This is the information James Taris shared with LETS groups all over the world on his international LETS tours between 2002-2004.
You can help support LETS-Linkup.com (and James) by purchasing a copy of his book, The LETSaholic Twist, now available in hardcover, softcover and ebook.
Why not buy a printed copy and rotate it amongst your LETS members?
CLICK HERE for more information about The LETSaholic Twist.vvv
Queen Elizabeth II (1952)
(mid-2005 est.): 4,035,461
cities (est. 1995):
Geography - note: about 80% of the population lives in cities; Wellington is the southernmost national capital in the world.
C/- J. McKenzie
102 Centenial Ave
MOTUEKA SKILLS SWAP
Exchange and Barter System (PLEBS)
EXCH AND BARTER
Green Dollar Exchange Inc
How to close an exchange
Regretfully, HamLETS G$ Exchange will be closing from 30th June 2004.
- Report May 2004
AND GREEN DOLLAR GROUPS.
There are two ways that a Green Dollar Group can get Inflation, one is by inheriting it from the National currency over which we have little control. At present this seems to be at a reasonable level. The other is by internally generated Inflation and this is what I wish to focus on.
Until recently I would have said that G$ Groups, being zero balanced, should not have inflation problems. But for some time I have been puzzled by the low performance of some G$ Groups. The gradual drop in Membership after the first surge, the steady decline in trading and in some cases the total collapse of the system.
If your System has Members complaining that they can not spend their credits then you probably have Inflation.
If you have had Members in debit leaving without zeroing their account, who have not been followed up by your Management, if your Management has a large Green Dollar debit, or if your System has a large Credit on LETS Connect, or all three, then you do have Inflation.
These all represent Goods and Skills that are no longer available to balance the Credits held by other Members in your System. TOO MUCH MONEY CHASING TOO FEW GOODS.
Any departing Member leaving a debit should be encouraged to clear this before leaving, once they have left, a debit becomes a debt and should be recoverable. If they do not clear this, another option is to ask them for goods that can be offered at Markets or through a Newsletter and once sold the persons account can be credited.
The next option is to collect K$s from them up to the value of their debt and if they cannot afford the total get them onto a drip feed. Each time there is a payment their account should be credited with G$s out of a Membership Debt Account until it is paid off.
If it proves impossible to recover the debt (and sometimes this will be the case) then the account should be paid off out of the Member Debt Account and closed.
This does not improve the inflation on your System but it does put those debits under your control. A large Management debit should be steadily reduced as rapidly as possible.
On LETS Connect a large stagnant Credit represents a Debit on the LETS Connect Account on your System and this means you will have extra credits circulating on your System with no matching Goods or Skills available, except through intertrading.
To deal with these problems your Management needs to remove credits from the System, especially from high earners. In the K$ System this is achieved by raising interest rates but this is not an option open to us. However we can do this through trading and this is what each Management will need to do.
Use any K$s collected from departing Members and any spare cash that you may have to purchase goods in bulk and offer them to your Members, targeting the high earners and those with high Credit balances.
The goods will need to be attractive to your Members and should be sold with a markup. It may be possible to get surplus Goods donated or at least be very cheap. It also may be possible get funding to do this, I suggest you try it.
Another way is to import Goods from another system provided you can find a group that isn't trying to do the same. The same applies, buy in bulk at the best available price and resell to Members with a markup. This will reduce the LETS Connect Credit and any surplus gained can be used to lower the amount in the Member Debt Account.
Also it should be remembered that the LETS Connect Member Debt is a part of the overall Inflation and it is in the interests of all Groups to get this reduced as rapidly as possible.
As you reduce your own Inflation you should also send regular amounts to that account. One other thing that could be done is to target low earners, help them achieve a better turnover to allow them to earn more. The more they earn the more they will be able to spend and they will be happier with the system and will be more inclined to stay with it.
By Management actively importing Goods via the K$ system or through LETS Connect and then selling to members the turnover on your Systems should increase markedly and you will have many more happy traders and less complaints from those unable to spend and they will be much more likely to remain a member rather that give up in disgust.
I believe that this is a serious problem that effects most Groups and I think it is the main reason that a number of Groups have failed.
G$ Systems, with their accounting systems, will be in a much better position to deal with these problems than other alternative currencies who do not have records and therefore do not know what is going on in their Systems.
I have to say that Systems that use manual accounting are also quite vulnerable as it is more difficult to retrieve the information and keep track of trends.
Please tell us about your successes and failures by writing a regular report in the LETS Review. Remember your experience may help others, we are all in this together, lets make G$s in this country really work.
As well as being a TATS Committee member I am Treasurer and Bookkeeper for LETS Connect NZ. This is a group that other LETSystems join to allow Intertrading. International trading is not done at present, it was suggested some years ago but at that stage the Intertrading system was not in very good order.
Over the years a number of Groups had failed, most leaving large Debit Balances and these had to be moved into an account which we called Member Debt account. The result was that eventually practically all Debits in the system were in this account and at one stage this amount reached more than -G$18,500.00 and most Member groups had large Credit balances.
The result is that Intertrading had seriously declined as Member groups refused trades that were going to disadvantage their Balance and some were even insisting on zero trading for visitors, that is if you purchased you had to spend an equal amount. These problems are now being seriously addressed and maybe we will soon be able to consider international trade.
Other James Taris web sites