The truly oldest 'profession'

Sun, Feb 16, 2014 - 2:37am

Despite the countless lurid tangents such a title might inspire, I have no desire to talk too much about prostitution. It can be viewed as a survival mechanism, a relatively specialized evolutionary trait the human species has developed and honed to an unusual degree. It too, involves a central element of barter -- that of bodily pleasure (or, if looked at in a more holistic/comprehensive way, even actual procreative opportunity) in exchange for sustenance, protection and (if done right) social status. It is rather the core element of barter itself that has been on my mind quite a bit recently.

As I may have mentioned, I am in the middle of trying to launch a business. The target industry is widespread (my opinion is actually that it’s all-encompassing). Even though there are a handful of similar companies being built and going bust every other week, my specific area is still considered niche.

One of the many challenges facing a startup is that of operating capital. Assuming that everything else is already in place (people, infrastructure/tooling, business plan, product, client), the cost of getting off the ground can be prohibitive. Operating expenses of getting raw material in the door (let alone stocked in sufficient quantity to buffer sudden fluctuations in order volume) can be prohibitive, and can easily squash a small business which does not have sufficient capital to absorb this.

I understand that revenue is a vitally important metric in obtaining funding and/or credit. I also realize that barter units do not pay for overhead, rent, electricity or payroll. I am also cognizant of the fact that our friendly Infernal Retinue Service has extended its tentacles into this realm as well, and is likely to be as favorable in its treatment of anyone caught or suspected to be bartering as if they were a political organization called Constitutional Warriors to Break the Stranglehold of Two-Party Oligarchy and Corporate Personhood.


  • Every ‘dollar equivalent’ unit of economic activity that is conducted without the use of debt-based/backed fiat currency reduces society’s reliance on and exploitation by those controlling said currency
  • There are potentially multiple ways to structure commercial agreements whereby the fact of barter becomes more difficult to prove. Why SHOULDN’T one be allowed to perform services for a business partner at a steep (say, 90% or 95% discount)? Why COULDN’T goods and services exchange hands as part of a ‘trial-period’ offer?
  • Businesses – no matter how mature or efficient – will generally have excess capacity / inventory / manpower available at any given time. Creating and maintaining this excess costs capital and effort, minimizing it (or even the NEED for it) is the key to many successful businesses. Think, Priceline, the myriad budget-airfare/hotel/car-rental sites. Think of the 30% / 50% / 75% / 90% clearances of select items in your box store of choice. Bakery goods or fresh fruit/vegetables, the cheese aisle at your local grocery. This excess ‘capacity’ (whatever form it takes) creates a pool of resources that makes sense for a business to divest itself of, even at or sometimes BELOW cost.
  • For all intents and purposes, not being federally recognized 'lawful money' or 'legal tender', any transactions in PM terms would automatically fall into this category.
  • A barter system has strong potential to foster LOCALIZED economic activity, keeping capital and ‘capital’ local, rather than siphoning profits (and of course eventually the businesses themselves) outside local communities/states/nations.
  • As a statement of fact, rather than any suggestion, advice or instruction, physical exchange of goods and services can sometimes be viewed as leaving a trail not quite as obvious and trackable as one involving currency transfers via the banking system.

As an item of passing interest, here is a page from the FAQ of our friends at 33 Liberty:

"Is it legal for a business in the United States to refuse cash as a form of payment?

Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled "Legal tender," states: "United States coins and currency [including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks] are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues."

This statute means that all United States money as identified above is a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person, or an organization must accept currency or coins as payment for goods or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether to accept cash unless there is a state law which says otherwise."

Uh-huh. Sure. Just make sure to stand well back from the blast radius of the air-to-surface projectile soon to be dispatched in literal or metaphoric terms at the foolhardy individual or business who actually IN PRACTICE attempts to "develop their own policies on whether to accept cash".

None of this is a panacea, and of course cannot necessarily be applied in all circumstances. The very real danger of big government stepping on the neck of any fledgling initiative of course exists (as it would in any case).

A few years ago, there was a user on the site who had actually proposed a similar schemed to his/her local community council. At the time, I had brought up the example of a local initiative called Northern Colorado Community Barter – an effort whose current fate I have not been able to track down. But other, larger/older/more diverse organizations such as SlowMoney persist. BerkShares appear not only to survive, but actually thrive. There is a long, checkered quiltwork of ‘unofficial’ currencies, both worldwide and in the United States. The most (in)famous examples are of course the still-unsentenced-though-convicted-since-nearly-three-years-ago Bernard Von Nothaus (GATA-endorsed writeup here, NYTimes hit piece here – even the TITLE is grossly misleading) – and our favorite current whipping boys, the cryptocurrencies. For a (relatively recent) TED-talk on the topic of so-called 'alternative' currencies, you can check out this link. The American Open Currency Standard is yet another potential source of information/inspiration (just be aware of possible connections/involvement with Lakota Bank, Mulligan Mint, etc.)

There is, of course, no guarantee that I will be able to make this idea an actual part of the business (assuming one is ever stood up at all --- the siren-song of steady salary paid to the obedient wage-slave has a will-sapping, powerful hold). But I will certainly do my damned best to make it at least a small part of my business model as I can (barter of services, not alternative currencies per se). And of course, once suppliers of critical components, electricity/other utilities and whatever other input channels I can cover are taken care of, potential clients whose trade involves precious metals will be receiving service offers I hope they will find difficult to turn down.

Stay thirsty, keep stacking, and don’t forget the words of United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, Ms. Anne M. Tompkins:

“Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism,” U.S. Attorney Tompkins said in announcing the verdict. “While these forms of anti-government activities do not involve violence, they are every bit as insidious and represent a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country,” she added. “We are determined to meet these threats through infiltration, disruption, and dismantling of organizations which seek to challenge the legitimacy of our democratic form of government.”

The irony is so thick, you can cut it with a machete. It so happens I could not agree more with the letter of the utterance. So, Ms. Tompkins – when can we expect to see an indictment, merciless prosecution and draconian sentencing of the legions of criminals involved in the creation and maintenance of the FedRes System, instead of those who actually try to adhere to the highest law of land?

About the Author


Metal-Urge · Feb 16, 2014 - 2:38am



achmachat · Feb 16, 2014 - 2:47am


I get up Sunday morning and have this to read! very thankful for this and I mean it. and also thank you Turd for letting us play in your house!

Occasnltrvlr · Feb 16, 2014 - 3:16am

Perhaps I Might...

...Second that.

thesandbox · Feb 16, 2014 - 4:51am


Have some down time and catching up on some teachings I like to listen to and although not out of the ordinary this one kept making me think of my family around here.... forward to around 1'12" in for those of you who don't like cheese with your meat. ;) If you like Willie though and have any bent toward the beginings and end of our current system you should enjoy this one.

El Gordo · Feb 16, 2014 - 5:31am

Confidence in Currencies, other musings

I've been sitting here for a few years stacking along. I know that there are traders who frequent this site as well as the simpletons like me who only know how to put things one on top of the other. There can be no doubt that the government is manipulating metal prices (as well as interest rates and probably most, if not all other commodities as well), so I cannot for the life of me figure out how many words continue to be posted relative to this going up or that going down. Where it's going is no longer market driven, it's politically driven. Unless and until we can get into the head of the powers that be and determine their overall objectives, and to try to ascertain their level of technical competence in achieving those goals. In short, who know. Any further, anyone who says they know is most likely lieing. Here's one thing I do know. Based on nothing but fundamentals, inflation should be running rampant and my stash should be worth more now that I paid for it. Yet according to my newspaper market report, I'm still underwater. Think I'll just keep putting one on top of the other and stop watching those news reports or listening to the forecasters. Maybe I'll come out ahead, and maybe I won't. 

Pseudozero · Feb 16, 2014 - 5:50am



i'm going to swap a bunch of my generic bullion for pre-'67 Canadian silver coinage tomorrow, straight up swap for weight: 6x 1oz rounds per $10 face value.

just wondering what side of the fence other turdites are on.

good move? bad move? and why?

...and great post btw...the guest submissions have been quite good lately, less frequent, but very good.
Excalibur · Feb 16, 2014 - 6:24am

Turd's calls

Following on from the discussion yesterday, I thought I would do a little research.

This is from Turd's blog 11th April 2013:

Do you believe the "analysts" and "experts" who claim that gold is headed to $1300? Or $1100?? Or $800??? Are you going to side with The Sheep and The Paper Bugs and convert your metal back into fiat currency? Or are you going to side with whomever is accumulating all of this gold on a daily basis?

Additionally, do you trust yourself, your brain and your instincts? Do you wonder where all of is this gold is going? Are you curious as to why this is happening? Everyone from the financial media down to your friends and neighbors may not care. But you should. You most definitely should! And you should buy this dip. You should have bought the last dip. And you should buy the next dip. And every dip. And take delivery. While you still can and while there's still time.


If that is not advice I don't know what is. 

On the 11/4/13 Gold closed at $1562.

So let's get some balance here in case some memories are short. There are good calls and some bloody awful ones.

Gold Dog · Feb 16, 2014 - 7:38am

Random Thoughts

-PZero, many of us here feel that the coinage will be the first "real money" that will come back into usage and as such keep some amount of the old silver around for use in the early days if there is a reset.

ps jumpinMy cursor kee <--Can't post!

flyinkel · Feb 16, 2014 - 7:46am

Good point Excaliber

It can be difficult to envision the lying, cheating, thievery, and outright criminal corruption from our PM powers that be; not to mention the positively spineless oversight in the PM trading.

Did he get it wrong? Yep. His biggest flaw, though, was assuming there was an iota of integrity in the system. It's a flaw I'll take, it usually means the guy is honest.

oneagleswings · Feb 16, 2014 - 7:56am


In the past year I have paid my pool man and some web building and literature printing for my business in silver. No problems no worries. Now the problem becomes in wanting to deduct business expenses do the businesses you paid in silver give you a receipt that stipulates paid in silver or in cash/credit etc. That is one sticky wicket in barter. I don't think on a small scale the IRS cares much. Having said that I did have the displeasure of an IRS audit after starting a small business and suffering a divorce in the same year. It is not pleasant to be on the other side of their desk trust me. Most recently I helped cut, trim, bone and wrap two beef steers over two days and in exchange for my meat cutting i returned home with 1/4 of freezer beef both antibiotic and steroid free. I think barter on a smaller scale will always be around. On a business scale that requires raw materials, trucking, manufacturing and all it becomes much more difficult. My two cents, good day too all.

Gold Dog · Feb 16, 2014 - 7:58am

Let's try the iPad

- I am involved in barter with my credit card compnies. Capital One offers me a lot of nice stuff, from golf clubs to TV's for using their card. The airline affinity cards get me upgraded for when my flights are long ones.

- I think that both money and currency exist for pretty much the same reasons. Convenience, portability and homogeniesness.

- I can really feel how old and decrepit I am after three days of blasting through the North Woods on a snowmobile. (I love the beer backers," Schnitz"', that come with the Bloodies up here.)

-Duncan Donuts Dark Roast prepared with as much as you can pour into the basket is a top ten for your morning Joe.

Your friend,


ivars · Feb 16, 2014 - 9:36am

This weather pattern

This weather pattern targeting financial centers is becoming permanent and stronger; some get more wind, snow and storms, flooding; some, like California, droughts as a result of this global pattern in jet streams . Nature is sending warnings. Rothschilds are moving to China. Those left behind will suffer as they tolerated sin. Its playing out too nicely to ignore it; it also makes clear why powerful would like to fight global warming..they never wanted to accept responsibility for depriving the Earth of its harmony by consuming , robbing, wasting its future. They want to fight the Nature under the slogan of fighting own behavior-after they have studied ways to attack global warming caused by their own greed; how sophisticated ..and how transparent and predictable.

Here is science behind it and predictions:

Patrancus · Feb 16, 2014 - 10:13am


introduced to me over 30 years ago while in my formative days of becoming a successful businessman on account of my own entrepreneurial endeavoring. Jimmy and Roslyn Carter were living in the white house, and I write living as that is all they were doing much like the phony lying trickster we have living there today. 

The inventories of those big box stores that were alive in those times, were long inventories of goods on the shelves and stacks of merchandise piled high back in the warehouses. 1979 and years subsequent we had a misery index, (which is not mentioned these days) in excess of 10%.

What was one to do in this era of miserable economic growth and seemingly endless excuses from the smiling nice guy at the top, continuing to blab how he was going to fix things if we allowed him more time and made sacrifice in our lives, like turning down our thermostats and driving our vehicles less. 

Some of us took measures into our own hands that would allow us to operate the business by doing what we had to do in order to provide for our families, and so we began to barter by soliciting the business community for trading just about anything anyone could want or need.

Bartering for just a percentage of ones inventory or service to compliment ones fiat business activities. This bartering worked beautiful for most who would decide to participate, and yes! who would not want to trade their product or service for lets say a family Florida vacation. 

Not convinced that we have the similar parameters in motion today that would allow for the reoccurrence of another barter is better revolution, though I have always enjoyed revivals that allow a man to prosper.

Patrancus · Feb 16, 2014 - 10:24am

barter credits

for gold and silver was a common trade in those days, while I was not aware what the future held, I passed on those barter opportunities for day to day wants and needs of the family, and this is how it usually goes.

TomMack · Feb 16, 2014 - 11:39am


Great question. when i first started stacking (that is all i do , no trading) i collected silver bars. as time went on i moved to 90% (i am in the US) it traded at a discount to .999 silver bars. now it trades at a premium so changed what i stack. recently i have been stacking better quality 90% us coins (mainly almost uncirculated dimes and quarters) these have a premium to 90% but are around the value of silver eagles (spot+3.50ish). i am hoping when st smoke clears after the 'great reset' these will retain there quality (numismatic) premium. also i have been stacking Philharmonics and maples as these are at about a 1.40 discount to the Am. silver eagle. There is no 'mistake' here as long as the silver bars are not fake. 

stack on and fight to maintain your stack don't get too far ahead of you fiat needs.

i have not yet sold any and to hope to never have to.

metalsbyamile · Feb 16, 2014 - 12:48pm

I could not resist

Had to join this great site and throw my money where the TFMR collective 'mouth' is.

After lurking for way too long I see the community is well worth the price of entry.

Now I'm on to explore the paid perks.

One question, I wish to stack using a credit card via the internet. Anyone have suggestions as most sites I explore will accept $100 - $ 5000. max. I'd like to use up about 10k USD.

Note: Please excuse this being a double post. I inadvertantly posted my first paid on the wrong thread.

Athol Mcbean · Feb 16, 2014 - 12:56pm

Timeless wise words

As a young boy my grandfather would tell me "The money's not yours son until it's in your pocket", something to think about for those with PMs in a depository.

Pseudozero · Feb 16, 2014 - 2:13pm

@tom mack.

thanks for the reply,

i agree completely, i also bought lots of bars and generic rounds when i started stacking, these bars are nice to have (all silver is nice silver), but my preference has drifted much more towards smaller, and more in demand forms of silver. i only buy maples, eagles and pre-'67 now. nothing else. and i wish that i started out doing just that. (except for the turd rounds, i haven't yet...but i will own a tube of them, this place means that much to me.)

i just think it will be infinitely easier to use/spend/trade the silver that everybody wants down the road. 

that's good advice about not letting your stack get ahead of your needs, another thing i wish i knew back then: when i bought 200 silver buffallo's for $36 (i thought that was THE bottom hahahaha) on my credit card...'metalsbyamile' you might want to take heed.

the more the merrier of course, i'm happy to have those coins, regardless if i'm underwater on them, i know what's coming down the road. you just might not want to lever yourself up with debt by buying PM's, if i slowed down...i'd own more. bottom line. dollar cost average.

just keep saving, and make purchases when you've got spare cash, you'll end up with more metal at better prices that way. don't go chasing dips on charts, stacking and trading are very different, while you're busy paying interest on the silver you have, there will be a chance to buy for a lower price that you'll miss. or worst case, you'll need to liquidate the silver to pay the visa, not enough time will pass for the value to rise, and you'll lose your shirt.

don't rush. i thought 2011 was IT, but here we are. now i think we'll have more time to buy down here under $25 than any of us would like to believe. ( shoots to $50 by summer)

i've also never sold any of my stack, this will be the first time ANY of it will be leaving the lake, but the 'junk' is not available for sale, only trade. and it gets me closer to my ideal ratio of 1:100:50

1 oz gold : 100 eagles/maples : $50 junk

Pseudozero · Feb 16, 2014 - 2:19pm

@gold dog

i love the stuff.

i also think it'll be the most 'useful' eventually.

the canadian 1/2 dollar might be my favorite coin...silver coin, overall.

(nothing beats a gold maple in my mind)

.3oz, great size, well known, nice coat of arms, could do without the queen, but que sera.

Lamenting Laverne · Feb 16, 2014 - 2:29pm

This is how....

they will get the better of us, when we have one day been patient and risk-taking long enough and accumulated a nice capital gain in the metals. A indiscriminate withholding tax on money transfers.

Also - the "new field" in connection with bullion sales that surfaced a long time ago in GoldMoney to be used only during extraordinary market conditions is still ringing in the back of my head. I am thinking sales withholding tax field.

I feel sure that legislation in the future will require proceeds from physical sales in coin shops to be wired or paid by cheque - and that cash transactions will be banned or only allowed in very small amounts with onsite withholding tax. Along with more bans like the French to send bullion by post to other places.

The black economy will explode and coins will become barter items as suggested in the article. And peoples respect for the system/law will disappear including the good features in it - sending us back to a place of each for himself.

Bloody stupid governators! Cultivating a few new generations of pirates instead of supporting honesty, in the few places where it still can be found.

ivars · Feb 16, 2014 - 2:34pm

Another snowstorm Rex coming

Another snowstorm Rex coming to Chicago, Washington DC and New York, North East on Tuesday.

Ferd Torgerson metalsbyamile · Feb 16, 2014 - 2:59pm

@ Metalsbyamile

Welcome, glad you have joined.

You'll like being a part of this community.

I can't really offer much advice on the credit card other than to avoid MurphyPal.

Of course, if your limit is $10k, you have nothing to worry about.

Murphy doesn't deal in or steal amounts of less than $50k.



foggyroad · Feb 16, 2014 - 3:02pm

Welcome metalsbyamile

TF has the best durn metals site on the daggum blogosphere,

He does as he says and puts his money where his mouth is.



had to log on to Hat tip this excellent post.

Best 'o' Luck with the new business endeavour.

If you bring the same level of craftsmanship to your new business,

as you do to your writing you'll have a real going concern.



dragonfly5 · Feb 16, 2014 - 3:03pm

psuedozero - cdn 50 cent and gold maples

I share your feelings about the Canadian 50 cent pieces, I think they are my favourites out of all the Cdn silver - especially as they were what ended up being the most valuable pieces left over from my childhood coin collection. My stack consists of a wide variety of types now, old silver, some bars and coins. I have a particular fondness for Kooks and am looking forward to the new Birds of Prey issue from the RCM - hoping they'll get a bit of the same fame the Wolf coin got from the wildlife series. Just started picking up gold coins in the last year - the 1967 $20 pieces have a look much like the silver 50 cent pieces. Also, couldn't resist and picked up one of the RCM gold Wolf coins - just before the jump in gold price.smiley

PS Funny you mentioned your purchase at $36 - we must have bought close to the same time - I bought a number of tubes of maples at $37 - at the time it seemed like the sky was the limit - but then that was before I found this site. I soon realized that getting my info from KWN was not helpful from a reality standpoint . . .

Gent · Feb 16, 2014 - 3:32pm


I suggest you do some looking at metals prices at various PM outlets and make comparisons as to which way to better your overall value

I'm not familiar with the silver content of Canadian coins but, referring to 90% silver US coins, most outlets are selling for @ 15x - 18x face value

To take it a step further ... think of buying from a PM outlet for @ 16x face and quickly selling it on ebay for over 20x face

foggyroad · Feb 16, 2014 - 3:40pm


Pre-1967 Canadian coinage is 80% silver vs. 90% Us.


There doesn't seem to be a huge abundance, I think it's a good investment, too.


Pseudozero · Feb 16, 2014 - 3:51pm


canadian is 80% like foggyroad said, 0.6 oz per dollar, as opposed to 0.715 per in the us.

selling right now for $13-$15 CDN (USD/CAN=1.09/1.10/1.11 lately), sure i could flip them on ebay, but i don't have time for that shh. i have a job.

i consider them to be equals in terms of investment value, american's should stack american coins, and canadians should stack canadian coins. in my opinion anyways.

ltcolkilgore · Feb 16, 2014 - 4:18pm

Flip on Ebay??

Good luck with that... once they hit you with the selling fee and Paypal takes their fee you'll be lucky to get your money back even if you sell for 20 times face...

ltcolkilgore · Feb 16, 2014 - 4:40pm

Follow up on Ebay

FWIW - I just saw an auction end on $23.20 face value 90% silver US coins (nice mix, dollars, halves, quarters, dimes) for $385.29 which is $16.61 yes per face dollar. After ebay takes 38.53 and paypal another 11.47 you would net $335.29 which is $14.45 no per face dollar. And you still have to pay for the shipping...angry

I only deal with my LCS now for purchases and I'm not a seller at this point but I think I would try my LCS or craigslist before using ebay if I need to sell...

Occasnltrvlr · Feb 16, 2014 - 5:11pm

"I Prefer...

...Gold Eagles and Maples."

"I prefer junk silver, US only, please."

"I prefer gold jewelry."

"I prefer cash (or credit cards)."

"We prefer the security of a happy life."

It's really tough to try to gauge what is best to stack. The single biggest factor seems to be whether one will be selling to PM dealers, or buying groceries directly (and bartering for eggs and gasoline) with PMs. If the overall monetary system really does break down, the average Joe and Jane will be bewildered by a PAMP carded gram of gold or an OPM silver round. This lends credence to stacking junk silver. But, even younger folks today (meaning under 30) don't really know or care what silver is, and may not readily accept that a US 1964 quarter is substantially different from a 1965 one.

And, as other people have written many times, there is good reason to stock things for direct barter. It is a bit more difficult to retain similar quantities of stored labor in toilet paper than in gold Maples, but Joe and Jane will not be the least bit bewildered by a shot of whiskey or a tube of toothpaste.

For me, I try to cover all bases, and try not to think about it too much.

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