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The All Mighty Dollar, Barter and Trade or a Little Bit of Both?

Updated on June 21, 2016

Roman Emperor Coins

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Early Chinese Paper Money

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Cowrie Shells

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Barter, Trade, Coins and Paper

It is said that there has been no evidence of a society surviving or thriving by primarily relying on barter and trade. With saying that, it would seem like the government wants to lead the majority of people to believe that money in the form of coins and paper is the greatest means of survival. Why is it that money defines most of what we do and want to do? Who invented it, and what was their intention behind inventing it? There is the saying, " The road to hell is paved with good intentions." Was money created to separate and control? If so, separate what, and control what? Any object, as long as it's agreed upon by both parties trading it, is considered a form of currency. Primarily, in the concrete jungle, only money is used in trade for food, clothes, houses, vehicles, utilities, and the livelihood of man. You could make a quilt and try to trade it for groceries at the store. We all know this wouldn't work as a form of trade, as the quilt would not pay for the store to remain open. Society has been formed around money, with barter and trade still in the picture, but as a secondary less meaningful type of system.

You wouldn't dream of using paper money to wallpaper your house, or coins to decorate pots for plants would you? Of course not. You need it to pay your mortgage, bills, buy clothes, and to get anything else for your survival. My point is, money is not used in any other way except to purchase goods. With barter and trade, people started out using cowrie shells, glass beads, goods for goods, and skills for skills. You can make jewelry from the cowrie shells and glass beads and trade them for something else. You can make pie from fruits traded and clothes from fabric. If you're a blacksmith, you can create horseshoes for your neighbor's horse in turn for wood, or any other skill that the two of you think to be equal to each other.

When coin money was invented, the face of whoever was ruling at the time would be imprinted on the coin. Royalty used the gold and silver coins, while the poor or lower class used bronze. This separated the so called rich from the poor. The rich could buy things at any market they wanted to, but the poor could not go to the rich and buy in their markets, they weren't allowed in that part of town, unless of course you were the hired help. In some cases you weren't even hired, your family was threatened and you were forced to be the help. There have always been families with old money that pass it along from generation to generation. These families seem to be the ones who decided to use coins and paper money for currency. This way, they could have their way of life continue by collecting so called taxes from the so called common man, while paying no taxes themselves. This practice is still repeated today.

Instead it is in the form of giant corporations that provide meat, vegetables, milk, pharmaceuticals, oil, diamonds, gold, homes, vehicles, and natural resources. We the people in turn pay for these things with, you guessed it, money. We can barter and trade with each other just fine, but we can't barter for a new car with hand made tables and chairs. While the big corporations are making millions, they still try to push out the local farmers, grocers, and craftsman by buying them out so there is no competition. Immanent domain is also used to push out the small farmer, grocer or craftsman for what they call newer, bigger, better and shinier. Competition for what? Small farmers and craftsman want to make a living doing what they love, not compete with the corporate giants. Some corporations are started by people that weren't born with a gold or silver spoon in their mouth. Some people know what it's like to work hard to create a business instead of get it handed down to them. I find myself wondering if the people who own big corporations are sociopaths.

Not all corporations are bad. Some even support self sustainability and are for fair trade. Fair trade helps sustain developing countries to teach them how to use the free market for their growth and positive survival. Obviously I'm for the people who have corporations that help other people, not enslave or hurt other people. Corporations sustain the government with the money made. The government in turn is supposed to help the people it governs with that money. It seems taxes go up and the paychecks either go down or stay the same. I've heard the term live within your means. A lot of people start out living within their means and end up in a huge crater sized hole because their property taxes went up. Some things are just out of the majority of the populations control.

If money was created as a system to sustain an economy and the people working for and with the economy, where did things become misappropriated? Human error is to blame for that. Money is not the root of all evil, it is greed that is the root of evil. Money is a tangible tool used by the puppeteer to control and separate. He who controls the money has the power. Why is it that government can create money out of paper and coins, and give it a value, but when the average Joe does this it is called counterfeiting, and one can go to jail for many years for it? The people who created it misuse it the most. Some spend 48 hours or more a week earning it only to have it intended for someone else. In human history trading a skill or good for another skill or good worked just fine. Money is only designed to purchase and has no other value than that. It in fact even looses it's value when the government creates too much of it. That never made sense to me. In conclusion, you can't eat money. Don't get down on yourself when money gets tight. You have skills, and can create goods to barter with. If you can trade skills for skills and goods for goods you can use your money for other things. You can have more for yourself and enjoy life the way you intended to. You define you, money does not.

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    • somethgblue profile image

      somethgblue 2 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      I have written several articles on the subject, which seems to be gaining momentum. When I first Googled the subject I got 3 million hits, now five years later I got over 20 million.

      It explains a lot about our world.

    • Amethystraven profile image
      Author

      Amethystraven 2 years ago from California

      I agree with you about the Native Americans. When we lived in tribes, we had a different concept of co-existence than we do today. I will look into the Hollow Earth concept. I am very open minded and will look into it. Thank you for reading my hub.

    • somethgblue profile image

      somethgblue 2 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      Consider the Native Americans, living on the North American for at least the last 30,000 years and yet there is no indication through oral history or archeological artifacts that they ever used a trade system that involved money.

      For that matter they also didn't have the concept of prisons or ownership and basically lived in harmony with nature. I don't think they poised a threat to America as much as their philosophy and way of life did and that is why they were eliminated.

      Have you ever heard of the Hollow Earth concept? If you haven't, you should look into it with an open mind. Millions of humans in Earth do not use money and have lived in peace for thirty thousand years, coincidence?

      Good Article, thanks for sharing.

    • Amethystraven profile image
      Author

      Amethystraven 5 years ago from California

      I love barter and trade. I have a feeling a lot more people are giving it a chance no that the economy is so tough. Thank you for reading.

    • Daniella Lopez profile image

      Danielle Lopez 5 years ago from Arkansas

      Great hub. This is exactly what I've been thinking. My husband and I try to barter and trade as much as we can. So far we haven't bought our son anything other than cloth diapers. All of his clothes and such we have gained through bartering. Voted up. :)

    • Amethystraven profile image
      Author

      Amethystraven 5 years ago from California

      There is a festival in Reno Nevada at a place called Black Rock City. I believe it lasts for 10 days. It is called Burning Man. There is only barter and trade there too. I believe it is held in August. People also show their talent through the artwork they create and bring to display at Burning Man. Money is not used at all there. There are no commercial products allowed. It's an interesting concept.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Interesting article! Barter and ancient coins were the stepping stones towards the modern structures of economy that we have today...

      In Allahabad, India... there is a festival every 12 years known as the kumbha... where barter trades still takes place

      A very interesting hub

    • Amethystraven profile image
      Author

      Amethystraven 5 years ago from California

      Value is indeed agreed upon. Thank you for reading. Take care.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I've been reading a lot on money lately as I find it very interesting. Most people don't understand how it started or that the value of it is simply an agreement that can fall apart anytime. The thing I find the most interesting is that money is created from debt. I realize your discussion here was from different angle, so to speak. And I found it most interesting. It is true that we generally cannot expect to barter today. At least not with established business. There are still a few people who share their trade as barter, rather than exchanging money. I've done it once or twice. But it requires an agreement of equal value. I guess that where money comes into play. We all agree on a value.

    • Amethystraven profile image
      Author

      Amethystraven 5 years ago from California

      Thank you. I prefer barter and trade over money. Money seems to complicate things.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      I have noticed that more bartering among my friends and some chiropractors, massage therapists and acupuncturist.

      Good Hub.

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 5 years ago

      I can see why you would be nervous. I wouldn't worry. :-) Just know that there are many people who feel this.

      I look forward to reading more of your Hubs.

    • Amethystraven profile image
      Author

      Amethystraven 5 years ago from California

      Thank you so much mecheshier. I was kind of nervous about posting it. I thought what the heck, I can't be the only one who's thought about this.

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 5 years ago

      Nice Hub, great take on what $ is... TY

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