Again, it's cold outside. Not too bright a day either. Crows are flying over the bean field across the road looking for food. Those combines don't leave 'em much. The little birds are doing okay. The roadsides are full of weeds with lots of seed on them for bird food. The smallest get the most food. At least that is the way it seems. The wife got us another 10 cans of Spam this afternoon. It is down to 9 cans already. I'm eating the stash! Egads. Things seem to be amiss.
I have talked with Charles and the Hermit and they both seem to think the Barterville trip would be a good deal in the hard times ahead. So does the Handmaiden. There seems to be a need for a marketplace in the day to day dealings of the human family. A lot of people are into trade and barter. They thrive on it. Some folks like the idea of trade to get rid of surplus and replace it with things they are lacking in. If you have an extra bag of beans and you need a couple of chickens, the trade route may be your answer. And the news! For a nation of news hounds the market place is the place to be. Every truth, every falsehood, and every rumor will be voiced in the marketplace. Any kind of deal can be made at the market. That is why people go there. Folks living in America are used to going to a store and paying the price on the sticker and going home. But a whole lot of the world doesn't do it that way. In the market you buy and sell and trade according to your need and your ability. If you need something real bad you pay more for it if you have to. If you come with a lot of surplus then your ability to pay is great but if you come with little you have less ability.
You have to know the local market to do well within it's framework. You have to know when things are plentiful and when they are scarce. Vegetables out of season may fetch a premium price while the height of the growing season will be more tolerable for your trading. Milk and eggs and cheese will always find ready buyers unless you live in dairy country on Wisconsin. Those folks in Wisconsin may get a little choosy in the dairy end of things. Guns, and much more likely ammo, will bring good interest if the price is not too high. It may be a while, even a few years, before ammo gets made and distributed again. And getting it into your area may prove to be quite a trick. Your long range traders will handle the distribution of goods like ammo and such. You will make your deal ahead of time and know what the currency will be and have it ready when the trader comes back through.
Your reputation goes with you in the market. Just passing through may get you a quick hit deal for a major profit but the guy who is there every day has to watch his "P's" and "Q's". It's hard to live a bad reputation down.
Services can be traded for at a Bartertown. If you have a broken metal implement and you need it fixed, your local blacksmith may very well set up at Bartertown and have his forge and anvil all cranked up and ready to go. I always think of that TV series called Deadwood when I think of Bartertown. In the first year of the show the main street of town was a carnival of goods and services. Folks butchering chickens right on the spot. Drinks of whisky being poured. Mining equipment being sold. Laundry being done. Gamblers plying their trade and whores plying theirs. Boots and shoes being mended. Land being bought and sold. Marriages being performed. Horses being shod. And much, much more. The whole of the human family on parade and out in the open. Bartertown can be a fascinating place. There is lots to learn. There is gain and loss to deal with. And there will probably be a tax upon all those entering to sell and trade. Everybody has to make a dollar, you know.
The DJIA looks to be headed down again today. It's 3:45 p.m. here in the valley and the market is down $420-some dollars. Oil has broken through the $50 a barrel barrier and is down in the $40's. This thing is really going to be a mess. And it is basically crooks not wanting to do business with other crooks. Real people with real incomes and real track records of paying their bills can still borrow money very easily. It's the big businesses and the big banks and the big brokerages that will not loan money to each other. They know their brethren are all crooked. The bail-out money is just that. The fedgov dumps a ton of our tax money into these big companies. The wise guys dump their stock and get their money out of the bail-out funds and leave town with a bundle. You and I are left with a bundle of manure. Sound like a good deal? You will notice, dear reader, that no major plan of attack on business practices is underway. You will notice that no major new car design is exciting anyone. That ain't the game right now. The game is for the rich to get their money and leave town. The mumble mouthed CEO's will say stupid shit all day long while the rich gather up the money for the getaway. And it is going on right before your very eyes. The big boys are using all their muscle to keep the price of gold and silver down. If I ran a retirement fund I would be investing billions of dollars in gold and silver right now. But the price is held down so that it doesn't look like a good idea. It will look like a good idea next year tough. But next Summer is the Summer of Hell according to the Time Monks.
Take care and stock up. That Spam can taste mighty good if you are hungry. And it is made in America! What a unique idea! Stay alive, folks.