As with many of us who live in the South Okanagan, come October we all suffer the seasonal layoff. It comes with mixed feelings and emotions. On one hand, the long grind of the summer makes us beg for some serious time off in order to regroup. On the other hand, we must take jobs that we don't want, leave town to find other work or claim E.I. for a percentage of what we earned in the summer.
This is not an industry specific layoff either. Everyone in this part of the valley seems to go into hibernation mode. The businesses and streets seem bare on most days of the week, with everyone grasping with white knuckles the last of their summer savings. This, as far as I can tell, is in part the fault of the community itself. We have bought into the rules that the banks, corporations and in turn the government have imposed on the people. Why is it that we as a community can not start exchanging goods and services amongst ourselves?
Some people believe that we need to fix the system before we can change it. I say why should we try and work with this broken system at all anymore. Why not start an entirely new way of doing business. Check that, what I am talking about has been around for ever, but for the profits of big business it has been vilified. Trading skills for other skills or currency.
We started trading bread for goods and services about a year ago and I have noticed a few things that make me realize how much good can be realized through this method of commerce. The most noticeable being that the true value of things becomes apparent very quickly. We trade bread for movie rentals. A new release move is $5 and a simple baguette costs about 35cents to make. We trade one loaf of bread for one new release movie. We both leave this transaction satisfied. We have a friend that will hem our pants or sew rips or reupholster furniture. She will let us know what she thinks is a fair trade and we work from there. Hem a pair of pants equals one loaf of bread. Reupholster our chair and we make her fresh bread a couple times a week for a month. Seems fair to me. This drives "the man" crazy. They make a lot less profit of us this way. Sure they got their taxes out of us for the flour that we purchased and they got their taxes for the fabric she bought for the chair. That is where the taxation stops though. I don't pay tax to have the chair fixed in a shop and she doesn't pay tax to buy bread in a store. If this keeps up, all of a sudden I can trade bread with someone who is making their own fabrics and someone can trade pants that they made for flour that someone milled. Oops, sorry I forgot that bank service charges and goods and services taxes are the only way to keep this whole machine running.
So, in the previous post we were asked how we plan to spend our off season. We have been making our bread and walking around the streets and businesses of town selling bread that we baked in the morning. $2.50 for a baguette or we'll trade it for a couple of lattes or maybe 4 bagels for a couple of used novels or $8 if you want to keep your novels.
So, if you live around here and you want some fresh bread you'll probably see us walking around peddling our goods for cash or maybe you have something that you wanna trade us. Either way it's a win win. Now I just have to convince our landlord that our rent is somehow worth a single shipment of 100 loafs of bread a month. Wish me luck.