Skip to comments.The Barter Value Of Skills
Posted on 04/28/2012 2:26:45 PM PDT by blam
The Barter Value Of Skills
April 26th, 2012
This article has been generously contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition. After joining the Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross in 1999 Tess worked as an Armed Forces Emergency Services Center specialist and is well versed in emergency and disaster management & response. You can follow her regular updates on Preparedness, Homesteading, and a host of other topics at www.readynutrition.com.
Recently, we talked about the necessity of learning skills to aid us in a survival situation. Dont underestimate the value of those skills for barter. If the grid goes down, people may be left with no access to medical care, serious gaps in their knowledge or the inability to repair vital items. If you possess those abilities, your skills will be in high demand.
In the situation of economic collapse, there will be a revival of the barter system. To barter means to exchange your goods or services for someone elses goods or services. To complete a satisfactory barter transaction, each person must desire something from the other party. Despite the potential of desperation, its morally imperative to be fair to the party that is most in need. Remember that one day, that person who is most in need may be you.
Right now, if something breaks, the replacement is only as far away as the closest Wal-Mart. However, in the event of an economic collapse or a disaster that causes the trucks to stop running, it wont be easy to replace broken items. The ability to repair broken items will be in very high demand. It will be a rare skill, because we live in a world of planned obsolescence. Few people actually know how to repair an item in a sturdy and long-lasting way.
Brandon Smith of Alt-Market calls this about bringing back the American Tradesman:
If you wish to survive after the destruction of the mainstream system that has babied us for so long, he says, you must be able to either make a necessary product, repair a necessary product, or teach a necessary skill. A limited few have the capital required to stockpile enough barter goods or gold and silver to live indefinitely. The American Tradesman must return in full force, not only for the sake of self preservation, but also for the sake of our heritage at large.
Check out Brandons excellent article on the barter system here.
There is no limit to the skills that could be used in a barter situation. Some examples would be:
First Aid for traumatic injuries Sutures
Teaching skills to adults like knitting, gardening, machine repair, etc.
Mechanics skills: the ability to fix solar generators, small machines, automobiles, etc.
Other repair skills: the ability to repair tools, woodstoves, plumbing, etc.
Making soap and candles
If the grid goes down or the economy collapses in a long-term way, gone are the days of making your living doing IT work or ringing through purchases at the grocery store. You will need to become not only self-sufficient, but a provider of goods or services.
Consider what abilities and knowledge you possess that can be shared with others. Nobody can do it alone there is always going to be something you need that you cant provide for yourself.
I just paid $350 for one, but I wasn’t willing to wait for the “wow factor” to depreciate on it.
I’ve been waiting for a 22 like this one to hit the market for many years.
Here are my skills, but sadly, none of adult children want to “larn-em” - Target and Walmart are so handy, you know!
I can clean and spin wool straight from the smelly old sheep, and know which breeds are good for what kind of wool, what type of garment
can design and knit woolen garments, socks, sweaters, shawls, blankets, using the right wool for the planned use
can thread and operate a loom to weave cloth
can sew clothing (dresses, shirts, pants) from basic patterns
can plant a garden, manage pests with companion planting instead of chemicals
can preserve the harvest with both a water canner and a pressure canner
can also dry the harvest, either by electrical dryers, or the old-fashioned way (sun-drying)
can cook on a wood stove, a camp stove, or more primitive methods.
know enough about nutritional needs to keep people from getting scurvy and other illnesses
can keep baby chicks alive to adulthood for eggs.
know how to train farm dogs to protect home and property.
hand cut, hand piece, and hand quilt bedding.
grind wheat and bake bread
milk a cow or goat by hand
Maybe I should auction myself odd as an old granny, good for “larnin’ the young’s, but now much good for plowin’ these days. Can still stir the jam pot, though.
Old eyes and arthritis makes for many keyboard funnies.
I'm thinking that she may be assessing YOUR value at some point in the future, ahem.
My mother said her family seemed to 'fair' better that the other farmers around them during the depression. I'm thinking the money from the moonshine may be the reason.
My father, who's family was near by, "damn near starved."
You sound like a cool granny to have around.
I can shear (hate it), I can spin (hate it), I can weave (would rather build the loom), I am good with a sewing machine (AF did that to me), and everything in the kitchen (culinary school, and countless restaurants, and AF).
I did make a quilt out of my old AF uniforms (won't do that again). Never made a basket, but I can weave mats for draining cheese or rolling sushi.
And I've got the engineering side of my careers...
I think every neighbor has at least one other neighbor that fits that category.
” good for larnin the youngs, but now much good for plowin these days. “
I got a feeling that, in extremis, we “Useless Eaters” will become priceless assets to our communities...
“What to do and how to do it” can be taught - “When” and “Why” comes from a lifetime of experience... ;)
50 gallons is a nice starter;)
Like the idea of the cot in the barn! Am in Minnesota, but if my kids don’t want me, am willing to relocate.
Very good with babies and young children. Don’t enjoy bored teens so much, but do understand their existential problems. They need hard meaningful work that challenges them, without that, they are lost
Have a sharp and clever mind, but 68 yr. old body doesn’t do stoop labor very well. Good sense of the ridiculous, or else why would I be here on FR.
Probably could learn to shear, if someone could help me hold them down. Did help with birthing them when I was young. Build me a loom, and crawl under to do the tie-ups, and I will do the threading.
If you can weave baskets for cheese, then you can we’ve baskets, but we need to do what satisfies us the most. I am the happiest spinning, knitting, and sewing. Second happiest baking, cooking, and canning.
Engineering is wonderful! Focus on that!
Pinto beans and corn meal! I understand it was a life saver!
Sounds harsh, but with limited resources, I just can't afford it.