“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, April 09, 2010

The Old Barter System

... aka meet your neighbor at the back fence to swap goods:)  This was a common practice in days of yore.  Imagine being a new settler and having very few provisions ... or a young couple starting off ... You have some seeds or plant starts or too much sourdough starter.  Your nearest neighbor has too many onions to plant or too much lye soap, etc.  Our pioneer great grandparents would have surely traded or sold goods to their neighbors.  Most people had a very limited income.  Health insurance was unheard of.  The area's doctor made frequent house calls and often took eggs in exchange for his medical expertise.  School teachers were paid a small stipend and took up room and board with a student's family.  And to think ... big government was not around to intervene and dole out social services.  People relied on one another ... their families ... neighbors ... friends ... churches ... guilds ... to help meet needs.  In light of the mess of the current generation ... and a government that is trying to spend it's way out of debt ... we may need to return to the creative ideas of our ancestors to help make ends meet.  To rely on mankind instead of a wasteful government system.  Food for thought.

copyright free image from here

7 comments:

fourkidsmom said...

wish we could get the barter system somewhat going again. I think it would be a help to everyone.

The Younger Rachael said...

I very much believe that we must live in community. Bartering is just an aspect of that, I think.

Thanks!

MAYBELLINE said...

Right on.
Exactly.
On the nose!

LynnS said...

Once the Federal government decided to interfere with the free market, we were doomed to failure.

All we need to do is UNPLUG. We need to stop consuming when it's not necessary. It's difficult, but when you are MacFrugaling, the game is fun in and of itself, isn't it?

Williams Arena said...

I grew up with a dad who bartered all the time. He would trade labor (he's in the construction business) for certain goods and services. For example, he once traded with our dentist. Dad graded out a building site and the dentist gave him a much-needed root canal.

concretenprimroses said...

Lots of people still barter and trade here in NH. I do with my neighbors.
My dad was a chiropractor and would at times except produce instead of money.
By the way every town used to have a poor farm. And the county homes, for old folks, are very old institutions here.
I suspect that there are many aspects of life "back then" that we wouldn't like as well as some that we would.
Kathy

Kathryn said...

People still barter. Have to be careful, however. The gov't wants to tax bartering these days. See, if you share like this, they don't get their finger in the pie . . . or their cut (& they want 50% of that pie these days).