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A question about Barter

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A question about Barter

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 26 Nov 2018, 15:25:12

Just having a bit of an argument with someone online about Barter. This person says that Zero evidence exists of Barter before money came to be. That seems to be ridiculous given that money is what eliminated the need for barter. Barter what the manner hunters gathers and other pre-money cultures engaged in trade and commerce? Am I right or is this person right?
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Re: A question about Bartering

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 26 Nov 2018, 15:30:17

Seems this link backs up my position
https://www.mint.com/barter-system-hist ... nd-present
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Re: A question about Barter

Unread postby JuanP » Mon 26 Nov 2018, 15:37:40

"However, ethnographic studies have shown that no present or past society has used barter without any other medium of exchange or measurement, nor have anthropologists found evidence that money emerged from barter, instead finding that gift-giving (credit extended on a personal basis with an inter-personal balance maintained over the long term) was the most usual means of exchange of goods and services."
The answer would change with the person answering. I always assumed bartering and gifting were widespread, common practices in the past, but it appears that in the case of bartering I may have been more wrong than right.
Barter Wiki, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barter
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Re: A question about Bartering

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 26 Nov 2018, 21:56:15

onlooker wrote:Seems this link backs up my position
https://www.mint.com/barter-system-hist ... nd-present

I don't trust websites that say (i.e. assert) many things, but have (unless I missed them) ZERO citations for their assertions. So are they just stealing the material, making it up, or something else.

Wiki seems to tell a similar tale, and at least has some citations. Looking on Amazon, I see various renditions of "The History of Money", some of which include bartering. Those all have 4 stars.

Your position is what I vaguely recall from grade school (50ish years ago), and seems to make some sense. But seriously, just because some link says what you want to hear -- that doesn't make it credible.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: A question about Barter

Unread postby jedrider » Mon 26 Nov 2018, 23:58:14

Well, you meet a new tribe, and then: What are you going to use for money?

Of course, you are going to barter, and whether that predates money or not, is not really important.

Come to think of it, the world STILL functions on a bartering system! They call that the EXCHANGE RATE.
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Re: A question about Barter

Unread postby radon1 » Tue 27 Nov 2018, 02:21:19

onlooker wrote:is this person right?


This person tends to be right. Various reciprocal exchanges did exist, but they were used as means of showing gratitude or respect rather than means of trading goods.
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Re: A question about Barter

Unread postby GHung » Tue 27 Nov 2018, 10:15:16

radon1 wrote:
onlooker wrote:is this person right?


This person tends to be right. Various reciprocal exchanges did exist, but they were used as means of showing gratitude or respect rather than means of trading goods.


Gifting is a sign of respect or gratitude. Barter is an alternative to force. If some other person or group has something you need/want, you can either trade something of value to the other party or take it from them by force (war, stealing, etc.) . Bartering does not necessarily exclude money (faux capital). Negotiating a price for goods, something expected in many markets, is essentially bartering; agreeing to an exchange that is acceptable/beneficial to both parties.
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Re: A question about Barter

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Tue 27 Nov 2018, 11:33:04

The North West Company and Hudson's Bay Company which operated the fur trade over much of what is now Canada and some of the northern states was an entirely barter based business. Natives would bring their furs to a trading post and trade them for manufactured goods such as guns, traps, metal pots, tools, etc. The fur trade operated in this way for well over 200 years. Nowadays a trapper will send their furs to an auction house to be sold and receive money as payment.
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Re: A question about Barter

Unread postby radon1 » Tue 27 Nov 2018, 18:09:32

yellowcanoe wrote:The North West Company and Hudson's Bay Company which operated the fur trade over much of what is now Canada and some of the northern states was an entirely barter based business. Natives would bring their furs to a trading post and trade them for manufactured goods such as guns, traps, metal pots, tools, etc.


Great example.

Note that in order for the trade to take place, the Natives needed outsiders to arrive. This is fundamental. And those outsiders were involved into a monetary economy beyond that barter trade.
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Re: A question about Barter

Unread postby Pops » Mon 10 Dec 2018, 22:46:54

Prehistoric sites include objects found hundreds of miles from their source, obsidian, shells/coral, distinct stone tools, baskets, pottery. Fair evidence of long distance trade
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Re: A question about Barter

Unread postby radon1 » Wed 12 Dec 2018, 09:29:42

Pops wrote:Prehistoric sites include objects found hundreds of miles from their source, obsidian, shells/coral, distinct stone tools, baskets, pottery. Fair evidence of long distance trade


It could be plunder or tribute collection. Even if it was trade, nothing warrants that this was barter.
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Re: A question about Barter

Unread postby GHung » Wed 12 Dec 2018, 09:39:49

radon1 wrote:
Pops wrote:Prehistoric sites include objects found hundreds of miles from their source, obsidian, shells/coral, distinct stone tools, baskets, pottery. Fair evidence of long distance trade


It could be plunder or tribute collection. Even if it was trade, nothing warrants that this was barter.


Please share the definition of barter you are using.
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