Il est facile
ce sont les biens
et les services
ne pas se
jours de troc
Eh bien, Falls
entame un projet
va accomplir cela.
Le système LETS
et de troc.
LETS est un
et géré localement
qui fonctionne en
(au lieu de contre)
locale dont le
montant n’est pas
limité et qui reste
"Les services et
les habiletés sont
comptabilisés à un
niveau plus réaliste
en partant du
principe que nous
une valeur entre
nous au lieu de
de plus amples
avec le centre.
Local Economic Trading System (LETS) Pilot Project
Andrea Berry &
Falls Brook Centre
makes the world go around" is a popular phrase almost everywhere that
you go. We are always trying to get more and spend less. There is no doubt
that we have all had times when we haven’t had enough, and have had to
"tighten the belt". It’s easy to forget that money is not
actually worth anything—it is the goods and services that we value!
Joan Emery, LETS
and chef supreme
(photo: Falls Brook Centre)
So, if money does not have a real value, why do we get caught up in the
race to save more cash? In our federal currency system, only the
government has the authority to print up more of the coins and bills.
Money is issued in a limited supply (hence the serial numbers), which
makes it possible to run out of it. Every community needs money
circulating through it--to maintain the flow of goods and
services--brought in through exports, visitors, and federal spending. Once
money comes in and circles around, it flows back out again. For example,
if an exporter leaves the community, the money that goes with it is not
replaced, causing a rush in the community to save more and spend less.
There could be plenty of lumber in the yard to build a new house, but if
there is no money to pay for it, the lumber remains! It is this limited
supply of money–not goods and services, that slows down the trading
It doesn’t really make sense does it? If the stuff is
there to do the job, why should the scarcity of money stop the job from
getting done? Why don’t we just get rid of money altogether and go back
to the good old days of bartering? John trades Fred three cabbages for
four loaves of bread; you trade me one home cooked meal for an hour of
dance lessons. But Fred really needs some money for the loaf pans, and I
have two left feet! Now what?!
Relax, my worried neighbour! There is an answer—it’s
called the LETS system!
LETS stands for Local Economic Trading System, and it
side-steps the restrictions of our federal currency AND bartering.
Basically, LETS is a locally designed and managed currency system that is
made to work in collaboration with (instead of against), our federal
currency. It is local money that is not in a limited supply, and stays
within the community that created it. Therefore, there is never a shortage
it and it can never leave! Sound too good to be true? Read on…
(photo: Falls Brook Centre)
Brook Centre LETS Pilot Project works like this:
Everybody who joins the project receives their own
account starting with $100 LETS.
When deals are made, LETS dollars are moved from one
account to another, via the buyer calling in the trade to the LETS
Registry. For a transaction in the LET System to occur, one account must
go up by a certain amount and another must go down by the same amount. The
negative balance allows people to trade with "money" they don’t
have, eliminating the restrictions of limited supply. The fact that there
is a currency, or trading unit, removes the limitations of bartering by
allowing people to take their credit to other members who can supply their
A typical day of the LET System in action may look like
this: Beryl de Beaupré is reading the LETS Directory and notices that
Joan Emery offers pre-cooked meals. Beryl phones or emails Joan and asks
her how many LETS $ she will charge to cook three meat-based pre-cooked
meals. They agree that a reasonable cost for the service will be $10 LETS
in addition to $10 Canadian to buy the ingredients. Beryl contacts the
LETS Registry to acknowledge that her account now has a debit of $10 LETS
and that Joan has a credit of $10 LETS. It’s that simple!
Still not convinced?
Here are some of the benefits to using the LET System
in your local community:
Increased access to local goods and services
More federal currency "freed up" for use
outside the system
No federal or provincial taxes
Local businesses attract more customers, increase
cash income (as total sales go up), encourage customer loyalty, and
ease the cash flow
Voluntary groups can accept donations in LETS $ to
reward volunteers and free up their cash budget
LETS directories increase publicity for local
LET Systems are great places to try out product
Perhaps the greatest benefit that is to be seen, is the
greater sense of community and co-operation that is generated through the
LET System members. Services and skills are often valued at a more
realistic level, under the premise that we are valuing each other, rather
than money. Local people get out to meet and greet each other, and find
out what we’re all about. People that don’t have as much access to
federal dollars can increase their spending capacity with LETS $.
And best of all, there is a greater sense of self-worth
and dignity when we start to recognize ourselves as skilled, talented, and
useful! With all these benefits, it is tough to figure out why there aren’t
more LET Systems around!
Our pilot project, based at Falls Brook Centre, now has
around thirty participating members, from Fredericton to Perth Andover.
Please don’t hesitate to contact Caitlyn Vernon (506) 375-4310, Caitlyn@fallsbrookcentre.ca,
should you wish to receive more details, or visit
Brook Centre's website.