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Ice Cream Tacos & The Art of Bartering

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icecreamtaco.jpgWhen
I was sophomore in high school my friend Eric and I had an agreement.
 This agreement was based on a mutual and symbiotic arrangement that
provided us both with relative equitable value with respect to the
services we were in need of at the time.  It wasn’t contractual,
however, in retrospect that would’ve added a layer of texture to this
tale that would’ve made a good story a great one.  It was fairly simple
really. 

Eric was scrawny and got his ass beat for running his mouth.
 Eric’s rich parents happened to provide him with an unlimited supply
of snack tickets.  I too had run into this “ass beating” problem,
except a bit earlier on in life and had judiciously picked up weight
training as a preemptive maneuver to thwart such attacks in high
school.  So I was a pretty big dude.  I was also as poor as poor could
be, and never had the money to purchase the snack tickets that were
necessary to acquire the most coveted commodity of my fourteenth year
of existence…the ice cream taco

So here we were, Eric and I, him with his rich kid snack tickets and
me with my overly developed frame.  I possessed the ability to provide
a service that Eric needed, protection from the punks in eleventh
grade.  Conversely, he was able to distribute a product that I needed
to acquire my beloved ice cream taco, snack tickets.  It was a quid pro quo match made in pre-adolescent heaven.

In
spite of what some scholarship may postulate, “barter economics” have
been existence since the advent of recorded history.  The best example
of this is articulated in the Sumerian poem “The Wooing of Inanna“.  Dumuzid,
the fifth king of Sumeria, is trying to hook up with the goddess
Inanna, but she doesn’t want any piece of him because he is a smelly,
dirty, old shepherd.  After a great deal of posturing and cajoling,
Damuzid throws down his pocket aces, fresh milk with cream.  To which
Inanna expeditiously requests that he “plow her damp field”. 
The
concept of bartering has been something that I have begun to engage in
a bit more frequently due to the economic climate.  As workshifters we
have to be scrupulous and wise during these times.  Bartering may not
generate income, but it affords us the opportunity to mitigate
expenses.  In the video below, I talk about our latest barter agreement
with a local coffee shop.


Do you see value in bartering as a workshifter?  What barter agreements have you or could you pursue?

Photo by: ms.Tea

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  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/QTgG5MA9lI4Fx43DQ14mTWQGKqYeCaEfng–#a7685

    Great article. I think the idea of bartering seems like a good idea. From personal experience I can tell you that when my business started running slower than normal, I bartered my accounting skills for a better website and an ad in the local paper. I also use http://barterquest.com for bartering my used clothes and those of my kids.