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. However HunterLETS has the right to veto
any membership which they consider not to be in the best
interests of the group.
is never an obligation to trade if it is not in your interest
to do so.
happens if someone goes away leaving a negative balance?
provided that the rest of the members carry on trading with
each other. Members can't take Mollys 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 taken more goods and services from the
trading community than they have given. Members need to
abide by point 11, Conditions of Membership. HunterLETS
requests that members make every reasonable effort to bring
their account to a zero balance before leaving the system.
if I move away from the area?
you should bring your account as close as possible to being
balanced. If you intend to move away from the area permanently,
please advise the 'office' before you move.
do people value goods and services within a LETSystem?
uses a philosophy of "time and energy" and each
member's times is equally valuable, HunterLETS likes
to suggest a base rate of 10-20 Mollys per hour regardless
of skilled or non skilled labour. In this way activities
which are traditionally low-paid tend to be regarded more
generously. As there is never an obligation to trade, if
you consider the market value to be too high you can decline
using a 'local currency' that is abundant, people are able
to value each other more appropriately.
value myself but don't I have to be measured by market rates?
you use a LETSystem, you are participating in an internal
market, which is subtly different from the national or regional
markets, which use conventional money.
is still keen to get as much cash as possible. But the ability
to earn LETSystem money is enhanced and there is pressure
to spend it rather than hoard it.
factors can combine to give a much lower spread between
low price and high price services. People who overcharge
find that their trading slows up dramatically and their
ability to earn is reduced.
people profit from our trading?
LETSystems are ethically based trading systems in
that they are community based and controlled and no person
can profit from the LETSystem in itself, though anyone can
benefit from any trading they do in the sustem.
currency is also ethically driven in that its worth is derived
from a member's commitment to return the value of the goods
and services received to the other members of the LETSystem.
If a person attempts to "rip off" a LETSystem,
other account holders can simply refuse to trade with them.
To ensure this, each member is allowed to know the balance
and turnover of any other member, but no other trading information.
are cost-of service, not for profit systems run and operated
by the members. No person or organisation outside the system
can profit or benefit from the system, either in dollars
or local currency.
about potential abuse?
potential exists for an individual to take and not return.
However, even if this does take place, the people who have
received payment will be able to trade unimpaired. If too
many people do this the others will slow their trading down
and their ability to spend will be reduced.
there any risks?
unless you want to take some. Participation does not make
you liable for the affairs of the other members or for the
trading, it is in your interest to obtain the current cost
of similar goods and services outside the LETSystem. DO
ask for a written quote for work, prior to the work being
done. As with all business dealings, it is advisable to
negotiate an exchange of Mollys prior to the trade taking
place (whether you negotiate an hourly rate or contract
HunterLETS is the result of an amalgamation of four systems-
Maitland, Cessnock, Newcastle and the Central Coast. The
Maitland system called their unit of currency after a convict
woman called Molly Morgan who was dubbed with many titles,
two of which were "Convict to Queen" and "Queen
of the Hunter Valley".
Molly Morgan (1782-1835) were alive today half of Maitland's
business area might be paying rent into her bank account.
Molly Morgan was one of the most keen, self-willed and resourceful
convict women to be trasnported to Australia's undeveloped
soil, a born leader. She acquired large areas of land in
addition to her grants and at one time "Wallis Plains"
was known as "Molly Morgan Plains".
stories exist about her exploits and "friendship"
with officials, but she was a firm friend of the emancipists
and the convicts and many of the residents of the area owed
their establishment and survival to her, often riding many
miles to bring comfort to a sick settler with little thought
of her own well being. Molly had acquired a farm of 203
acres at Anvil Creek (Greta) in addition to her West Maitland
holdings and it was here that she died in 1835.