Bartering has merit, especially in this day and age

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Bartering has its merits, says this letter writer (written to Richmond News).

Letter: Bartering has merit, especially in this day and age

Bartering has its merits, says this letter writer

published: July 20, 2017
published by: Richmond News

Dear Editor,

An old friend of mine has been involved in the “sharing economy” for over 50 years by way of trading his professional services for products and/or the work of other professionals. He points out that this kind of participation in the economic and social functioning of a society can be traced back through most of human history and to his mind, offers many more positive benefits to people than possible risks or disappointments.

Having had numerous and increasing problems with getting ripped off by electricians, plumbers, auto mechanics, etc. over the years, I have reached a point where my default setting is to assume that it is an almost insurmountable challenge these days to find a company or tradesperson that I can be confident will not overcharge me and/or manufacture bogus problems because they know my knowledge is lacking about the technologies and methodologies involved.

The genesis of this kind and degree of lack of trust is permeating through many dimensions of contemporary life and I think it would be reasonable to argue that searching for alternatives to traditional services, such as my friend’s involvement in trading his expertise for products and other services (sometimes called “the underground economy”), is an increasingly justifiable way to deal with the possibility of having one’s hard-earned dollars or meagre pension funds stolen by unethical business practices and unscrupulous people.

The way I see it, because each party involved in a service or product “trade” would be so directly and personally dependent on each other’s trust and honesty, the chances for satisfactory outcomes is greatly increased.

Perhaps the most valuable commodity these days is trust – something we seem to be running quite short of in this world.

Ray Arnold

Richmond

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