We still live
hand to hand world
Express Staff Writer
bartering is a way of life in many countries, in the old U.S. of A. itís
almost un-American. My ex-father-in-law, a World War II veteran, believed
it was unpatriotic to dicker with sticker pricesÖ for cars.
salesmen loved him.
and in other resort towns with a high cost of living, bartering is the way
many people conduct business if not daily than weekly or monthly.
said she cuts hair for her masseuse, her acupuncturist and her dentist.
They donít charge and neither does she.
contractor has been known to make additions and changes in houses he
built, in exchange for free meals at his clientsí restaurants.
friend received free radial keratotomy eye surgery in exchange for custom
made cabinets. Mechanics and truck owners of the world are always called
upon to help their friends because they have the most obvious
plowing in exchange for food, drinks, or garden care is just plain common,
as is tuning skis for a six pack and a pizza.
practice of bartering is popular among fellow artisans, who trade art
work, while sharing the use of studio space or equipment.
grateful mothers in town related that they trade services like book
keeping, cleaning and fresh farm eggs and other produce for dance, music
or art classes for their children is very prevalent.
and interior designer said that she also has traded services over the
years for "endless cool food and drinks from restaurants."
children are very young there is an awful lot of baby-sitting for friends,
who pay back in various ways such as helping to garden, designing Web
sites or even making dinners.
have traded with manufacturers for design and products in various areas
because I have samples and connections in many manufacturing fields,"
said one valley resident.
So is it
legal? Yes and no. The IRS says that the fair market value of goods and
services exchanged must be included in the income of both parties. (And
donít forget to claim wages paid to domestic helpers.)
But this is
the way the world has been doing business for centuries. Kids often ask,
how did money start? It started just like this, services or goods were
exchanged for other services and goods. But it was hard to carry a pig
around when you went to general store. So, coins were pressed out of
metals to represent the pigs.
As most of
us vaguely remember, the myth is that Manhattan was acquired through a
tradeóbeads for an island. In fact, it was 60 guilders. But never mind.
case, bartering is not only American, one might say that itís our right,
and our heritage. If our personal relationships donít allow for a bit of
bartering, the terrorists might have won.
wash your back, if you wash mine.