RPG Forums

Go Back   RPG Forums > Role Playing Game Section > Twilight 2000 Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-01-2018, 11:25 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: PA
Posts: 857
Default Why Krakow's "Ration Chits" Make No Sense

As many of you know, I spent 10 years driving armored cars and servicing ATMs while I worked for the Sheriff's department. One thing I always questioned in the Free City Of Krakow was the use of "Ration Chits" to buy stuff.

How were these "Chits" made? They would need to be durable to withstand constant recirculation so they had to be plastic, wood, or metal. They would also have to include some form of "anti-counterfeiting" mechanism or someone would just churn out a bunch of fake chits that would destroy the system. Add to that the fact that wood, paper, and metal are all VALUABLE resources in a post exchange world. So how and why did these chits evolve?

I would put forth an alternative that is actually accounted for in COG (Continuity Of Government) planning. Currency. Not paper currency as it is too fragile to survive the Exchange. Coin, however, is NOT. Coin is also difficult to counterfeit, has an established "hierarchy of value," is already embedded in the country's culture, and is fairly common in distribution. Why reinvent the wheel? I think that the Free City would just use existing coinage as a currency alongside Barter as a method of exchange.

The US Treasury also follows a similar ideology. I have seen a COG paper delivered to a bank that would substitute coinage for paper currency in the event of a major disaster that disrupted the nation as a whole. Under this plan;

- Pennies equal Dollars.
- Nickles equal Fives.
- Dimes equal Tens.
- Quarters equal Twenties.

and so on.

The issuing authority would collect and "inventory" a region's coinage and institute the new scale. Merchants would be given "product" in exchange for the coinage collected and be "encouraged" to take coin for "product" during a civilian sale. This would start the cycle and help build confidence in the currency again. I have Krakow operating under a similar system and it works fine. The only thing I didn't do (and regret now) is that I didn't use POLISH currency as we were unfamiliar with it and the internet didn't exist as it does today.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-02-2018, 08:58 AM
Silent Hunter UK Silent Hunter UK is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 296
Default

Production of paper has been going on since the 2nd century BC, so it's easily done without electronics. As for anti-counterfeiting, you just give each chit a number, issue new ones when they've been worn out and hang any counterfeiters.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-02-2018, 01:20 PM
WallShadow's Avatar
WallShadow WallShadow is offline
Ephemera of the Big Ka-Boom
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: near TMI
Posts: 560
Default

Since FCoK ncluded a rationale in its text (large amount of high-quality paper discovered in a railway cargo car, printing equipment nationalized by the city government), the exclusivity of the chits is fairly well established.
But _hang _ forgers? Nah, they become very- public gaudily-uniformed for public shame forced labor to offset any financial or logistical loss to the city. That way the perpetrators can be seen paying their debt to society.
__________________
"Let's roll." Todd Beamer, aboard United Flight 93 over western Pennsylvania, September 11, 2001.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-02-2018, 01:49 PM
Raellus's Avatar
Raellus Raellus is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Marana, AZ
Posts: 2,588
Default The Chits are Legit

I respectfully disagree with the premise that ration chits don't make any sense. Others have given very compelling supporting reasons why it does. I'd like to add that chits could also be made out of fabric, or stamped from thin sheet metal.

Using pre-war Polish coins means that the Krakow Rada has less control. A stranger could show up with a cache and potentially destabilize the local economy (inflation) or undermine the authority of the local gov't. The Rada has essentially created a close system. Since the city produces useful trade goods, it doesn't necessarily need a currency accepted elsewhere.
__________________
Dulce bellum inexpertis. - Erasmus

Last edited by Raellus; 02-02-2018 at 03:28 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-02-2018, 02:59 PM
WallShadow's Avatar
WallShadow WallShadow is offline
Ephemera of the Big Ka-Boom
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: near TMI
Posts: 560
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
I respectfully disagree with the premise that ration chits don't make any sense. Others have given very compelling supporting reasons. I'd like to add that chits could also be made out of fabric, or stamped from thin sheet metal.

Using pre-war Polish coins means that the Krakow Rada has less control. A stranger could show up with a cache and potentially destabilize the local economy (inflation) or undermine the authority of the local gov't. The Rada has essentially created a close system. Since the city produces useful trade goods, it doesn't necessarily need a currency accepted elsewhere.
Depending on what materials Polish pre-war coinage is made from, a buy-back of the coins at a flat weight rate (brass?) would take some of the old coins out of circulation and add to the strategic materials pool for the artisans and mechanics of the city.
__________________
"Let's roll." Todd Beamer, aboard United Flight 93 over western Pennsylvania, September 11, 2001.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-02-2018, 06:47 PM
The Dark The Dark is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 275
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallShadow View Post
Depending on what materials Polish pre-war coinage is made from, a buy-back of the coins at a flat weight rate (brass?) would take some of the old coins out of circulation and add to the strategic materials pool for the artisans and mechanics of the city.
The situation's actually even better. Due to inflation in the 1980s, Poland's currency was revalued, so there's a 1990 coin series (PLZ) and a 1995 coin series (PLN), but the 1995 coins were minted starting in 1990 and held for the 1995 currency revaluation. The PLZ coins are all cupronickel. The PLN coins are either manganese brass or cupronickel. If a vault with the new coins was found, the smaller denomination coins could be salvaged for brass, while the larger denomination cupronickel coins could be used as ration chits. Modern pre-1990 coins were made of aluminum.
__________________
Writer at The Vespers War - World War I equipment for v2.2
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-03-2018, 12:50 AM
pmulcahy11b's Avatar
pmulcahy11b pmulcahy11b is online now
The Stat Guy
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 3,842
Default

Things like ration chits are perfect for a society whose leaders are trying to promote serfdom or slavery, and trying to keep a majority of the population poor to help keep themselves in power. (This way, they can "save the day" by giving out extra ration chits every so often, but very few people, if any, actually get enough wealth or power to challenge the city leadership.)

Ration chits could also be extended to other things, like clothing, fuel oil or kerosene (like for oil lamps and suchlike), even luxuries like toys for the kids.
__________________
All that stuff we know -- what if we're wrong? --Science Channel

Entirely too much T2K stuff here: www.pmulcahy.com

Last edited by pmulcahy11b; 02-03-2018 at 12:51 AM. Reason: One little word left out...changes the whole meaning...
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-03-2018, 01:28 AM
StainlessSteelCynic's Avatar
StainlessSteelCynic StainlessSteelCynic is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 1,631
Default

On a more positive note, chits are also a good way to limit the profitability of the black market in those areas were supplies of some commodities are scare or regulated. This can be seen in the use of such things as military scrip and so on such as in the Vietnam War or booklets of ration coupons in Great Britain during WW2.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-03-2018, 02:20 AM
ChalkLine's Avatar
ChalkLine ChalkLine is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 280
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallShadow View Post
Since FCoK ncluded a rationale in its text (large amount of high-quality paper discovered in a railway cargo car, printing equipment nationalized by the city government), the exclusivity of the chits is fairly well established.
But _hang _ forgers? Nah, they become very- public gaudily-uniformed for public shame forced labor to offset any financial or logistical loss to the city. That way the perpetrators can be seen paying their debt to society.
Or nasty jobs like de-mining
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-03-2018, 04:45 AM
James Langham James Langham is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 735
Default

Wasn't there something about changing design regularly too in order to reduce effects of forgeries?

Hanging makes perfect sense to me, historically it was the norm to execute forgers.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-03-2018, 11:12 AM
WallShadow's Avatar
WallShadow WallShadow is offline
Ephemera of the Big Ka-Boom
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: near TMI
Posts: 560
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLine View Post
Or nasty jobs like de-mining
I had actually thought of latrine cleaning, but mine-clearing would quickly separate the wheat from the chaff, and survivors with any brains left could become semi-pro EOD crew if they studied up on the various systems and concepts.
__________________
"Let's roll." Todd Beamer, aboard United Flight 93 over western Pennsylvania, September 11, 2001.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-03-2018, 04:21 PM
Silent Hunter UK Silent Hunter UK is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 296
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Langham View Post
Wasn't there something about changing design regularly too in order to reduce effects of forgeries?

Hanging makes perfect sense to me, historically it was the norm to execute forgers.
And 'coin-clippers' before that.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-04-2018, 12:24 AM
CDAT CDAT is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 280
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
...

The US Treasury also follows a similar ideology. I have seen a COG paper delivered to a bank that would substitute coinage for paper currency in the event of a major disaster that disrupted the nation as a whole. Under this plan;

- Pennies equal Dollars.
- Nickles equal Fives.
- Dimes equal Tens.
- Quarters equal Twenties.

and so on.

The issuing authority would collect and "inventory" a region's coinage and institute the new scale. Merchants would be given "product" in exchange for the coinage collected and be "encouraged" to take coin for "product" during a civilian sale. This would start the cycle and help build confidence in the currency again. I have Krakow operating under a similar system and it works fine. The only thing I didn't do (and regret now) is that I didn't use POLISH currency as we were unfamiliar with it and the internet didn't exist as it does today.
This is a interesting idea, and how would this work with all the coins already out there in the public hands? You said they would collect the regions coinage, but with out going door to door (something that I can not see them pulling off, even if they tried) there would still so much coinage in the area, that it seams to me would throw off the system, or am I missing something?
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-04-2018, 03:22 AM
Targan's Avatar
Targan Targan is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 3,476
Default

Bottle caps.
__________________
"It is better to be feared than loved" - Nicolo Machiavelli
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-05-2018, 09:02 PM
rcaf_777's Avatar
rcaf_777 rcaf_777 is offline
Staff Headquarter Weinie
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Petawawa Ontario Canada
Posts: 938
Default

Given Krakow's size and its industrial base, I don't think it would be a stretch to find working printing tools and machines to make ration cards or tickets.

Paper is easy to recycle and use if you access to hot water. I would guess that most materials in Krakow would recycle so why not ration cards

The cards could be a simple card design print on white with a few colour dots as an anti-counterfeiting measure the dots would be applied before distribution and would be random and changed weekly. Old cards would change for new ones at certain times with only one card per person being exchanged.

We did this in Afghanistan for soldiers beer cards. I printed them off and some else applied a marker colour dot.

Also the Mount Pony facility in Culpeper, VA housed a Federal Reserve Board which operated a 140,000 square foot radiation hardened facility. Dedicated on 10 December 1969, the 400 foot long bunker is built of steel-reinforced concrete a foot thick. Lead-lined shutters can be dropped to cover the windows of the semi-recessed facility, which is covered by 2 to 4 feet of dirt and surrounded by barbed-wire fences and guard posts. The seven computers at the facility, operated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, are the central node for all American electronic funds transfer activities. Until July 1992 the bunker also served as a Continuity of Government facility. With a peacetime staff of 100, the facility was designed to support an emergency staff of 540 for 30 days. But only 200 beds were provided in the men's and women's dormintories, which would be shared on a "hot-bunk" basis by the staff, working around the clock. Until 1988 the facility stored a $1 billion stock of currency to be used to reactivate the American economy following a nuclear attack.

https://fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/c3i/mt_pony.htm
__________________
I will not hide. I will not be deterred nor will I be intimidated from my performing my duty, I am a Canadian Soldier.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 02-05-2018, 10:14 PM
WallShadow's Avatar
WallShadow WallShadow is offline
Ephemera of the Big Ka-Boom
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: near TMI
Posts: 560
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcaf_777 View Post
Also the Mount Pony facility in Culpeper, VA housed a Federal Reserve Board which operated a 140,000 square foot radiation hardened facility.
<SNIP>
Until 1988 the facility stored a $1 billion stock of currency to be used to reactivate the American economy following a nuclear attack.

https://fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/c3i/mt_pony.htm
Much of which was in the unpopular US $2 bill, IIRC.
__________________
"Let's roll." Todd Beamer, aboard United Flight 93 over western Pennsylvania, September 11, 2001.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 02-06-2018, 04:00 PM
CDAT CDAT is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 280
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallShadow View Post
Much of which was in the unpopular US $2 bill, IIRC.
And why do you say that the $2 bill is unpopular?
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 02-06-2018, 05:14 PM
unkated unkated is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Eastern Massachusetts
Posts: 404
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDAT View Post
And why do you say that the $2 bill is unpopular?
Primarily, some 50 or more years of the saying "phony as a two dollar bill."

I liked them; I thought it had the most interesting art on the back (the signing of the Declaration of Independence) of any (modern) US currency.

However, I was a hotel cashier at the time they were issued; as a "professional" money counter, they were a pain in the butt, as there was no slot for them; I alwaye stuck them on the bottom of the 1's slot, and then had to remember count them separately (when I had them) or the bank would not balance. There were not enough of them in circulation (compared to 1s, 5s, 10s, and 20s) to warant wholesale replacement of cash drawer equipment. There were similar issues with 50-cent pieces and $1 coins.

Uncle Ted
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02-06-2018, 05:20 PM
ChalkLine's Avatar
ChalkLine ChalkLine is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 280
Default

Australia had problems with currency when it was colonised, so the government took Spanish dollars and punched a hole in them off centre and stamped a mint mark on the back. This might also be a model for post war currency
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 02-06-2018, 09:01 PM
CDAT CDAT is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 280
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by unkated View Post
Primarily, some 50 or more years of the saying "phony as a two dollar bill."

I liked them; I thought it had the most interesting art on the back (the signing of the Declaration of Independence) of any (modern) US currency.

However, I was a hotel cashier at the time they were issued; as a "professional" money counter, they were a pain in the butt, as there was no slot for them; I alwaye stuck them on the bottom of the 1's slot, and then had to remember count them separately (when I had them) or the bank would not balance. There were not enough of them in circulation (compared to 1s, 5s, 10s, and 20s) to warant wholesale replacement of cash drawer equipment. There were similar issues with 50-cent pieces and $1 coins.

Uncle Ted
Interesting I have never heard that I have always heard "phony as a three dollar bill." Might just be different locations like Soda/Pop/Coke. I also find it interesting how many people think that they have stopped making them, this is not true, you are correct that they are not as many in circulation.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 02-06-2018, 09:42 PM
Cdnwolf's Avatar
Cdnwolf Cdnwolf is offline
The end is nigh!!!
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: London, Ontario Canada
Posts: 1,438
Default

Any idea how much foreign currency is held at each branch of a bank? Wondering how to incorporate that as a chit.
__________________
*************************************
Each day I encounter stupid people I keep wondering... is today when I get my first assault charge??
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 02-07-2018, 11:50 AM
rcaf_777's Avatar
rcaf_777 rcaf_777 is offline
Staff Headquarter Weinie
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Petawawa Ontario Canada
Posts: 938
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cdnwolf View Post
Any idea how much foreign currency is held at each branch of a bank? Wondering how to incorporate that as a chit.
That would depend on the location of the Bank and how much the demand is.

Banks in major cities would have some need, The country of bank would also determine they type of currency

Here in Canada many banks have US Bills. You go to major cities like Ottawa or Toronto and you find Currency exchange banks that could any number of currency.

Given the size of Krokow they would have a lot of banks and the city dose have a branch of the national of Poland (Narodowy Bank Polski) it about a 9 min walk from the city center. I could see that branch holding both Polish złoty and Soviet Rubles. Also give the international vibe given in Cannon you could also find other currency.

I could most of the paper money going making of ration chits and coins could used for payment or melted down for other purposes
__________________
I will not hide. I will not be deterred nor will I be intimidated from my performing my duty, I am a Canadian Soldier.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 02-07-2018, 01:16 PM
WallShadow's Avatar
WallShadow WallShadow is offline
Ephemera of the Big Ka-Boom
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: near TMI
Posts: 560
Default

One wonders if the chits could have the value cut into them the way the old checkwriter machines did---another layer of security, issue date would be definitive; counterfeiting would be extra difficult. This would also add to the disposability, as the punctures would add more wear-surface, degrading the chits quickly and making them less useful over time.
__________________
"Let's roll." Todd Beamer, aboard United Flight 93 over western Pennsylvania, September 11, 2001.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 02-08-2018, 02:51 PM
rcaf_777's Avatar
rcaf_777 rcaf_777 is offline
Staff Headquarter Weinie
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Petawawa Ontario Canada
Posts: 938
Default

Here is some samples I found of Ration Cards
Attached Images
   
__________________
I will not hide. I will not be deterred nor will I be intimidated from my performing my duty, I am a Canadian Soldier.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 02-10-2018, 12:32 AM
Spartan_117 Spartan_117 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: RUEHKU
Posts: 1
Default

This is a 1989 Polish Meat Ration card that I keep on my refrigerator. As you can see it has a serial number, year-month indicator, a unique watermark, and several other anti-counterfeiting features. This ration card would have been validated with a simple rubber ink stamp, or unique shape punch stamp. Of course when you control the means of production, you can tightly control who gets the both cards and the stamps. Hint - they would not be the same person or group.

If you've ever checked out of a Soviet-era grocery store, you know that you bring the items you want to buy to one counter, then they ring it up and give you a receipt. You take the receipt to another counter to pay. Then you take the validated receipt back to the first counter to pick up your groceries to carry home. Something similar would happen when you picked up your ration card as you would need to get it stamped to validate it's authenticity and then different stamp would be used when each allotment of food, in this case meat, was apportioned to you.


Last edited by Spartan_117; 02-10-2018 at 02:52 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 02-10-2018, 01:13 AM
WallShadow's Avatar
WallShadow WallShadow is offline
Ephemera of the Big Ka-Boom
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: near TMI
Posts: 560
Default

As best as I can determine, "Rezerwa"= Reserved, "Wol., Ciel, z koscie"= Beef, Flesh and bone(s); and "mieso"= simply meat.
Am I close?
__________________
"Let's roll." Todd Beamer, aboard United Flight 93 over western Pennsylvania, September 11, 2001.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 02-10-2018, 11:09 AM
Silent Hunter UK Silent Hunter UK is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 296
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan_117 View Post
If you've ever checked out of a Soviet-era grocery store, you know that you bring the items you want to buy to one counter, then they ring it up and give you a receipt. You take the receipt to another counter to pay. Then you take the validated receipt back to the first counter to pick up your groceries to carry home. Something similar would happen when you picked up your ration card as you would need to get it stamped to validate it's authenticity and then different stamp would be used when each allotment of food, in this case meat, was apportioned to you.
And that's why there were so many queues in a nutshell.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:03 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.