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Living In The U.X.A.
October 30, 2013 4:14 PM   Subscribe

"At the height of the Great Depression, a group of unemployed Oakland workers decided to take matters into their own hands. The system wasn’t working, so they set up their own system. Money was nearly worthless, so they decided to live by barter. They called themselves the Unemployed Exchange Association and they soon went on to write a remarkable chapter in American economic history. This is their story."
posted by twirlip (14 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
What a fascinating story!

Combine that kind of organization with this and you've really got something.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:27 PM on October 30, 2013


Whew, for a minute there I thought this was going to be some sort of fiction about User eXperience Designers starting their own country.
posted by symbioid at 4:31 PM on October 30, 2013


Really interesting. Thanks!
posted by brundlefly at 4:38 PM on October 30, 2013


Some people made their own cash: emergency money.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:05 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Meetings were raided by the Red Squad."

You can see that one coming a mile away.

What's strange is how stupid that kind of opposition seemed. Currently we have anti-food sharing laws in some cities (Orlando, offhand) and you think how naive and stupid they may have been then, and yet, here we are again.

(Is it me or does the Oser & author shot look like Mr. Natural and Shuman?)
posted by Smedleyman at 6:49 PM on October 30, 2013


Anti-food sharing laws?
posted by Kevin Street at 7:25 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Free, grassroots enterprise is dangerous subversion if you aren't using our failed banks to do it. God bless America!
posted by TrialByMedia at 7:30 PM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


How interesting about the WPA as being a blow to the re-nascent barter economy. Makes sense: you can't tax a barter economy if those taxed can't pay you taxes owed in money you print.
posted by resurrexit at 7:45 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Google anti-food sharing laws. Just the summaries will tell you all you need to know.
posted by Windopaene at 7:53 PM on October 30, 2013


*googles*

Anti-food sharing, no camping, no sitting on sidewalks during business hours... Wow, there's a lot of laws that screw over the homeless.
posted by Kevin Street at 8:58 PM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Kevin Street, yeah, the Food Not Bombs and other food sharing groups have been working on legal challenges to those anti-sharing ordinances. A ton of nasty laws have been promulgated in the name of public health.
posted by spamandkimchi at 9:37 PM on October 30, 2013


As noted in another post on The Blue - more on the UXA and EPIC.

More on Upton Sinclair and EPIC movement.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:42 AM on October 31, 2013


you can't tax a barter economy

Sure "you" can.

The time banks across the USA like to point to 1 IRS letter as "proof" of such. Yet IRS letters are just for 1 taxpayer. Not for you as the taxpayer the IRS is looking at and wanting to tax your position in the barter economy.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:44 AM on October 31, 2013


As noted in another post on The Blue - more on the UXA and EPIC.

corrected link (there was a wee, nonresolving typo before)
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 7:58 AM on October 31, 2013


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