Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Survival Economics

"Bartering--the trading of goods or services without using cash -- is making a comeback in a troubled economy...Bartering ads on Craigslist have roughly doubled since last year..."

Anne Wallace Allen, "As Economy Declines Bartering Takes Off," Baltimore Sun, March 2, 2009.

Back to the basics: backyard gardens, barter,reduce costs, do without. I wonder if these are topics for Joe Biden's Task Force on the Middle Class (i.e. The Task Force on Middle-Class Working Families). Maybe we need a Task Force on Survival Economics. This is probably good prep anyway for the emerging world in which the U.S. is not the center of all things and our standard of living is knocked down a peg or two.

The topic of bartering made me wonder what happened to the Time Dollar movement of the 1990s-- started by Edgar Cahn. It's still around,now under the TimeBanks USA brand.

"After initial enthusiasm by foundations, funding for Time Dollar Exchanges dried up in the mid 1990’s, and a period of struggle to keep afloat followed. This struggle turned into a time to dig in and to determine what made Time Dollars and Time Banking unique tools for social change."

Maybe it's time for a come back -- driven by economic necessity, not foundation dollars.

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