Thursday, June 9, 2011

Trade You Two Chickens, a Rooster, and Hollandaise Mix for Your Hatchet, Frying Pan, and Saucier

From Time Magazine Online
In the wake of the current world economic client, you might be tempted to buy into something with intrinsic value. Something with worth that, for all intents and purposes, never flags. You might be tempted by the current Gold Rush.

I admit that the shiny metal does seem to have a certain something that makes it desirable as currency. With inflation and the deflating worth of fiat currency, procuring precious and semi-precious metals may seem the best solution. While you’re at it, you may want to get your hands on some precious stones like rubies, emeralds, and sapphires.

However, if you actually want to be prepared for the fall of the global economy and the tantamount Armageddon that follows, you will look into more practical forms of currency. After all, gold, silver, platinum, rubies, emeralds, and the whole lot, have no value other than what we assign them. When you distill the whole mess, they are nothing more than pretty and rare metals and rocks.

They are all fiat currency.

“How would one prepare for the fall of the global economy and the tantamount Armageddon that follows?” you ask.

Be prepared to barter. Yes, barter. What could possibly have more intrinsic value in a world where money is better as kindling than as cash?

If you wish, you can of course barter goods, but think carefully before you give away some of your water, food, clothing, or tools. You could very well find that you need them.

Skills are better for bartering. Learn to cook, sew, spin and weave, clean, and forage and gather.

Cook: While you shouldn’t give away or trade away your own food, preparing another survivor’s food in exchange for an equal favor is a good bartering trick. If you are low on stores, you could offer to prepare someone else’s meal in exchange for a meal or a small amount of food to take away with you.

Sew: Clothing is necessary in most parts of the world. It protects the body from cold and helps hold in heat. It can also protect the body from sunburns. Like everything else, clothing wears thin and it wears out. Being able to repair or make new clothing is terribly valuable.

Spin & Weave: Clothing cannot be made without cloth. Being able to spin fibers into cloth means that you can create the essentially raw material materials needed to clothe your band of survivors.

Clean: Don’t be insulted. I’m sure your house is wonderfully clean. However, there will come a time when mass manufactured cleaners will run out. Knowing how to create and use natural cleaners will mean the difference between living in a well-maintained domicile and dying of dysentery.

Forage & Gather: Being able to recognize edible plants from poisonous ones will aid in your survival efforts. This skill could also be coupled with cooking since the plants you forage and gather are the ingredients for meals. This skill could also be coupled with cleaning since many plants have natural antiseptic properties that will help keep your domicile free of death inducing illnesses. While most cloths are made from animal byproducts, some fibrous plants can be used to create clothing.

From the New York Times Online
If you are good with your hands, there are scores of skills and crafts that could serve you quite well.

Take carpentry for example. If you can help someone build a home or create furniture, I'm sure he or she will trade very well. If maths and building suit you, you could use them to design tools that do not need electricity to run.

And let’s not forget those precious metals and stones that not so long ago seemed to have value just by being. With the right skills and tools, they can be transformed. You could take them from being nothing more than pretty lumps of metal and rock and make them into something more. They can be cooking utensils, parts of spinning wheels, part of a wash-board, buttons or other fasteners. They have the ability to be whatever you make them into.

What skills will you use to barter with when the global economy violently crashes?

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  1. I'm so screwed...

  2. Oh Carrie, I'm sure you could *act* like you have something to barter with...

  3. you know how on Firefly being a Companion was considered respectable? I'm foreseeing a rise in status for the Oldest Profession lol

  4. Being a Companion could be a totally viable way to earn goods and services. Like with any other business arrangement, one would need to be careful. Possibly more so than with any other...