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Re: Barter on Rise in Spain

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  • Victor Kane
    This happened in Argentina in 2001 also, as a way of being able to survive, as JAI says. And it s going to be more and more common. Hey, swap-meet, flea
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 24, 2013
      This happened in Argentina in 2001 also, as a way of being able to survive,
      as JAI says. And it's going to be more and more common. Hey, swap-meet,
      flea market, garage sale... when this becomes chronic, you get street
      vending... and bartering "credits" which replace official state currency.
      Of course, some misguided souls think that it's a "solution". But
      hyperinflation, also accompanying critical periods, smash bartering
      "credits".
      See a great article on the limitations of bartering in this regard
      (Spanish): http://archivo.po.org.ar/po/po781/el.htm
      Two more: http://archivo.po.org.ar/po/po749/trueque.htm

      Saludos!
      Victor Kane


      On Sun, Feb 24, 2013 at 2:43 PM, John A Imani <johnaimani3@...> wrote:

      > (JAI: As dying senile capitalism spits more and more workers out so do
      > we continue to try and find ways to continue our existence until the
      > coming socialist revolution that will provide living wage jobs for all who
      > want work and humane sustenance for those unable to.)
      >
      > The pain in Spain brings barter gains
      >
      > http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/viewer.aspx
      > Unemployed trade their way through recession
      >
      > �It is possible to live without a job, and that doesn�t mean living
      > without working.� Banker Julio Gisbert, author of the book and blog Living
      > Without a Job
      >
      > BARCELONA With two small children and no income for the past two years,
      > Antonio Delgado, 44, says things were so bad he had considered taking his
      > life.
      > *PHOTOS BY XAVIER SUL *Books, toys, movies and video games are for sale
      > at a bartering market in Barcelona. Many Spaniards are turning to trading
      > goods and services so they can put food on the table.
      >
      > Then a few months ago, Delgado found out about a group that rents small
      > parcels of farmland cheap near his town of La Rinconada in southern Spain.
      > Now he�s bringing home boxes of tomatoes, onions, peppers, lettuce,
      > zucchinis and pumpkins. But he is not selling them.
      >
      > Delgado and others are bartering, or trading, their way through a
      > recession that has lasted years and left more than a quarter of the
      > workforce unemployed. Tens of thousands of households have no wage earners,
      > but they have skills and time on their hands to do work that can be traded
      > for things they need but have no money to buy.
      >
      > �I had no clue about agriculture,� Delgado said. �But this has changed my
      > life.�
      >
      > Banker Julio Gisbert, author of the book and blog Living Without a Job,
      > says Spaniards are doing what makes sense in these tough times.
      >
      > �It is possible to live without a job, and that doesn�t mean living
      > without working,� Gisbert says.
      >
      > Trading produce for other services and merchandise is one of the many
      > unconventional ways the Spanish are making ends meet in what has been
      > described as the new �sharing economy� that has developed here since the
      > economic crisis hit more than four years ago.
      >
      > According to the Spanish government, more than half a million families
      > have no income. The unemployment rate has climbed to 26%, but among young
      > workers it is as astonishing 55%.
      >
      > The deepest economic crisis in Spain�s modern history is rooted in a
      > housing boom financed by cheap loans to builders and home buyers who went
      > bust. Homes were not worth what was borrowed to buy or build them.
      >
      > Spain borrowed to lend the banks money to survive, but that put the
      > national government in a budget deficit. Regional governments that spent
      > budget surpluses in boom years were forced to end public spending and cut
      > benefits and jobs, hobbling economic growth. The economy, which grew 3.7% a
      > year on average from 1999 to 2007, has since contracted at an annual rate
      > of 1% since.
      >
      > With few jobs and no disposable income, bartering and other ways of
      > exchanging goods and services are increasingly seen as good alternatives.
      >
      > Some Spaniards are using socalled time banks to �deposit� time, knowledge
      > and skills and trade them for things they need. All services have the same
      > value, whether it is one hour of teaching a foreign language or one hour of
      > cleaning house.
      >
      > �PEOPLE HELPING EACH OTHER�
      >
      > Teresa Sanchez, 55, is part of the Time Bank in Valladolid in western
      > Spain. She has deposited offers of Japanese language classes, massage and
      > company for the elderly. In return, she has received English lessons,
      > appliance repairs and haircuts for her son.
      >
      > �I first joined because I like the idea of people helping each other as it
      > used to be long ago, but it is true that it is nice economic help,� said
      > Sanchez. �The world would work better without money.�
      >
      > The number of time banks in Spain has doubled to 318 in the past three
      > years, according to the Association of Time Banks. SocialCar.com allows
      > people to rent their private cars to other individuals while JoinUp Taxi
      > makes it easy for people to share taxis to the same destination.
      > Nolotiro.org (�I Won�t Throw It Out�) allows people to give away things
      > they don�t need anymore, such as clothing or tools.
      >
      > Mi Huerto Compartido (My Shared Garden) allows land owners to �lend�
      > ground in exchange for part of the harvest. And Truequebook.es users barter
      > school books and other goods for children.
      >
      > Delgado got his plot of farmland from My Harvest Ecological Gardens, which
      > rents 540-square-foot parcels of land for $40 a month. He works the land 20
      > hours a week and exchanges produce with other small farmers so he can get
      > the wide variety of food his family needs.
      >
      > Besides the cybermarket places, nearly 100 bartering markets have appeared
      > in Catalonia alone, according to Intercanvis.net, a site that tracks the
      > bartering economy in this northeastern region of Spain.
      >
      > �The main reason why people start using these sites is economic, whether
      > it is to save money, make money or get goods or services without money,�
      > said Albert Canigueral, editor of ConsumoColaborativo.com, Spain�s biggest
      > site on the sharing economy. �However, once people have tried them out a
      > couple of times, their mentality changes and they start looking at
      > alternatives to traditional shopping as their only option.�
      >
      > Unlike other European countries, where thrift shops thrive, or in the
      > United States, where garage sales are common, Spaniards have always been
      > reluctant to buy used goods. In fact, just a few years ago, it would have
      > been unimaginable to hear Spaniards boast over their newest second-hand
      > acquisition.
      >
      > �In Spain, those who buy things that have been used carry the stigma of
      > not being able to buy brand new stuff,� explained Joana Conill, a
      > researcher of alternative economic cultures at Universitat Oberta de
      > Catalunya.
      >
      > CHANGING HABITS
      >
      > The crisis and social media are changing people�s habits and perceptions
      > so �the attachment of people to objects is diminishing,� said Jordi Griera,
      > president of the Institute for Management and Human Values in Barcelona. He
      > and others says that the economic crisis has also brought Spanish society
      > closer together in a positive way.
      >
      > �The sharing economy is the gate to a cultural change in which people
      > rediscover the power of getting connected with other fellow citizens not
      > only to consume, but also to produce for each other, educate each other,
      > finance each other,� said Canigueral.
      >
      > BarcelonActua is a case in point. More than 7,000 people participate in
      > this local �favor bank� where people help others without necessarily
      > expecting anything in return. There is no control over who gets or gives
      > what � everything is based on good faith.
      >
      > Anna Daura, 49, of Barcelona, posted on the organization�s website
      > requesting someone to help her clean out an apartment she owned that had
      > been nearly destroyed by the previous tenant. She had lost her job a few
      > weeks before and had little money to pay for the job. Minutes after posting
      > her ad numerous people responded that they would help �for no money.�
      >
      > A few days later, a dozen people went to her apartment with �incredible
      > energy� and left it spotless, she said. �Nothing like this had ever
      > happened to me,� Daura said. Grateful for the help, she is now counseling
      > other members of the network on how to start a business, her particular
      > expertise.
      >
      > Laia Serrano, the economist who founded BarcelonActua a year ago, says
      > that it will be people power that fixes Spain, not the government.
      >
      > �I am convinced that the solution to this crisis will be from the bottom
      > up,� she said. �It is necessary, though, that people realize it.�
      >
      >
      > -
      >
      >
      > --
      > JAI
      > RAC-LA


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