The Return of the Barter System
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  1. #1
    Registered User Daisygirl's Avatar
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    Default The Return of the Barter System

    I have an email buddy in Greece, who lives on the island of Crete. He told me yesterday that with the near-demise of the Greek currency he and his neighbours had been returning to the barter system. He is an olive farmer, so in return for help with his harvest, he pays his neighbour in olives. The teacher at the small school is getting food from the locals and teaching their children. Folks are trading on their skills and resources and circumventing the financial system.

    It really got me thinking about barterable skills. I don't have too many. Here is the list I came up with:

    ~ Some herbal knowledge
    ~ Some wildcrafting knowledge
    ~ Some first aid knowledge
    ~ Some teaching ability
    ~ Cooking

    I have been considering going back to school to become a midwife - which would be an excellent and valuable skill.

    What about the rest of you? If currency was no longer valued, what skills could you barter to fulfill your needs?

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    Registered User ilovechocolate's Avatar
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    I like this thread!

    I cook and bake very well. I also have catering experience.
    I have many years experience teaching children ages 5-14.
    I can do research, write papers and reports, and type them up.
    I'm healthy and can do yardwork/housecleaning.
    I have some knowledge of antiques.
    I have some organizational skills.

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    Registered User marlas1too's Avatar
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    i can do woodworking
    knife making
    food preserving
    foraging
    making fishing sinkers
    reloading
    wood cutting
    trapping
    jack of all trades master of none
    just a few things i can do to barter and i love to barter

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    I'm an RN , so some medical knowledge + taught and skilled in Native American medicine.

    I can hunt/trap/fish - tan hides (to trade), slaughter the meat to trade, etc.

    I can sew/knit/crochet and spin various fibers into yarns (I already barter with my neighbor for wool 2nd's - he gets some blackberry and gooseberry jam in exchange for his sheep's wool)

    I have various fruit and nut trees to swap harvest or products made with the harvest.

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    Registered User Daisygirl's Avatar
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    Wow - you guys have some rockin' good skills!!!!

    I think our FVers would get along way better in a barter society than the average North American. Our frugal habits cause us to do for ourselves the things that many people pay for. (Did that make sense - it did in my head!)

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    Registered User pollypurebred39's Avatar
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    Ummm...Not many really

    ~I can cook and bake fairly well
    ~I can crochet slippers, pot holders, dish rags and hats
    ~I can sew buttons, and repair small tears in clothing
    ~I'm fairly well versed in herbal medicine
    ~I'm a pretty fair baby wrangler *grins*
    ~I taught my youngest to read, write and basic math, history and science, so maybe tutor the early grammar school aged kids.

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    I'm in Nursing, and also have a Paralegal Degree and a Real Estate License. I can fish, cook, grow Veggies, landscape, sew, knit, make crafts and can do many DIY jobs.

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    I love this idea.... it really seems like it would be beneficial to all involved.

    I wonder if we will see more of this is the U.S.?

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    Registered User Daisygirl's Avatar
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    My friend told me that it made the community seem closer - just people helping one another out and caring about each other.

    Polly - you reminded me - I can crochet squares and rectangles. So this means I can make scarves, potholders and blankets.

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    Registered User pollypurebred39's Avatar
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    We see a lot of bartering around here. What we've also seen a lot of are underground businesses. People are setting up shop in their house, or getting word of mouth business to do things like exterminate. Seriously crazy! My one cousin's DIL had a grocery set up in her basement. Had shelves and a counter for her checkout. My cousin said it was very professional looking and just how proud of her DIL she was.

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    Registered User Incognito's Avatar
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    Default and then there are the government regulations

    Bartering (per se) isn't allowed here. It must be assessed and then reported on the income tax in a dollar value.
    Many home-based businesses require a license, as well as being reported on the yearly income tax for various taxes, and if dealing with food or health, the health inspector must inspect and assess the premises and there are additional rules and reports. Kids income is also taxed, above $3,500.

    About 15 years ago I lived in a city where we tried to get a bartering system going, but we were required to check with various government authorities first, and basically they all said that "neighbourly bartering" is of course allowed, but where the intent is to earn or supplement a living 'under the table' by circumventing the income tax system, then barterers would have to comply with the rules as set out in the income tax guide.

    Too bad, but I can see their point. Otherwise, there'd be all kinds of abuses and there would be danger to the public safety.

    But if everything changed, and I lived in a primitive little village with no government intrusions & interference, I could still do the following:
    - instruction: in music, hand-crafts, cooking, baking, sewing, budgeting, home decor, gardening, landscaping, reading, writing, consumer math, basic lifeskills.

    In return, I want someone to build me a tiny cob or log cabin, with a cedar shake roof, a little wood stove or heater, bathroom shower, basic electricity and plumbing.

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    Registered User pollypurebred39's Avatar
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    All the businesses are illegal underground ones. Everyone knows they are there, no one says anything, including the cops. If you start dealing, running a speak easy or a cat house, well then you'd have the law on your doorstep. I think the authorities feel some sympathy out here, they know that if you are asking people if you want fries with that there's no way your going to pay your mortgage and you're doing something else besides to stay afloat. They turn a blind eye. I don't frequent them, any of them. But there's lots of beauty shops, nail shops, holistic stuff, candy stores, clothing stores, tattoos, piercings, all in basements. No signs, just word of mouth. One guy out here goes to the docks every morning and buys produce, he supplies a bunch of restaurants and then sells the rest from his garage. There are a few Hispanic women who sell meals from their front doors. The guys just line up, hand them money and walk away with a take out container. Some women feed lunch crews in their homes. Just like company came over for a meal.

    But bartering, yeah lots of it and I don't see anything wrong with it. No money is changing hands, just an exchange of energies mostly. Can't imagine getting taxed on that.

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    Registered User NicJean's Avatar
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    I can/do teach (not in a sit-down classroom, that'd drive me nuts!), floral design (think weddings and events), cater, sew, make cards/invitations, scrapbook, craft, garden, landscape, forage, preserve foods (mostly can and dehydrate), organize, love gift wrapping (haven't figured out how to market that skill, yet), painting, drawing, better at organizing other people's stuff than my own (although one can now see the floor in living, dining and my office - whereas last week, it was iffy. . .).

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    Registered User SwirlyThing's Avatar
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    I have thought about this as well. I too am an RN and also a healthcare educator. I can offer some healthcare services. I used to teach bellydance classes and could do that again. I used to have a business officiating weddings and could do that as well. I can barter fruit off of my trees. If things got really bad, I could get chickens again and barter eggs as well. I can edit school papers and tutor in a variety of subjects. I can cook and bake, clean if I was really desperate LOL. I'm not the best seamstrees, but I can make very comfortable reusable menstrual products, which could be a much needed item if the economy ever gets that bad.

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    This is one reason why I planted the orchard. Not only to feed us but also to use as a barter item.
    I do some sewing.
    I'm learning to grow more things.
    I have some firstaid knowledge
    Hubby is a Master carpenter. He can build anything. From a small shelf to bringing a building up out of the ground. So his Trade would get most everything we'd need ( more than likely).
    Doesn't do much for me if something happened to him ( don't wanna think about that).

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