Re: Work or Pay Systems: Is uqality necessary?
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2008 14:37:34 -0700 (PDT)
One of the questions which often frames debates of this sort is, how to make
it equitable or fair.  And I wonder, is this really necessary?  One way I
have seen this worked through is through the notion of community gifting,
where people who can do so , and those that so choose, give extra money or
time in order to help out. There is no pressure to do this. In my own
community many times people just donate extra money to pay for something
rather than place a burden on our single parent limited income households.
This often happens with a quiet passing of the hat type donation (often via
an email list request). Sometimes this process ends up reducing  the shared
cost, other times it covers the cost entirely. I have never heard a peep of
resentment from this in all the years we have done this, but then again,
that is perhaps a cultural thing within this community, people seem to not
get too hung up about it. We have some wide economic gaps here and
generosity and sharing are community culture so it works for us.  Oh, and
there is also an option for workfare, people can do jobs and get paid in
assessment reductions if they privately choose to do so. But there is no
requirement for this, there is no stigma, its an option for those who choose
to do so, and when it happens, only a couple people even know about it. So
when I do my annual commonhouse cleaning team work I have no idea if my
teammates are getting assessments reduced or not. It does not seem to

Just for scale, this is both large and small amounts. One family received
more than $50,000 in personal grants and loans from people when the family
wage earner lost his job.  That money got repaid over a couple years time,
even the gifts. Another household had two years of massage school paid
for....This was actually a great deal as it resulted in free massages for
anybody who wanted them. And nobody knew of this gift until years later.

And it has happened that we passed the hat and there was not much in it.
That happens sometimes too.

Rob Sandelin
Snohomish County, WA

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