Subject: TURMEL: TOES 98 Jubilee 2000 LETS Report
Date: 11 Jun 1998 22:31:13


     My props included:
- The Engineer's Hardhat,
- LETS lapel diskette,
- LETS diskette stickers,
- Federal pound
- Federal pounds note
- Federal pound cheque
- Lottery Tickets with Stubs as Tally and King Henry's receipt.
- Tlaloc checks in colored denominations fit great in the LETS poem.
- US Treasury Note vs Federal Reserve Bank Note opens eyes.
- Chart showing derivation of Miracle Equation proving Interest=0.
- Chart showing Shift B, not Shift A inflation.
- Literature and Press, in particular:
-- Charlotte Observer: Argentinian Provinces using Provincial Bonds as
local provincial currencies have driven inflation down, not up as
feared by World Bank-IMF. This is due to Inflation Shift B. I will
constantly refer to the difference between Shift A and Shift B
inflations. I will also constantly distinguish between financial flows
at the banking pumphouse and splashing in the financial seas of our
economic pools. They are explained in my LETS Engineering Mathematics
Analysis, anyone unfamiliar with the banking system plumbing in those
Engineering Blueprints will have much difficulty in grasping many of
the global implications of large-database LETS.

     Other literature included:
- LETS Petitions for National LETS
- LETS Engineering Mathematics Analysis
- Bishop Peter Selby Endorsement of LETS Engineering Mathematics
- Stockport Council Anti-Poverty LETS
- Arizona Republic: World's Richest Pauper.
- Guinness 1997 Royalty & Government: HRH The Queen & The Engineer
- Poem: The Engineer's Petition of Right for LETS to HRH Queen Elizabeth II.
- Poem: Ballad of the Banking Systems Engineer.
- Poem: Biblical Monetary Theory.

     So I had lots of different props and exhibits to choose from so
each presentation could change a little before the next. All
presentations during this 1998 UK LETS tour were based on the theme of
how to engineer big LETS out of little LETS. My longest presentation
at Mytholmroyd in Calderdale which included up to 20% in poetry verse
from the LETS Petition of Right was taped for CD distribution by an
enterprising young musician who liked the poetry.

     The recommendations of the Banking Systems Engineer to TOES 98
for amplifying LETS power ratings are:

     A) Use Physical tokens for:
1) mostly free transactional charges.
2) greater velocity. With $50,000 in notes, Ithaca Hours LETS has
generated $2 million in trade for a velocity of 40. Mexico City's
Tlaloc LETS operates with a velocity of at least 10. Unfortunately,
most UK local  currencies still operate without tokens and at a
velocity of 1.
3) new trading with non-member businesses.

     B) LETS Consignment Stores:
     An inherent problem cited by many LETS is that half the members
need to be in the negative for the other half to be in the positive
and everyone hates being in the negative. So, those in the positives
are urged to spend, are deterred and even penalized to overcome the
reticence to spend of people near or in the negative.
     There is no need to deter savings to promote spending. Better way
is to find other members to hold the negative with LETS consignment
     A LETS Recycle store can pay Green to people can drop off their
new, used, even broken goods for sale on consignment and then shop and
spend their own Green. The store's account holds most negative backed
up by the collateral so members' leaving with accounts or currency in
the positive will be more likely to spend.

     C) LETS Collateral Credit:
     Pensioners can use of a LETS account based on their estate to
save the interest they would lose if they were forced to borrow from
an interest-bearing bank account.
     Though banks accept collateral but rarely manpower for credit,
LETS so far accept only manpower, not collateral. If LETS acccepted
both, pensioners who face having their estates eroded by interest-
bearing credit could use interest-free credit from their LETS account
to go negative against the estate while able-bodied LETS workers could
build up their savings.
     Again, this would promote rather than deter savings with the
database of pensioners holding the negative backed by their collateral
so more young workers can save positives in their accounts.

     D) Critical Mass with Trader Saturation:
7) Heavy spending of Green currency by Government, Power Company or
Telephone Company would prompt instant market saturation and almost
instant critical mass.
     Ontario Hydro North York power company issued $25 Power Gift
certificates to charities for distribution but didn't think of using
those same $25 Power certificates to pay their own employees and save
their interest-bearing cash to pay down debts. Similar instant
saturation if Bell Telephone dollars paid to Bell employees were
earned by citizens who pay Bell. Or best of all, if government LETS
tax-credit notes paid out to employees were earned by citizens who pay
our taxes.
     I cited tallies used by England's King Henry I as the first and
best English Government LETS and cited Argentinian Provinces who set
up province-wide LETS using small denomination provincial bonds paid
to all government employees as the best and most recent government
LETS. Then explained that injecting more local currency actually
brought federal inflation down from 1000% per year to 36% because we
face Shift B inflation, not Shift A.
     How to boost LETS performance was the message I brought to TOES
98 and LETSers in Bristol, Falmouth, Birmingham, Craven Arms, Hebden
Bridge, Halifax, Mytholmroyd and Bradford and elsewhere.

     Friday was the opening of TOES in Birmingham.
     After having made 3 requests a month earlier to have my LETS
presentation added to the alternative currencies panel, I was sad to
note that the official People's Summit Programme, a 22"x17" poster,
had no mention of my talk on Petition for LETS nor any mention of LETS
at all. But the paper was made with 100% chlorine-free bleached plup.
     I immediately looked up David Boyle, who was the only speaker
listed on the alternative currencies panel who immediately offered to
share the time and mention my LETS presentation to the hotel
Noticeboard. It's kind of sad to think that the only banking systems
engineer in attendance never got to advertise higher power National
LETS to people used to a power set at level 1. I noticed that Richard
Kay had also been dropped from the agenda and was getting up his
noticeboard bulletins too. Considering that some speakers got to speak
at several plenaries and panels, I wonder how many other speakers
applied but didn't get to speak once?

     In Summit New Issue 1, there were two mentions of LETS:
     1) at the bottom of a list of alternatives in a page 1 article
titled "The future is not completely hopeless, says new report:
"- Over a thousand forms of local, non-monetary "currencies" -
"including LETS and time dollar schemes - have started up over the
"last five years across indistrialised countries, embracing hundreds
"of thousands of participants."
     2) On page 1 is an article titled "Slowly but surely," Sara
Murphy tells us that
"In 1998, for the first time, the G8 organisers in the Foreign Office
"have opened communications with the People's Summit."
     JCT: A chance for the Poor People's Summit to have their message
heard. I would have included: "Start a G8-guaranteed LETS Timemoney
system and let all nations join it." One of the solutions offered the
G8 leaders:

"- Local currencies were introduced to the UK after the 1985 TOES. Now
"there are over 400 operating in Britain, and a group of powerful
"local authorities are busy lobbying the government to make them
"easier to run.
     JCT: Though other ideas like getting financiers to pay all our
service charges from their unearned income sound fair, they are but
splashing in the pool and do not deal with the original positive
feedback growth of debt at the bank pumphouse. For the record, I'm in
favor of an "Assets Tax" where the one with the most pays the most and
one with the least pays the least.
     Splashing so much yellow rock from one end of the pool to the
other can't work and though I like shifting taxes to waste, it's not
where we get the taxes from that is the problem but what we spend
taxes on. Spend my tax for people's time engaged at useful toil but
taxing me for money's time will always make me boil. It doesn't matter
what new economic indicators we develop when the problems are pretty
clear with the less sophisticated meters we've got. But better meters
can't hurt.
     But at the bottom of the list of suggestions is included the
machinery I'm interested in using to solve the debt crisis, small
independent LETS banks pumping out interest-free credits to stabilize
debts. I appreciate finding out that "powerful local authorities" want
their LETSes running even better. Amplifying LETS power was the theme
of my 1998 LETS UK tour. And though how to fine-tune LETS was hardly
heard in Birmingham, it was heard in enough systems to hope that some
try to turn power to "high" rather than remain struggling at 1.
     If LETS was mentioned in the TOES 98 communique to the G8
leaders, it would be the second time LETS has popped up in front of
Jean Chretien. Chris Hohner, Peterborough Ontario LETS, was promoting
LETS it the PM's entourage during their recent Latin American tour. It
could have gotten through.
     Imagine if Clinton and Clinton could have seen me and my picket
sign this time. He could have turned to Chretien and said ""Don't you
remember, Jean, we saw the guy with the hardhat and the "LETS Abolish
Interest Rates" placard at the Rideau Canal on my last visit to
Ottawa? And isn't that Pauline, the girl who shook our hands that
afternoon?" "
     Jean Chretien could have pulled out his early 1980s scrap book
and pointed to a picture of himself captioned:
"Justice Minister Jean Chretien talks to reporters Monday after the
"Supreme Court ruled on the constitution, but a protester's sign
"indicates he would prefer to talk about the economy. It's a barb
"against the Bank of Canada's policy of setting high interest rates
"to protect the dollar.
     JCT: "King of White Collar Crime" with carricature of Gerald
Bouey, Governor of the Bank of Canada, said the placard right behind
Chretien's head.
     He could have told Clinton and the boys "The guy with the Bouey
sign behind my head is his brother Ray Turmel and the guy with the
Engineer's hardhat and "LETS Abolish Interest Rates" placard is John
Turmel. He can against me for Prime Minister with his Abolitionist
Party in 1993 waving their "LETS will cut the chains of debt"
diskettes around."
     What's funny is that Bill and Jean exited the restaurant and
decided to meet the crowd, they chose Pauline as the first person in
the crowd to shake hands.
     Though the G8 leaders were too well insulated for me to get my
message directly to them as I once did at an Ottawa G7 meeting in the
early 1980s where friendly police in the security cordon opened a hole
to permit me to walk right into the Empty Elgin Street Cenotaph with
my Abolish Interest Rates placard just as Reagan and the G7 were
pulling in to the National Arts Centre. I'm cheered to think Jean
Chretien may have seen LETS offered as an anti-poverty solution once
again. I really would be curious if there was any mention of LETS on
the official communique from the Poor People's Summit to the G8
Summit? Anybody know for sure?

     Issue 2 of Summit News detailed the problems of debt, social
auditing, what sustainability isn't, making bigger demands, what to do
next, world body for economic deicisions, order the eradication of
poverty but no mention of LETS.
     Other possible solutions offered at TOES were "Five ways to save
national currencies" by Professor James Tobin who wants to tax
financial transactions. There are articles about credit union piggy
banks and Green initiaves but unfortunately, nothing more on how LETS
     I did manage to raise LETS in the first plenary session. All the
speakers were bewailing the debts with Jubilee 2000 speakers
recommending cancellation of the debts of the poorest nations. So I
guess they don't have anything to offer the richer nations more than
signatures on their petitions. I kept wondering about our debts.
     As they were ending, one fellow asked why there weren't getting
the message out to the big boys. The chair said that they could have
no success until they had an alternative to offer. As it was ending on
that note to over 200 people, I quipped "LETS is the alternative
solution." He replied "LETS is too small." I replied "National LETS
then." A couple of panellists were nodding happily.
     After all, their own NEF New Economics Foundation pamphlet read:
Community Works (NEF Pamphlet)
A guide to community economic action
Introduction by Ed Mayo, Directory New Economics Foundation:

"Globalisation sucks out resources and money for use elsewhere..
Community economic action finds ways of plugging these leaks..
Credit unions, food co-ops, etc.
There are thirty four initiatives covered in this pamphlet.

LETS (Local Exchange Trading Schemes or Systems)
     LETS allows members to trade goods or services without
conventional money using a local credit or "currency." LETS tend to
provide a directory with brief descriptions of offers and needs, LETS
cheque books, an accounting system and statements to members.
     Practice: The growth of LETS has been one of the most positive
sotries of community economic action. Starting with 4 in 1990, LETS
now number some 400 groups, varying in size from a few dozen in new
starts to over 700 members.
     Starting up: Joining a local LETS scheme is simple - just decide
what services or goods one wishes to offer. The possibilities are
endless and may range from dog-walking to decoration or from gardening
to German lessons. A minimum core group of 10 peopel is sneeded. The
LETS infopack provides step-by-step guidance on aspects of start-up,
organisation and advice on a constitution to ensure it is
democratically run.
     Follow up:
     LETSLINK UK (for LETS groups, local authorities, non-profit
organisations). national network, group support, good practice guides,
resources, conferences. 61 Woodcock Road, Warminster, Wiltshire, ba12
9dh. Enclose six first class stamps. Tel/fax 01985-217-871
     LETS Solutions (for businesses, voluntary organisations and local
authorities) 68 Ashford Road, Withington, Manchester m20 9eh Tel/fax
     LETSLINK Scotland, Patrick Boase, 31 Banavie Rd. Glasgow, g11 5aw
tel 1041-339-3064
     LETS Nothern Ireland, Mal Neumann, 20 Beechwood, Barbridge,
County Down, bt32 3yl Tel: 01820-623-834
     Suggested reading: LETs Info Pack, LETS Work, LETS on low income.

Time dollars:
     Pioneered in the USA, Time Dollars support volunteering. They are
also know as service credits or care shares. Local people form a time
dollar system whereby participants earn credits for performing
services - an hour of your time entitles you to an hour of someone
else's time. Volunteering offers and requests are matched by the
system's co-ordinator and accounts held on PC.
     Time Dollars are not money, nor exchangeable for money. Rather
they offer recognition of volunteering so that volunteers do receive
something for their effort. Time dollars can differ from LETS, which
is an economic system based on a local currency. Most time dolalrs
earned are never claimed, or given to someone in need. LETS members
arrange their own trades, whereas in a time dollars system, the co-
ordinator matches people up.
     Some systems are extending to include basic goods and services.
In Washington DC participants can bu a $35 bag of groceries for $13
and @.4 Hours of Community service.
     The aim of time dollars is to empower people to meet social needs
at the local level - needs which can no longer necessarily be afforded
in modern economies. By encouraging volunteering effort and mutual
supportr between individuals, combined with a form of "payment," the
pshchological rewards are as important as rebuilding local community
     Practice: There are around 150 schemes in the US. Membership
varies from a few dozen to several thousand.
     Starting up: Best to keep it simple to start. At an early stage
of setting up, a time dollars system will typically choose a limited
range of care services to focus on which may be expanded as membership
and experience grows.
     Follow up: New Economics Foundation, David Boyle, 1st Floor, Vine
Court, 112-116 Whitechapel Road, London e1 1je Tel: 0171-377-5696.
Time Dollar NEtwork Box 42160 Washington DV 20015. USA.

     JCT: Is it any wonder I felt I had found fertile ground for my
Petition for National LETS? Wearing my LETS diskette on my lapel, I
must have passed out 100 Petitions as people left quipping "If LETS
works but is too small, do it nationally."
     I chose to attend the Sustainable Local Economics Workshop and
after introducing myself to Ed Mayo (NEF), he immediately offered me a
chance to make a 4 minute statement. Using some Mexico City Tlaloc
multi-endorsable standard-denominated checks in my example, I
demonstrated the advantages of free velocity to amplify power. There
were several people who already belonged to their neighborhood LETS in
attendance including Diana Schumacher, of the Foundation instrumental
in spreading the word of LETS Hours in the United States. Everyone
endorsed LETS as an essential part of their ecological strategy.

     On Saturday, David Boyle had to cancel his alternative currency
presentation leaving the whole hour free for mine. Though only 10
people attended, it was a first rehearsal of this tour's show. Now it
was time to take the message of higher-powered higher-velocity LETS to
guys who've are still using LETS at Power = 1. Fortunately, I think
what was David's presentation was being published in the next day's
SUMMIT News Issue 3. It was a good one. Too bad he couldn't make it to
deliver live:

by David Boyle
TOES 98 Summit News Issue 3
David Boyle looks at the progress of the idea of local currencies:
     What do you do if your neighborhood is rapidly running out of
cash - if you have lots of neighbours with time on their hands and
lots that needs doing, but no money to bring them together with the
jobs? Answer: invent a "local currency" of your own.
     The advent of Local Exchange Trading Schemes known as LETS,
during the 1990s has received widespread coverage, as the media
revelled in the idea of people getting by with barter, but it has only
been in the last year or so that local authorities have been getting
involved. They see LETS as a way of taking the edge off local poverty
- and without spending a vast amount of money.
     Their involvement has meant that local authority influence has
swung behind the LETS idea, and a growing number of local authorities
- organised through the Local Government Anti-Poverty Forum - is
lobbying the government to disregard LETS as income when assessing
benefits entitlements. They are afraid the existing rules may
discourage low-income households from taking part in the 450 or so
local LETS which are already running in the UK.
     The names of the new currencies -groats in West Glasgow, bobbins
in Manchester, bricks in Brixton, even "concrete cows" in Milton
Keynes - have an encouraging and evocative air to them.
     The LETS idea appeals to both sides of the political divide -
because it can potentially both take the edge off poverty and could
ultimately allow participants to move out of dependence on state
     Local authorities are finding that LETS has the potential for
providing affordable childcare, building the confidence of unemployed
people, rebuilding what economists are calling "social capital" and
much more besides.
     LETS can provide a kind of "Heineken effect," helping council
officers reach into sectors of communities which it is otherwise very
hard to reach. Leicester City Council has already launched Naari LETS
- a scheme for Asian women, aimed at reducing their isolation.
     Stockport has also launched a system as part of its social
services department. Hampshire use LETS as a way of integrating people
with mental health problems back into the world of work.
     A Gulbenkian foundation report launched in November, "LETS Act
Locally," showed that the development of the LETS idea is proceeding
apace. Islington council is backing a "LETS Build" pilot scheme to
bring accommodation into the loop; Bristol, Gloucester and Stirling
are among those using LETS to allotments to make food available to
people on low incomes in return for their time and effort.
     "The benefits question is the biggest single issue for people
taking part in LETS in urban low income areas," said Liverpool City
Council's Mike Maguire. "There are major fears that the DSS will
regard LETS earnings as "income." This is not happening in practice,
but it is preventing people from joining something which could make a
difference to their lives."
     Government agencies in Australia, Ireland, Holland and New
Zealand have already ruled that LETS earnings will not affect people's
eligibility for benefit. If you sign on in New Zealand, you are
invited to join your local "green dollar" scheme - because officials
know it takes the pressure off people.
     In other words, LETS can make people more independent. And
assuming these benefits of LETS can be sold to the government,
LETSlink UK's new #90,000 pound lottery grant means that the idea of
LETS can spread even faster.
     "The potential for LETS to contribute in key social policy areas
is just starting to be recognized," said LETSlink UK co-ordinator Liz
Shephard, who has just moved the national headquarters to Portsmouth.
     "Cash-strapped local authorities, health authorities and the
volunteer sector are beginning to find ways in which LETS-type
exchanges can help them extend their existing services, target
resources effectively and establish new partnerships with local
Details: LETSlink UK, 2 Kent St. Portsea, Portsmouth, PO1 3BS,
     JCT: The potential for LETS has been recognized in North America
for years. I would have added that the United States IRS Internal
Revenue Service has long exempted Timedollars from income taxation, a
very useful reference.
     Sure, benefits policy hampers little LETS from growing but
ignores the higher desirability of setting up a really big one for
large corporate traders too. The merger of corporate barter databases
and personal LETS databases is not only useful, it is inevitable and
should be encouraged.

     Sunday, we attended the Interest-free Money panel with about 10
people. Sabine Kurjo-McNeill had to cancel and it was chaired by John
Courtneidge who predictably didn't like interest and did like LETS. He
wrote "Abolish Usury."
     We returned to the Grand Hotel for final plenary where I did
manage to have LETS raised again. Participants were asked to sit in
circles of around 10 and answer 4 questions on what had been
accomplished. I got in at the end and with no mention of LETS, I again
asked that our spokesperson, a Green councillor, mention that the
thing to do next was "Abolish Interest Rates with National LETS." He
did and cited that it came from the guy so keen on LETS passing out
the literature.
     I also met Sister Dorothy Peart who was busy passing our her own
cartoon story promoting LETS currency over sterling. She's a regular
contributor to LETSlink UK magazine and subscribes to the Green
party's Sustainable Economics newsletter. It was great to find another
worker hawking LETS as persistently as we do and I spent almost every
spare moment learning guerrilla tactics for the poor. Somehow I think
she'll be instrumental in scoring the support of the catholic church
for LETS.

     Then came the Grand event, the Jubilee 2000 speakers at St.
Martin's Church and the eventual linking of hands into a chain of debt
around the G8 Summit. Worcester Bishop Peter Selby was slated to
speak. He wrote the book Grace and Mortgage used my LETS Engineering
Analysis that economists were all wrong in trying to restrict Shift A
inflation with higher interest rates when interest rates actually
generated inflation Shift B. When I asked an usher at the church to
point him out, I was told that he had had to cancel. Later, Selby told
me they had assumed he could attend. The first speaker, Rev. Lorry
Green, knew that the Lord's Prayer was for forgiveness of our debts,
not our tresspasses now altered in the latest crop of corrupted
Bibles. The Good News Bible is bad news. Other speakers argued that
redistribution of the pain was necessary.
     Later, we joined part of the Chain of Debt just outside the Hotel
and just opposite a Cathedral. Holding hands in the Chain, I couldn't
help wondering how many people would still be present if they realized
that writing off those debts forces the banks to cancel your boss's
credit line and call in his and your loans.
     Demanding cancellation without offering relief for the subsequent
banking system crash is almost useless. Abolish debt growth. Talk
about debt cancellation after eliminating growth and stabilizing debt.
Still, standing with thousands, hand to hand, I couldn't help but be
impressed with tens of thousands all protesting debts, if not the evil
part of the debts.
     Pauline saw a procession of clerics going to the front of the
church in twos and on the hopes that Selby might be there, followed
them. I tapped the shoulder of the last cleric on the left and asked
if Peter Selby was present. He pointed to the fellow on his right!
     Bishop Selby seemed as stunned to run into me as I was to run
into him and we got together later to hear more about how he came
about to write his book. He too had been faced with how to overcome
the argument that interest rates were necessary to fight inflation
until he read about Shift B inflation. Then he got a grant and the
book, GRACE AND MORTGAGE, ISBN 0-232-52170-0, was the result.
     Worcester Bishop Peter Selby states:
     "Galbraith remarks, higher interest rates, it is hoped, "will
curb inflation... These comments of Galbraith illustrate why, although
the raising of interest rates is the weapon against inflation chosen
by those who profit by it, it is also clear that as a method it cannot
finally work. John Turmel, a Canadian civil engineer and campaigner
against usury, has in two long articles brought algebra, plumbing and
poetry to bear on the task."
     In order to follow, you'll also have to have a clear
understanding that the inflation most nations experience today is not
Shift A inflation, too much money chasing the goods, but Shift B
inflation, the same money chasing less goods after foreclosure.
     Of course, the Big Lie of Economics is prevalent in the UK as
well as everywhere else.
     Anne Segall, Economics correspondent at the Daily Telegraph in
the 19980526 article titled "Inflation indicators point to rate rises"
warns "interest rates will have to rise... as inflationary pressure
will bubble up."
     Laurie Laird in the 19980526 Guardian article "Evil harbingers
for Greenspan" notes that "inflation rose to nearly 7% forcing long-
term interest rates beyond 9%... Any underestimating of inflation
could mean a massive interest rate rise over the medium term... With
the risk of inflation, and hence, a sharp steep rise in interest
     Irwin Stelzxer in the 19980524 Times article "Greenspan keeps the
party going" notes that with "inflation must be around the some not-
too-distant corner... the inflation hawks will redouble their efforts
to push through a modest rise in interest rates."
     Of course, if you cannot believe that interest causes foreclosure
inflation, nothing I say will make any sense.
     As a Bishop, Peter Selby is in the House of Lords and is giving a
talk on money on the evening of June 3, the very day we leave. Bad
luck. Let's hope he'll convince Jubilee 2000 not to knock all debt but
only the debt due to debt service?
     With that, we were off on our tour of LETS UK Trip.

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