Called “stamp scrip,” they were so effective in southern Germany in 1931 that leading American economist Irving Fisher advocated their use worldwide. Since the slump of 2003, Bavaria has again printed notes that must be spent quickly to avoid a fee for renewing their expiration stamp.
As for the idea of a government gift card, Taiwan began a similar plan in January. The Taiwanese have until September to spend a government-issued voucher for $108. In terms of gross domestic product per person, that would be roughly $4,000 per person in America. The program began without significant logistical hurdles, and China’s Ministry of Commerce is expected to propose similar voucher programs in several areas.