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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014

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In Living

Riverwest's "fake money" would feature a picture of the Milwaukee River.

Riverwest makes Newsweek


For decades, Riverwest residents have shared an inside joke: that someday Riverwest will secede from the nation and become a independent territory.

In a similar spirit, a few Riverwesters had an idea that would provide the community with its own currency. The concept is legal, and received attention on a national level, including Newsweek magazine.

The proposed "local currency" system, called River Currency, would work just like real money, but only in Riverwest. River Currency, however, is worth twice the value of real money. For example, a $10 bill can be exchanged for $20 in River Currency.

"Dozens of such systems flourished during the Great Depression," reads the Newsweek article.

Read the Newsweek article here.

Talkbacks

haaz | Nov. 25, 2008 at 11:08 a.m. (report)

There is supposed to be some kind of U.S. dollar to local currency ratio, so if you made RW $50 it would be worth let's say US $50, or perhaps US $5.00. It all depends on the currency-maker. The responsibility is on the user of the local currency to report their earnings in U.S. dollars to the IRS.

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Anti_GeorgeWill | Nov. 24, 2008 at 12:27 p.m. (report)

Next Up: Riverwest secedes from the Union!!! Where is President Lincoln when you need him? Oh Yeah, we got Obama now.

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MKE Guy | Nov. 24, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. (report)

Newsweek writes, "The biggest downside? Taxes. Even in the parallel world of earning and spending alternative currencies, Uncle Sam gets his cut." I wonder if people pay tax on the $10 real money or the $20 Riverwest money? If the latter, then the government is the real winner, collecting double the tax on every purchase!

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