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that many of the goods and services needed should be available in the area where the experiment happens. The other possibility is to choose a region which is depressed usually because of lack of diversification – and create an impetus for a more differentiated and stable economy through the introduction of a new monetary system. The latter case may be the more tempting because where a situation is bad enough people tend to be more open to change, mainly when they see - as in the case of WÜrgl (Chapter 2) that they have everything to gain and nothing to lose in the process. On the other hand, a relatively active, diversified and economically healthy area may also see advantages in the introduction of a new monetary system very clearly and here the success of the change may be evident faster. It would create more validity not to limit experiments to one or the other situation exclusively, in order to find out what interest-free money means in different social contexts.

START A LOCAL EXCHANGE TRADING SYSTEM Of all the attempts to exchange goods and services outside the present money systems, the one Michael Linton has started on Vancouver Island, Canada, is the most easily adaptable to any locality and, therefore, the best known world-wide. The LET (Local Exchange Trading) System operates quite simply as a system of accounts of "green" dollars, without a fee on the money, but a small fee on each transaction. People arrange among themselves how many "green" and how many "normal" dollars each item they sell or buy will cost. They pass on their credits and debits to a computerized accounting centre. Their limits to go into debt can be determined, at the outset, and changed when necessary later, in order to minimize the risk for all participants. Obviously, the more people participate, the more rewarding the system will be. In this way, a small community near Vancouver helped a dentist who was young and had no money to build up a practice. The community built a house and surgery, largely from green dollars. The dentist then treated people for a certain percentage of green dollars. The LET Systems work well in the beginning but in some instances there have been problems or collapse (29) where large surpluses or deficits occurred. In part this is because with no circulation fee there is no incentive to recycle money. However, it still makes sense to support experiments with different types of circulation systems than the one we have at present, in order to enable people to understand the functions and purposes of money better. Practical examples provide a better learning experience than any book or lecture.

SUPPORT ETHICAL INVESTMENT One immediate step everybody can take toward transition is to see to it that their own surplus money gets invested in an ethical way. As more and more people begin to realize its social and moral implications, ethical investment in the U.S.A. has mushroomed into a multi-million dollar movement. In the words of Hazel Henderson, "a growing army of common folk have stood on their doorsteps, smelt the rot and can no 47

Margit Kennedy (!) - Interest and Inflation Free Money  

Copyright 1995 by Margrit Kennedy) (Published by Seva International; ISBN 0-9643025-0-0; 1 2 LIST OF FIGURES:..................................

Margit Kennedy (!) - Interest and Inflation Free Money  

Copyright 1995 by Margrit Kennedy) (Published by Seva International; ISBN 0-9643025-0-0; 1 2 LIST OF FIGURES:..................................

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