Barter Economy Not Working Too Well For Carpenter

A carpenter in a new community is not having the success he was looking for.  The community, Orange Haven, is a three year old community that shuns modern conveniences and currencies, in favour of a barter economy, where the citizens trade work and hand-made items for various services.

“It was good when I first got here.  As a carpenter, I was in a lot of demand.  I was helping to build all the houses, and could give direction on how to build them properly.  Then, once the houses were built, everyone needed furniture, so again, I did well.  My meals were taken care of, my laundry was done, and I got a lot of artwork for my house.  It was good.”

“But lately, it’s been rough.  No one really needs anything I can do anymore.  They all have tables, chairs, dressers, chaise-lounges.  I’m finding it really hard to find things to trade equally for.  I can whip up a picture frame in an afternoon, but the baker doesn’t need any more of those, nor the butcher, or dairy farmer.  So they tell me what they want, and then I have to go all over town trying to gather items for them, just so I can have some dinner.”

“My life has become one of those video games where you just go around solving other people’s problems.”

“It’s almost as if we need some kind of medium of exchange, so that instead of trading a wooden spoon for a dozen eggs so I can trade 3 to the baker for a loaf of bread and so on, I could just get these tokens in exchange for the spoon and then buy the eggs and bread directly with the tokens.”

“That might work.  You know what?  I’m going to suggest that at the next meeting.  I’ll talk with Carl [the local blacksmith] first.  I think he’s been running into similar problems with his cutlery.”


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