As the Greek economy succumbs to the debt crisis and individual Greeks are made poorer each day through austerity measures and job cuts, many have begun resorting to traditional bartering as a way to make ends meet and at the same time increase their involvement with neighbors and their general community.
Services being bartered include anything from language classes and babysitting to hand cooked meals and daily labor.
It’s huge. Everything we do is without money, like looking after people or making food by ourselves.
…We still have the memory of an agricultural society in Greece when people used to do things together, like they would do the olive trees of my family this week, and next week we do the olive trees of your family. And, then the next week, the other neighbor. So, we would exchange services, and they like that.
With the tough economic times leaving many Greeks feeling worthless there is real value in projects like the time bank. With the Greek government drowning in debt, these creative solutions are offering not only support, but encouragement for the people…
As we’ve suggested on previous occasions, when a country goes through a monetary crisis, depression or recession, traditional methods of income disappear, sometimes overnight. As a result, those who are aware that the paradigm has or is shifting and are willing to accept their new reality will prosper.
Greece, referred to by many as the canary in the coal mine of the ever-worsening global economic crisis, is a perfect example of how communities will respond during monetary, fiscal and political chaos. Use their example to your benefit, because similar circumstances will take place in the U.S. and other industrialized Western nations in due time.
Erich of Tactical Intelligence recently provided some advice on personal economic redundancy, in which he says that we should seek to give value, not time:
As an employee, you only get paid a percentage of the true value you generate. For example my company bills me out at $250/hr but I only see a fraction of that. The rest goes straight into other people’s pockets.
This is akin to being a wage slave.
To free yourself from slavery you first need to change your mindset.
This mindset shift happens when you realize that you earn income by providing value, not time. So look for ways to provide the most value to others, and charge a fair price for it.
One of the best ways is to start your own business. Whatever work you’re doing now in your employment, find a way to provide that same value directly to those who are benefiting from it. This way you get paid to the full level of the value you are offering.
It may take a bit of up-front investment in time and perhaps capital, but the freedom gained will be well worth it.
Understanding your inherent value, the skills available to you, and then taking those skills directly to the marketplace will become critical in a society where our traditionally modern service sector jobs are being destroyed by the thousands daily.
What skills do you have? What skills would you like to have? Will that be valuable to people in the middle of an economic depression? These are all questions we should be asking ourselves right now – before the need for us to use them to survive from day-to-day arises.
In What is Money When the System Collapses? we offered some advice on investments that you can be making today, which will be worth much more during and/or after an economic crunch. One such investment is to build or further develop your existing skill sets:
Another important monetary commodity after the crunch will be trade skills. If you know how to fish, machine tools, hunt, sew, fix and operate radioes, fix cars, manufacture shoes, or grow food, you’ll have some very important skills during the recovery period.
Mechanic, Engine Repair
Firearms Repair, Ammo Reloading
Architect, Home Reinforcement
Agriculture, Farming Expertise, Seed Saving, Animal Care
Doctor, Medical Assistant
Well Construction, Water Table Expertise
Engineer, Community Planning, Manufacturing, Electrical
Firearms Proficiency, Security, Self Defense Planning
Martial Arts Training
One day, there may be no jobs to be had, which means we’ll have to create our own jobs. And unlike most of today’s laborers, we’ll actually have to produce something of value that can then be traded to others for something else of value.
Start preparing for tomorrow’s barter economy today.
Hat tip Pete at 123 Feel Better