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Thread: Is bartering the way of the future?

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    Default Is bartering the way of the future?

    Some Greeks appear to be trending that way.

    http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news...ed-greece?lite

    A situation where the market sets the prices... sounds to me like what capitalism is supposed to be.

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    Definitely not. Bartering is simply a more primitive form of our usual, scarcity-based system. It's works almost the same way, but without the additional possibilities that money offers (the flexibility, the use of a bank) and there is no intermediate dealer.

    If it would really be a upcoming trend then I'd think it's a step backwards unless they start to think of other distribution methods instead of the simple and unpractical one-on-one exchange of goods and services. We know that this circumstance that originally led to the development of money, after all. What we can observe in Greece right now is just a way to overcome the lack of an official currency but the underlying premise (quid pro quo) is still the same.

    It's no revolutionary innovation but rather old wine in new bottles.
    Last edited by Pa3s; 06-19-2012 at 06:49 PM. Reason: typo
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    in 5th grade history class we had "bartering day" where we brought in stuff we didn't want anymore and traded it with other classmates. i loved it so much and i decided money was stupid.

    i really think it would be extremely impractical as a replacement system but it would be nice if it was more of an option sometimes and people didn't have to rely on money so much.

    and no, its not the way of the future.

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    I live next to a six-block marketplace with open-air stalls where a couple hundred independent vendors sell locally produced food. Even though I imagine that kind of place is pretty uncommon in other urban areas, I can see the practicality of bartering there.

    Replace money entirely? No, some things and utilities are too abstract, it'd be hard to split some items as appropriate, etc.

    But I definitely think it's possible to develop a bartering system on the internet... kind of an extended form of craigslist. But in any case, people who hand-make goods and sell on etsy do make trades over the internet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nomenclature View Post
    I live next to a six-block marketplace with open-air stalls where a couple hundred independent vendors sell locally produced food. Even though I imagine that kind of place is pretty uncommon in other urban areas, I can see the practicality of bartering there.
    that sounds so cool. it reminds me of the farmers market where i live (i think they have something similar in other places not sure) but they only set up downtown on thursdays. bessst produce.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nomenclature View Post
    But I definitely think it's possible to develop a bartering system on the internet... kind of an extended form craigslist. But in any case, people who hand-make goods and sell on etsy do make trades over the internet.
    i like listia.com. its like ebay except you get points for selling things which you can then use for buying things. so basically bartering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lungs View Post
    i like listia.com. its like ebay except you get points for selling things which you can then use for buying things. so basically bartering.
    O_____O awmygawd. <3 I don't have my own bank account, credit card, etc., so this would be fantastic for getting rid of crap before I move out and start college.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nomenclature View Post
    O_____O awmygawd. <3 I don't have my own bank account, credit card, etc., so this would be fantastic for getting rid of crap before I move out and start college.
    Um, why don't you have at least one of those things?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    Um, why don't you have at least one of those things?
    hmm i think because she isn't old enough yet? not sure though

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    Quote Originally Posted by glam View Post
    hmm i think because she isn't old enough yet? not sure though
    oh

    lol@minors

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    Um, why don't you have at least one of those things?
    lol@minors
    I turn 18 next month exactly. Regardless of age, I don't have a steady job to qualify for a credit card.

    I usually use Visa gift cards to shop online, but it's too erratic with Paypal for my taste, there's a $5ish charge with each card, and there are issues with pre-authorization holds and verification.
    Last edited by Nomenclature; 06-19-2012 at 09:58 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nomenclature View Post
    I turn 18 next month exactly. Regardless of age, I don't have a steady job to qualify for a credit card.

    I usually use Visa gift cards to shop online, but it's too erratic with Paypal for my taste, there's a $5ish charge with each card, and there are issues with pre-authorization holds and verification.
    lol@minors

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    Quote Originally Posted by lungs View Post
    in 5th grade history class we had "bartering day" where we brought in stuff we didn't want anymore and traded it with other classmates. i loved it so much and i decided money was stupid.

    i really think it would be extremely impractical as a replacement system but it would be nice if it was more of an option sometimes and people didn't have to rely on money so much.

    and no, its not the way of the future.
    you may be interested in this story:

    Why This Controversial German Woman Turned Her Back On Money For 16 Years
    http://www.businessinsider.com/how-h...6-years-2012-6

    an inspiration for you, maybe?

    i like listia.com. its like ebay except you get points for selling things which you can then use for buying things. so basically bartering.
    technically its just an electronic currency, but w/e.

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    What I like about the Greek system is that it emphasizes what each person brings to the table. Total interdependence. In capitalism, the most common situation is one of dependence on the owner/controlling partner of the firm by its workers. A dollar in hand is worth two in the bush: the controlling party has the wealth and the means to provide for themselves, where the workers need a fresh influx of cash in the near term. In effect, the workers have little choice but to work, and are effectively slaves to the capitalist by virtue of circumstance. In the system the greeks are using, emphasis is placed on obtaining membership in a support group. Each member offers a service the group deems necessary, however there is discussion about who should offer which services. Dual-type theory is custom tailored to that kind of thing. If I knew Greek, I'd try to tell them about it.

    Under capitalism, it's possible to get more back than you put in, if you deceive and exploit. Under the Greek system, that doesn't seem to be easily done because the group's scrutiny can't be avoided. This is probably the alternative to communism that capitalism critics have been looking for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post
    Under capitalism, it's possible to get more back than you put in, if you deceive and exploit.
    That's the crux of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post
    This is probably the alternative to communism that capitalism critics have been looking for.
    It's absolutely not, seriously. If it was indeed that easy, capitalism would have long disappeared. Again, bartering exists for how long? Tenthousand years? The weaknesses of the bartering system led the development of money. It is still a capitalist system, so to speak, it works in exactly the same way. You just have a herd of cows instead of money in the bank. And there will still deceive and exploit happen, because people might still be forced to accept unfair terms (because someone has a monopoly or whatnot). This would just like going back using an abacus instead of your calculator.

    The only promising alternative to the capitalist distribution system would be the gift economy in my opinion. That is the exchange of goods and services in small communities (people who know and can observe each other) without an immediate quid pro quo situation. That means you just supply other members of your commune [=the small group of people] (or people of other communes as far as this is arranged) with your product or service for free and without any charge. However, in return you'll receive everything you need from all the other members. So actually, this would still be quid pro quo, but indirectly. It's simple and efficient.

    Spain has much increased its productivity during its short anarchist phase in 1936 by the self-organization of their factories and this way of distribution (or a similar method, maybe based on coupons, I'm not entirely sure here).

    See also: Reciprocal altruism
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    Deltas and their communes

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    There was a BBC documentary a couple of years ago in which followed Vicar/TV Presenter as he attempted to live without money and instead bartered, asked favours (in desperate times) and produced his own produce, it was called 'how to live a simple life'
    I really liked it, however if that system was adopted across the country I seriously doubt the size of population we have today would be sustainable. Large scale investments in technology, research, engineering etc. are not possible using a bartering system (please explain to me if you disagree). Bartering is ultimately immediate, barely above subsistence. The security of a strong currency is required for the everything. The laptop I'm using now to write this would not have been built using a system of physical trade. That is not to say that it is not useful in times where a currency is weak and markets are uncertain.

    There was another program here in the U.K in the 70's (around the time there was the economic crisis then I believe) called the "Good Life", it was a sitcom about a well off couple who, quit the rat race (well it was the 70's, so he did) turned their suburban london home into a cottage garden, abondoned money as far as possible, and much as now bartered. The comedy was basically the contrast between them and their next door neighbours (and friends) who remained in the capitalist mindset. Other moments included trying to trade their produce for items in shops. It also starred Felicity Kendal which is why I think most men watched it at least. anyway worth a watch.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwfjCoODvbo

    Anyway, I do think that there is something reassuring and democratic about bartering, it does make you as an individual feel as though you are in control, but the phrase is true, money makes the world go round, it is trade's lubricant.
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    I see more bartering than I used to, but it's only practical on a small scale, and for some things.
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