Simple souls still "get by" on what food and crafts they can home-grow and barter.
Townships exist on commerce in these essential goods, and the exchange of valuable skills.
However, faster-advancing societies such as BOOK and Invictus Illuminati have raced ahead and their technology levels are comparable to pre-War levels. This means that they no longer need to get their hands dirty in the fields, but all agriculture and simple trades are out-sourced. The local economy is driven by their hunger for food, and the trickle of interesting gadgets from their gates.
In a subsistence economy a battery has greater practical utility than a bar of gold... Yet the village alchemist can never hope to produce one! So in their laboratories and charging-houses, the BOOK are "printing" money!