Who can join a Letsystem?

Anyone can join a LETSystem:
aged people, builders, unemployed, sole parents, lawyers, craftspeople, people with disabilities, teachers, small business operators, healers, shops, children.
Anyone who abandons thoughts of “what’s in it for me” and instead thinks “what can I contribute to society”.

Who SHOULD join a LETSystem?

Everybody !!
Anybody who is time rich and cash poor.
Anybody who has the ability to think outside the square.
Anybody who would like to see a greater sense of time-value placed on their skills.
Anybody who has a sense of social justice.
Anybody who would like to increase their network of friends and interact with like-minded people.

Who SHOULD NOT join a LETSystem?

People who want to get something for “free”.
People looking to exploit others.
(The committee has the right to veto any membership which they consider not be to in the best interests of the group.)

What can I contribute?

Your time and energy will be the greatest contribution. An unskilled worker will be just as valuable as a trained professional. Think about what skills and abilities you have and enjoy using that a community could appreciate. What are your hobbies and interests? Do you want to spend more time outdoors; walking dogs, gardening or mowing lawns? Do you enjoy sewing? Or shopping? Are you willing to do ironing while you watch TV? Are there good clothes your children have outgrown? For more ideas look at the Register to see what other people are contributing, as well as what they are looking for.

Are there limits applied to my trading?

There are no limits on account holder’s local currency and no repayment or spending schedule is applied to members. However if the committee considers that a member is abusing their membership, it may take appropriate action to rectify the situation.

Must I trade?

There is never an obligation to trade if it is not in your interest to do so.

What happens if someone goes away leaving a negative balance?

Not much, provided that the rest of the members carry on trading with each other. Members can’t take local units with them and can’t spend them outside the system. This question reflects a justifiable concern about cheating within a co-operative activity. They have simply taken more goods and services from the trading community than they have given. However, with conventional money this would be a problem – if a cheque bounces, the money is not available to the payee. With local units, even though the member leaving is in the negative, the member who they traded with is in the positive and they have those units readily available for their next trade. Turnover is the key to a successful system, not the level of credits or commitments. Turnover reflects the amount of transfers happening within the community and also reflects the efficiency of administration in facilitating these trades.

How do people value goods and services within a LETSystem?

As LETS uses a philosophy of “time” and “energy” and each members time is equally valuable, Sydney LETS suggests a base rate of 35 operas per hour regardless of skilled or non skilled labour. In this way activities which are traditionally low-paid tend to be rewarded more generously. As there is never an obligation to trade, if you consider the market value to be too high or too low you can decline to trade. By using a ‘local currency’ that is abundant, people are able to value each other’s time, skills and energy more appropriately.