Re: COHOUSING-L digest 70
From: Gordon (
Date: 15 Feb 1994 12:35:56 -0600 (CST)
>   Our group is in the process of revisiting the issue of whether and/or when 
> we  can pay members of the group to do work for the group.  I'd appreciate 
> ideas, feedback, experiences, from all of you out there.
> One solution is to let everything be market driven.  By this, I mean, have an
> internal economy, paying people 'credits' for tasks.  

I think the KISS* principle is the best criteria here.  My own experience with 
groups is that you should get the most work that you can on an unregulated, 
voluntary basis.  This requires regular and frequent check-ins regarding 
people's feelings about their work load relative to everyone else's, but it 
simplifies the process of getting things done.  If you have people in your group
who have to keep score, then go with an accounting system, but I think it is 
best if people can tolerate some imbalance.  

Then of course there are big tasks that are difficult for anyone to take on 
without some sort of compensation, or tasks that require a skill that most 
people in the group do not possess.  In my own living situation we have paid 
people in the community a market rate for large skilled tasks, but that has 
created resentment from people who don't have well-compensated skills.  We have 
never had guidelines regarding which tasks are large enough to get paid for.  
Also, I live in a community of 7 (plus 5) adults, so handling things on an ad 
hoc basis is not the nightmare that a larger community would face.

- Gordon Weil

* KISS = Keep It Simple, Silly (or something to that effect)

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