Barter systems are now well known in crisis-affected countries. Many people have improved their financial and psychological condition thanks to cooperation in their neighbourhood, i.e. after loosing their jobs in corporations. However, those barter systems do not always work well. Why does it happen and how to prevent the failure.
The most popular barter systems are time-currency systems, i.e. for one hour of taking care of the neighbour’s children I can get one hour of your neighbour’s work (i.e. painting your garage, renovating your house). Here the system works well, however it breaks down when two persons of radically different professions meet and start to cooperate. Whether in the economic crisis situation or not it is obvious that an engineer’s design or a highly professional computer service recounted into hours cannot be equal to hours of an uneducated construction worker, even if we highly respect such a person.
That does not happen in ‘real life’ when talking about money, that will not take place in a barter system (or it even can break it down, when people feel cheated). A specialist has spent years to learn their profession, an unqualified construction worker, well, a clever man is able to learn a new job in the matter of two weeks or let’s say… two months, a more specialised craftsman let’s say in a year. Still not much time comparing to some white-collar professions.
If you want your neighbourhood barter system to work, at least try to keep real market behaviour there. A doctor’s help or advice lasting let’s say 15 minutes, should not be recounted directly to 15 minutes of a boy mowing a lawn, but an hour, well, it sounds much better.