years. So while "free market" used to mean a market free of fraud, economic rent, etc. Today's free market is a market free for fraud and for a "free lunch". WjtWeston (talk) 12:20, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

I'd add that the comment on the "anti-globalization movement" isn't related to Freiwirtschaft and does not explain what "free trade" means in it at all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:10, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

removing POV tag with no active discussion per Template:POV[edit]

I've removed an old neutrality tag from this page that appears to have no active discussion per the instructions at Template:POV:

This template is not meant to be a permanent resident on any article. Remove this template whenever:
  1. There is consensus on the talkpage or the NPOV Noticeboard that the issue has been resolved
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Since there's no evidence of ongoing discussion, I'm removing the tag for now. If discussion is continuing and I've failed to see it, however, please feel free to restore the template and continue to address the issues. Thanks to everybody working on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 23:46, 1 July 2013 (UTC)