Re: Barter on Rise in Spain
- 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
See a great article on the limitations of bartering in this regard
Two more: http://archivo.po.org.ar/po/po749/trueque.htm
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
> 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
> *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
> 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
> �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
> 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
> 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.�
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