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        ID-10           Check and Compare             January 8th,   1986

                            Check and Compare.

        It probably goes without saying that almost any money is better 
        than none at all.

        The costs are probably justified by the benefits.

        To demonstrate the distinctions between conventional and personal 
        currency, it is best to consider both their comparative costs and 
        their comparative benefits.

        Costs of Money.

        Administration - external processing.

             It costs money to handle money.   It may have to be counted, 
             printed, shipped, kept safe, etc etc.  An indication of the 
             cost that the community bears for its money is the 
             proportion of the available manpower that is devoted to the 
             simple maintenance of the process rather than doing anything 
             productive in itself.     For instance, the costs of running 
             a bank amount to about 2-5% of the money that goes through 
             its accounts.    It is estimated that LETSystems can 
             operate all their administration for no more than 0.5% of 
             turnover.    Minimal staff, premises and equipment are 
             needed; no notes have to be printed or coins minted.

        Administration - internal processing.

             Every business knows that much of its staff time is needed 
             just to handle money affairs.     Point of sale procedures, 
             security controls, accounting paraphernalia, petty cash 
             systems etc,etc.    How much time do you spend on your 
             personal financial affairs ?   How many hours are spent 
             balancing cheque-books ?   What was the cost of your last 
             wallet or purse ?    Did loose change ever damage your 
             clothing ?    Green money transactions are initiated and 
             completed with minimal fuss, bother and expense.  There is 
             nothing to carry, count, remember or lose.

        Theft and fraudulence.

             When someone steals cash someone else loses.    Even if it 
             is insured, you are still paying for it in the long run.  
             The cost of using a currency that can be stolen is that some 
             people will try it steal it and will succeed.     Green 
             dollars, existing only as book-keeping entries in a closed 
             cycle, are not lost if fraudulence occurs.   Any person who 
             checks their account can detect false entries and have the 
             transaction reversed.

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        ID-10           Check and Compare             January 8th,   1986


             How much does a bank vault cost ?    Or an armoured car ?   
             How much energy do we have to devote to making sure nobody 
             is going to steal from us ?    What price do we pay for our 
             anxiety ?

        What you have to give to get it.

             This is another way to count a cost.


                  The cost of money conventionally lies between 10% and 
                  25% depending upon the perceived risk level.    Green 
                  dollars bear no interest, simply because neither 
                  lending nor debt is neccessary in LETSystems, and hence 
                  the technical "cost of money" for green dollars is 
                  always zero.

             Sixteen tons.

                  Get up in the morning and I go to the mine.  What do 
                  you do for your money ?    That's the cost of it .   
                  Some people spend their whole lives doing one thing, in 
                  one place, in one way just to keep body and soul 
                  together.      If you have to have a job to stay in the 
                  game, then you have to dance to the tune of the piper.   
                  In a green economy, the money supply is sufficient to 
                  ensure that good work will be available to any who want 

                  Fritz Schumacher, in the prologue to Good Work, derives 

                  "the three purposes of human work as follows -

                  - to provide necessary and useful goods and services,

                  - to enable every one of us to use and thereby perfect 
                    our gifts like good stewards,

                  - to do so in services to, and in cooperation with, 
                    others, so as to liberate ourselves from our inborn 

                  This threefold function makes work so central to human 
                  life that it is truly impossible to conceive of life at 
                  the human level without work.  "Without work, all life 
                  goes rotten," said Albert Camus, "but when work is 
                  soulless, life stifles and dies." "

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        ID-10           Check and Compare             January 8th,   1986


                  Some people live so much for money that they will die 
                  for it.    Or kill for it.    That's a significant 
                  expense, to all concerned.    It is extremely unlikely 
                  that green dollars will be effective in getting people 
                  to damage each other.   With conventional money it 
                  matters little where I get it, I can almost always 
                  spend it easily.     By contrast, it will be difficult 
                  to spend green money earned disreputably.    Few will 
                  need it so much as to be unconcerned about whence it 
                  came.   Green dollars provide little support for 

        Systematic impediments.

             It is a basic rule of the conventional money system that you 
             may not spend it if you don't have it.    If something 
             disturbs your income or creates an unforeseen expense, you 
             will have less money to spend.  If you don't spend money on 
             me, I will have less to spend in a given time, as will 
             therefore the people who earn when I spend.    Any break in 
             the chain arrests trading until more money comes through.   
             This cost is one of the highest; time lost is time past.   
             Notice the collective anxiety that emerges towards the end 
             of every month when we wonder whether the bills will precede 
             the paycheck, whether a deposit will clear in time to meet a 
             deadline, whether a bouncing cheque will bump us into the 
             red.    Green money is always available; no such impediments 

        Misdirection of effort.

             Certainly the greatest expense of a disordered system is 
             that it becomes unpredictable, unreliable and hence largely 
             unuseable.   We are restricted by the limitations of the 
             vehicle, and can only contemplate possibilities within those 
             limits.   Turkeys cannot soar like an eagle.   If the car 
             will only go round in left hand circles, we cannot take it 
             to town.   Our conventional monetary system effectively 
             discourages cooperative modes of behaviour, by setting each 
             of us against those with whom we trade.    What is the cost 
             of our excessive indulgence in competition ?   What is the 
             cost of the missed opportunities to create together a world 
             that works for all of us ?

        Personal money costs less than conventional in all the above 
        categories.    Thus far we have been unable to locate any 
        circumstances where this is not true.   Please let us know if you 
        can see any we have missed.

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        Benefits of Money.

        You pay your money and you get what you get.

        What do you get for your money ?

        Conventional money offers interest, power and security.


             It is an inevitable consequence of the scarcity of any 
             valued commodity that there will be a market for it.   
             Interest is a symptomatic condition of conventional money 
             and will probably persist no matter what.   It can be seen 
             as the price of the risk of loss or as an opportunity to 
             live from the efforts of others.    Whatever the ethical 
             merits or otherwise, few have so much money that they feel 
             able to decline interest payments, and it would be naive to 
             propose any opposition to the process.   Landsman has no 
             wish to argue against such practices; only to point out that 
             the questionable benefits of interest income are indeed only 
             available in the conventional money game.

             Money talks.    No argument.   Conventional money offers 
             power to those who have it.    Of course, while you use the  
             stuff, you will never know whether they love you or your 
             money.   Green money will only be acceptable in conditions 
             of mutual agreement, since people will be well able to 
             choose what they are willing to do for it.


             Very important.   No one can get by without a measure of 
             security.    The "store of value"  function of conventional 
             money is essential for exchange of large assets where 
             assurance of value is critical.    Pension arrangements and 
             real estate will probably always require conventional backed 
             currencies.    Indeed, while the majority of trading, 
             taxation and other expenses are only available in cash, it 
             is essential that each of us is able to "mind our own 
             business" - to keep the wolf from the door.    Unless you 
             feel safe you cannot play.    On the other hand, " Lay not 
             up treasures for yourself on earth, where moth and rust doth 
             corrupt, and thieves break through and steal,.."    Some 
             people learn to ride a bicycle and to trust to their 
             acquired sense of balance; others will always want training 

        In reference to the above criteria, conventional money offers 

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        ID-10           Check and Compare             January 8th,   1986

        distinctive advantages over personal.    The only consideration 
        is the extent to which one wishes to, or has to, play in a game 
        where competition, scarcity and survival make such cycles of 
        power, security and interest inescapable.

        Personal money offers advantage over conventional in 
        availability, recirculation and conviviality.


             You can never go broke if your personal money is good.    
             The simple willingness to undertake a committment to provide 
             fair value to another member of the community at some later 
             date ensures that anyone who acts in good faith can spend as 
             they need.   Of course, a person who consistently fails to 
             redeem their promises will thereby lose this opportunity, 
             but at least the situation is of their own making.  Most 
             people who have no money are poor through no fault of their 
             own.     People suffer because they are so dependent on things 
             beyond their control, like the export market, the bank rate, 
             general consumer demand, commodity speculation etc., etc.


             Next time you spend a dollar bill, put your initials on it 
             and see when you next see it.    Even if you live in a small 
             community, it is unlikely that you will ever see it again, 
             and inevitable that it will soon be out of town and gone for 
             ever.   Try it and see.    Green money stays in circulation 
             in your own community until you earn it back.   In a 
             LETSystem, it is absolutely true that you can spend yourself 
             into employment.


             Every transaction in a LETSystem is a matter of mutual 
             consent.   Who needs a green dollar ?    Nobody needs a 
             green dollar, and so they earn them because they wish to.  
             It is pleasant to live in an community where the process of 
             commerce is the mutual recognition of gifts, of service, of 

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