Re: ECON: Eliezer's calls (barter)

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Tue Mar 07 2000 - 21:42:33 MST

Sasha Chislenko wrote:
> What if I want to get rid of my truck, and need toothpicks,
> an iron, an old copy of Dos 3.0 and a credit to do something
> later with (actually, I need to pay my debts and buy groceries).
> The owner of Dos wants flowers; the owner of iron wants
> a movie ticket, toothpicks are not there, my lender wants
> cash, and my grocer is offline.
> It may be quite complicated in many cases.
> Matching is harder too than just exchange for cash.
> But barter definitely has some benefits.
> There are people who don't like money, and people who don't
> like IRS, and just curious people...

Look up Yankee Magazine. There has been a Swopper section there for
decades, its got some serious adherents. People swop everything from
magazine collections and baseball cards to antiques and vacation time at
waterfront or other resort locations, massages, legal work, etc.

> What if you include currency as one of the goods, so that
> the service could have all kinds of transactions, some of
> them taxable, some not? Then you don't have a barter-vs-cash
> dilemma, you have a service that does everything that others
> do, plus barter...
> There are also alternate currencies that do not have to be
> exchanged for $. That's also hard to tax.
> They can have external backing. Like, in rights to stay
> at one's home as a guest or in personal sexual favors.
> Let the govt tax those :-)

Having some sort of a commodity exchange rating database set up, so that
the history files tell me that 1987 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4x4s are worth
one 1986 Chevette, two tire irons, and a grease gun, alternately its
worth 200 cases of Budweiser and a bottle of Jack Daniels. If the same
database says that a bottle of Jack Daniels is worth two cases of
Budweiser, I know the exact value in cases of Budweiser of my Jeep.

Mike Lorrey

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