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#203507 - 06/15/10 08:30 PM Re: Best Barter Items to Stockpile for WTSHTF? [Re: dougwalkabout]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
Though I would point out that in every historical hyper-inflation event I've read about, people still did most of their trading in cash.

This actually isn't quite accurate. I was just listening to an interview online with someone from Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe dollar is worthless but there are strict limits to how much currency you can withdraw from the bank each day (like enough to buy a can of soda a day) so even if you have a job, it's difficult to use your ever-rapidly-decreasing-in-value paycheck. Most regular folks are unemployed and do not have access to foreign currency which they can exchange on the black market for Zimbabwe dollars, so basically they are shut out of the normal currency-based economy. These folks must barter to obtain food and supplies, like trading their home-raised chickens for cooking oil. At least the value of a chicken isn't halved every few days like holding onto Zimbabwe dollars would be.

Then again, every instance of hyperinflation has its own unique peculiarities and context, so it's hard to predict future events based on what has happened before. I think we both agree, as I've stated earlier, that some sort of currency-based system would arise in such a condition since pure bartering is quite cumbersome.

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#203510 - 06/15/10 09:18 PM Re: Best Barter Items to Stockpile for WTSHTF? [Re: dougwalkabout]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
"...in every historical hyper-inflation event I've read about, people still did most of their trading in cash."

To some extent, yes, but in those times, most people aren't buying much. Yes, if it takes a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a chicken, and your truck payment is $600, you might not have any problem making your payment.

My Mom was young teenager in a series of mining towns during the Depression. She said that while the richer people (relatively speaking) did have money and did spend it, most of the people her family knew were trading and bartering services. Her mother had chickens and traded eggs and an occasional live bird. A man down their street had three milk cows and a steady stream of customers, some trading vegetables, firewood, housecleaning, etc. Most people had wood cookstoves, so firewood was always in demand. Some women took in washing, some took in boarders; some of the boarders paid in labor.

My grandmother heard that a man nearby was going to burn down two still-decent sheds, so she hurriedly made a deal with a man who had a tractor. She said she would remove the sheds from the property (with a few live chickens to seal the deal); for hauling one shed to her property, she gave the tractor man the other shed; she used her shed as a coop so she could raise more chickens. She worked part-time at a restaurant and brought home the leavings for the chickens.

Trade and barter aren't dead, just dozing.

Sue


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#203529 - 06/16/10 03:33 PM Re: Best Barter Items to Stockpile for WTSHTF? [Re: Susan]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2706
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Good points, Arney and Sue. My previous post came across a little stronger than I had intended.

Absolutely, barter will be practical, to a point, within a local community. You'll be more inclined to trade with people whom you know and are nearby. I still think you'll be trading services more than straight goods, but situations vary.

I would note that in some hyper-inflation situations, an authoritarian kleptocracy grossly distorts the natural flow of the economy for political reasons (power/greed). (I don't want to get into a political rant, so I'll leave it at that.)

(BTW, Sue, The Great Depression was the opposite of a hyper-inflation event. Goods and services were massively devalued. Anybody who had cash to spend was on top of the world.)

I walked through a local country hardware store yesterday. They cater to the farm crowd, who by nature and for practical reasons have always been a little more self-sufficient. Know what you need for barter? The entire contents of a country hardware store.

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#203533 - 06/16/10 05:40 PM Re: Best Barter Items to Stockpile for WTSHTF? [Re: dougwalkabout]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Yes, Doug, I know that the Depression was not the event you brought up, but the line between no money and worthless money is fairly thin, IMO.

I always think that seeds for food would always have some value.

Sue

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#203551 - 06/17/10 05:19 AM Re: Best Barter Items to Stockpile for WTSHTF? [Re: Susan]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
My father's family grew up in North Dakota during the Depression.They ate roots,grass,& Anything they could Trap or shoot.They bathed,Once a week in the Winter!All the kid's in the area,would line up along the R.R. tracks & Throw rocks at the train,& Flip the Bird at the Fireman,In turn, he would throw lumps of coal at them,they would have something to burn in the woodstove for the day,:)

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#203564 - 06/17/10 05:10 PM Re: Best Barter Items to Stockpile for WTSHTF? [Re: The_Urbivalist]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3561
Loc: Spring, Texas
I've been reading Ferfal's book about the 2001 economic crash of Argentina and he has a lot to say about bartering. Most of which is that was cludgy and rarely worked well because it was hard to find someone who had what you wanted and wanted what you had. He did point out that the ones who did best in barter economies were the ones who owned the land where people would meet to offer their wares. They took a cut of everything.

-Blast
_________________________
Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

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#203571 - 06/17/10 07:56 PM Re: Best Barter Items to Stockpile for WTSHTF? [Re: Blast]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Blast
They took a cut of everything.

Been meaning to pick up a copy of that book. So, how did the people who had the land for these bartering exchanges get paid? In goods? I would imagine that they were paid mostly in cash--probably American dollars. Otherwise, the land owners face the same problems that you already mentioned--not having what you want, and difficult to work out a "price" based on goods alone. As a land owner, not sure I'd want a bunch of stuff that I had no use for, unless I was willing to turn around and actively barter the stuff myself.

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#203572 - 06/17/10 08:53 PM Re: Best Barter Items to Stockpile for WTSHTF? [Re: Arney]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3561
Loc: Spring, Texas
Quote:
So, how did the people who had the land for these bartering exchanges get paid?


Mainly American dollars, Euro's and precious metals.

Ferfal's book is okay, mainly it's about dealing with rampant crime. If fact, the only nugget of new information was that about owning the land where other people come to barter rather than being a barterer.

-Blast, future owner of Bartertown


Edited by Blast (06/17/10 08:56 PM)
_________________________
Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

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#203574 - 06/17/10 10:44 PM Re: Best Barter Items to Stockpile for WTSHTF? [Re: Blast]
chickenlittle Offline
Member

Registered: 06/06/10
Posts: 102
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Blast

Ferfal's book is okay, mainly it's about dealing with rampant crime. If fact, the only nugget of new information was that about owning the land where other people come to barter rather than being a barterer.

-Blast, future owner of Bartertown

So I suppose that would be under the services classification instead of goods.

I have to admit that I am a bit confused by the idea of hoarding up stockpiles of stuff to use for barter.

For one thing it assumes that everything has collapsed to the point that markets are closed and are going to stay closed for a long time. Yet at the same times it assumes that things will be stable enough to allow people to have a place stable enough to stache their cache and trade from.

I would think anything severe enough to force you into a barter economy might easily turn you into a refugee, and in that case skills are usually easier to transport than stores are, and have a much higher trading value per pound.

Another thing I wonder is if all the barter-trade-stockpilers are going to end up with all the same stuff.
You might find the PAW to be overstocked with tobacco, booze and guns but very short on laundry soap.


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#203580 - 06/18/10 01:03 AM Re: Best Barter Items to Stockpile for WTSHTF? [Re: Blast]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2706
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: Blast
-Blast, future owner of Bartertown


LMAO! Nicely played, sir. laugh

Curious coincidence, I have an uncle who once flew a gyrocopter from Yukon to New York state.

I have no idea where this story arc goes ...

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