Re: Work or Pay Systems
From: Raines Cohen (
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 16:57:55 -0700 (PDT)
I've already weighed in on this thread, but my wife and partner Betsy
had this to share on the latest:

Hi folks,
You've really gotten me thinking! Can cohousing be a seedbed for a new
kind of market?   Can there be an exchange whereby residents of
cohousing compete with one another to either drive up or reduce the
cost of their own timelabor required or offered to maintain the
compost, the cleanliness of the common house, and the nice flowers out

Unfortunately for those who make big hourly rates in their day job,
this particular labor market is small and internal to cohousers.

Theoretically speaking (that is referring to the literature
used to define the concepts of market economics and communities),
communities are predicated on long-term relationships (what happens
when people expect to know each other over time) while markets
(talking classical economics here), to function well assume buyers and
sellers do not know each other over time (because familiarity breeds
preferences, and other sorts of"inefficiencies" in pricing mechanisms).

Markets far predate market capitalism (which I believe refers to the
rise of a financial sector, specialists who make their living off
investing money in other people's markets as well as the rise of
financial markets themselves as drivers of wealth), Ramping up to
apply market capitalism to cohousing labor/participation programs seems
a stretch to me, However,
if someone somewhere wants to start a hedge fund on this, well, they
might not be buying a house in the Hamptons for a while, until we at
least get the number of communities and residents up a notch.

Betsy Morris
At home at Berkeley (CA) Cohousing

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