Posted 10/09/19 (Wed)
You can read lots of economic forecasts. And many of them tell of an impending recession. I suppose you can put the blame wherever you want, but it seems we have recessions every 10 years or so. It happens.
I don’t need to read of an oncoming recession. If you are in agriculture, the recession has been here for years. Maybe it is a depression. I guess it is a fine line. But the easiest way for me to forecast the economy is how I deal with many purchases. We revert to one of the oldest, truest forms of capitalism. The barter system.
Now the barter system is pretty simple. If I have something you need, and you have something I need, or desire, you strike up a trade.
For example, last week a neighbor had stopped by for coffee. While we were visiting, Shirley instructed me to go to town and buy some plywood to patch up a pen in our barn. I was reluctant to do it, because I had a couple used pallets that could fill the hole.
The neighbor jumped in and said he had bought a pile of junk at an auction sale for $2.50 that would have something in there that would work. I was a little uneasy buying junk from a neighbor to patch up my yard, but what the heck.
We went down to his place and picked up three gates that could fill holes at our place. Three gates that were older than me, and I have gone around the sun 70 times. But they were free.
Well, they weren’t free. Shirley made up a package of vegetables from the garden to swap. Fresh from the garden. A garden I have slaved over for months. Tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, carrots, squash, and zucchini. Oh, and peppers. Wonderful peppers.
But the deal was made. You can’t back out on a deal. Especially if your wife has struck the deal.
Later in the week, the neighbor and I were making a hay trade. Trading a bale of hay for a pitchfork with a broken handle. I had spotted the fork while we were loading the antique gates. And I had a perfectly good handle at home.
I was being pretty tough in my negotiations and wanted the broken fork for nothing. It had been in the pile of junk that the gates came in so I figured it was paid for already.
He quickly reminded me that he had, out of the goodness of his heart, offered me those gates for nothing. I quickly reminded him that Shirley had given him a hundred dollars worth of fresh vegetables for gates that had cost him a fraction of $2.50! He said what he paid for those outstanding gates had nothing to do with what he sold them for.
You can imagine the disappointment Shirley felt when she came outside and found two old men wrestling in the mud over a pitchfork with a broken handle!
Maybe you are right. She could have married better.