February 05, 2009

Fiscal Depression

Sometime around the year 1929, my Grandpa had a pretty good payday.  He worked as a plumber during this time.  He and his wife talked about what to do with the money.  My Grandmother had a feeling and told Grandpa to go pay off the note on the house.  This was days before the wall street crash, and banks calling all notes due.  Which is a fancy way of saying, any loans you had the bank wanted re payed NOW!

As the great depression moved across the land my Grandpa found that his various handyman skills was a commodity. He could fix the pumps that the Farmer needed to water his livestock, the farmer just couldn't pay in money.  So Grandpa would get some chickens or eggs for the next few months in lieu of payment. 

8 comments:

the WIZARD, fkap said...

Capitalism at its purest form.

I'm going to cross post this little story over on Vigilante's blog where they are trying to round up all capitalists and hang all the CEO's nationwide........

Lee said...

I wonder what corporation manufactured the rope...

flyingvan said...

It was twisted out of hemp out of an innate duty by some deadhead. "Each according to his ability....." How's the wealth held in common working out for Somolia?

Stella said...

I'm not so sure it's Capitalism—perhaps bartering is a better term. That's looking better and better these days.

Your grandparents were wise people, Lee.

Lee said...

Stella,

Dictionary.com --An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.

So it is Capitalism in its purest form. Wow, what is your definition?

Tina said...

I consider bartering a form of capitalism too.

I'm wondering how the stimulus plan will affect my job - I'm working for an educational services district and we've just heard that due to budgetary restrictions, we are going to 'lose' 12 days of school for this year. I don't know how that goes with my contract, which is for a certain number of days - those days are tied into days we have students, and now we won't have students for 12 days we thought we would.

Will I have to take unpaid vacation? Will I get paid anyway, even with no kids in class? What do I do with my autistic son if I have to work and he's out of school? What a mess.

I thought once a school budget was established for the year - it's ESTABLISHED. I can see them changing us to 4-day school weeks NEXT year (September), but I thought until June at least, this year was covered.

If there's no money for Summer School & I can't work - I'm going to go visit my mom in Canada for a good chunk of time.

Stella said...

OK, Lee. Back @ya! It's both Capitalism and bartering in its purest form.

Barter is a type of trade in which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods and/or services, without the use of money. It can be bilateral or multilateral, and usually exists parallel to monetary systems in most developed countries, though to a very limited extent. Barter usually replaces money as the method of exchange in times of monetary crisis, when the currency is unstable and devalued by hyperinflation.

~vs.~

As you said: Capitalism... an economic system in which wealth, and the means of producing wealth, are privately owned and controlled rather than commonly-owned by society or state-owned and controlled. In capitalism, the land, labor, and capital are owned, operated, and traded by private individuals or corporations, and investments, distribution, income, production, pricing and supply of goods, commodities and services are primarily determined by voluntary private decision in a market economy largely free of government intervention. A distinguishing feature of capitalism is that each person owns his or her own labor and therefore is allowed to sell the use of it to employers.
***
From what I've read, bartering is the history, and a current subset of, Capitalism. You're right, Lee: interesting history on Capitalism.

Never knew all that—thanks. I still think your Grandpa was a wise man.

Lee said...

Gracefully stated Stella.

I have many fond memories of both sets of Granparents.