Thursday, March 19, 2009

Switch Trade

Ever imagined how things would’ve been, had we still lived in an era of Barter system, other things remaining same. How would businesses run, what would people deal in? Weird isn’t it!

Keeping the paper money aside, let’s jig into a world of Barter exchange for a while. It’s logical, if barter trade was existent at a micro level, where farmers would exchange rice for pot from a pot maker, or wheat for a piece of cloth from a weaver or tailor. But what about people like us on the other side of the world who have no knowledge about agriculture, manufacturing goods etc.

An American firm outsourcing jobs to India, would substitute salaries with monthly ration. If you are an excellent performer you would get a ready made shirt as recognition and if you are entitled for a yearly bonus you will get variable and premium Basmati rice.
I would go to my regular provision store, buy (trade) one coconut for 100 grams of freshly made hot banana chips. As a retailer, he would be exchanging a fusion of things received from his customers, with the wholesaler.

Lalu Prasad Yadav would instruct his railway authorities to trade tickets for 1 litre of coconut hair oil for general quota, shampoo for sleeper quota and deodorants/perfumes for other classes. Hmm! And what about Tatkal service? Every budget would be a discussion point for the range of products that would be traded for tickets.

A question to be posed at this juncture is, whether the greed sensing nerve would still strike, in a barter world. Can I speed through the traffic without being nabbed? Or do I disburse a soft drink to the cop and take off. And what about deals done at the macro level i.e. defence, arms etc. It is not much about the type and mode of exchange but the motive for exchange that matters. There are no lids on our desires and wants. Human beings crave for more all the time and it is this very single factor called “ MORE” that has taken us to the valley of recession, from where climbing upwards is taking its toll on each and every Government. Governments aren’t incarnations of a superior soul. They comprise of us humans. Rolling up to the economy, at a personal level one needs to ask oneself, is it only the thin piece of paper with a picture of a national leader embossed on it, is all you care about.

In an era of Clones, genetic engineering and Carbon Trade where you pay credits for every additional unit of carbon release, is there really a possibility for a SWITCH in system. Let’s have Poll!!!


  1. Superb Imagination and a very good comparision made...
    Good Posting Srids...
    Pravin Venkatraman

  2. a very different idea...never given a thought to this..very nice use of words Shridhar. truly interesting to read!