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newsletter Merit Exchange Newsletter

Vol. $vol, No. 1: February 2, 2009.

Merit Exchange launches for testing!

Merit Exchange launches for testing today. We are testing with a limited group of people--people who want to take an active role in using the site, fiddling with it, and giving ample feedback on the features and user interface.

During the testing period we will continue to sign more people up, but very gradually and at a carefully controlled pace so that we are able to fix bugs as quickly as they are discovered and add new features within a reasonable time of them being requested or needed.

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How do Merits Work?

Like people accessing money in a checking account, each member of Merit Exchange has a balance of merits, and can transfer them freely to others. A person's balance must always remain positive, and all transfers must be voluntary. Unlike money, borrowing and lending are not permitted. This means that if people makes an arrangement or deal to pay for something later in merits, they must rely solely on their trust in that user: this encourages people to focus on earning and saving before spending, rather than borrowing to spend beyond what they have earned.

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What Does Prosperity Look Like?

The mission of Merit Exchange is to bring prosperity through all people. What is prosperity? Economists often look at GDP (Gross Domestic Product) as a measure of the prosperity of a country or region within that country. But GDP is a poor measure of prosperity because it does not include productive activities for which no money changes hands: in fact, these activities can even decrease GDP.

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