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May 28, 2009

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What a fascinating entry!

However, wouldn't it be simpler to be paid in regular money? Since, effectively, you're replacing one form of payment for another?

Reducing everyone skills to equal value for the betterment of society? One word . . . Communism.

We already have a perfect medium for exchanging time value for services, money.

I had no idea something like this existed and it's brilliant! My wife has been bartering for years. She is a music teacher and sometimes her students are able to afford the lessons and she's figured out ways to make it work. It's usually babysitting for our daughter. Regardless, it's always been a win-win. I hope this is the wave of the future (or reclaim of the past) because we are in a heap of troube with this economy. Obama promises us he'll lead us out of it but it seems to be getting worse than better. And, traciatim, communism? Really? America has a history of bartering and it's usually when things are going south...like...now? If it works why put it down? There's no insurance things will turn around quickly and if people are able to continue their standard of living through bartering I think that's great.
Jerry

I agree with the previous posters to some degree, but the point about avoiding taxes makes it more appealing. As long as it isn't run by the government and there is still a monetary system to fall back on, I think it could work at small, but not too small, scale.

Maybe off topic, but it reminds me a little of those towns that print their own currency to encourage local buying. Are those taxed?

The IRS got involved in this in the 70's (I think). Pretty much killed it, as the lawyer's time is (supposidly) worth more than a laborer's time.
Death and taxes,

I can see some friction happening when one person feels that their services are more valuable than another person's. A system of credits could be established which would make the system more equitable, even if taxes would have to be paid. Intriguing post. I'll have to check out your site.

If someone doesn't think its a fair trade then they simply shouldn't don't do it. Equity problems wouldn't exist in such a volunteer system. It isn't setup to force a brain surgeon to trade surgery for lawnmowing.

A lawyer's time IS much more valuable than a laborer's time. A physician's time IS much more valuable than a secretary's time. The cost of entering those professions (legal/medical) is great. Time bank sounds like an awful idea.

Everyone's contribution is of equal value? Please. That's worse than "everyone wins and gets a trophy" in little league.

This smacks of socialism.

Oh, Lord, not the "socialism" canard ("socialism! BOOO!!! OOGAH! in your CLOSET! gonna GETCHA!") again. Voluntary private cooperation is socialism now? They must play the Internationale at barn-raisings, huh?

I think the time bank is a nice idea in theory, but I'd be leery of involvement just because my memory is that it is relatively easy to run into tax consequences.

I like the idea. It's like an extension of your network.

The calls for socialism and communism may be a bit of a stretch. I can't speak for time bankers, but I don't think the idea is to REPLACE money as a medium for exchange, it is there to help smooth the bumps. Not everyone has money at any give time, it is a finite resource. Time is infinite.

It's true a doctor or lawyer's time is worth more than a bricklayer, but does a doctor or lawyer ALWAYS charge for their services? No. Sometimes people do things out of the kindness of their hearts. This system wouldn't work if there wasn't a desire to help the community.

You're not going to see me write my elected officials to institute an official time bank, I've got more capitalist blood in me than anyone here, but there is a place in our society and economy where everyone's work is worth the same.

As for the tax consequences, so long as no monetary value is assigned to the time dollars you're good. This is why a doctor or lawyer's time cannot be worth more than a bricklayer's. The site has more resources and there are contacts to learn more about the system, including taxes.

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