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June 2,  2009

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...06/02/2009

25% Early Sign-Up Discount For IRTA Convention

The International Reciprocal Trade Association’s Annual Convention is scheduled for October 1 thru October 3 at the four-star Magnolia Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

To sign-up now go to http://www.IRTA.com.

Hotel Occupancy In The Bahamas Falls To 48.9%

A tourist drought is creating havoc for hoteliers in the Bahamas. The most recent casualty is the Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma, as the 500-acre resort has closed down. Opened in 2003 at a cost of $350 million, they have been unable to move the property.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the receiver (PricewaterhouseCoopers) expects the property to sell for less than $100 million. The hotel’s occupancy had slipped into the 50% range, as reported by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.

Millionaire Population Dropping

The wealth of American families has dropped nearly 18% from last year. The Spectrem Group statistics showed that the number of U.S. millionaires fell 27% last year, the biggest drop since the wealth-research firm started collecting data about a decade ago.

The number of U.S. households with a net worth of at least a million (not including primary residences) sank to 6.7 million from 9.2 million in 2007. The population of millionaires is now at 2003-2004 levels, meaning the economic crisis has all but erased the millionaire boom of the past five years.

New Book: The Art of Abundance

John O’Keefe, the founder/owner of The Center For Peak Performance has published his second book, The Art Of Abundance.

For more information see http://www.nostressforyou.com.

All back issues of “From the Desk...” can be accessed by clicking here.

(Please feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends and colleagues. We have a “box” at the end of the newsletter for your convenience. See you next week. . .)


Reply To NATE’s Recent Announcement In The Tuesday Report

Good Morning Bob,

While I am not surprised that you would publish the info you received from “them” as to who ”they” supported, I am shocked that you would publish the numbers on voting out the leaders of the Barter Industry, or even mention it. What purpose did it serve? As a journalist I would have expected more from you! How about a list of who voted them out, so we can see who these industry “giants” are?

A little reminder to you and the rest of the industry...Jerry Howell has served two terms as NATE President. He was editor of the NATE Update for many years. Jerry almost single handily raised over $80,000 to award a NATE Scholarship after 9/11. He has attended almost every NATE meeting since he became a NATE member. He has given numerous seminars and set up many of the NATE social events.

Fran Crumpton was a Founder of NATE along with her husband Bob. Fran also served two terms as NATE President. She created and has personally taken care of the NATE CTB (certified trade broker) and MTB (master trade broker) program since it’s beginning. Fran has been a presenter or panelist at over 100 NATE sessions. She was head of the English department for the entire Pensacola School System. All she has ever done for this industry, this association and her community is to give.

Patti Falus was the Canadian Business Women of the Year in 2008, serves on the Board of several of the largest charities in Canada. Has hosted NATE conventions and participated in many seminars, sharing the secrets of her success. Patti rose from being a broker to becoming the owner of one of the largest trade exchanges in the industry. A true leader. 

I could go on an on about what Patti, Fran and Jerry have done for NATE and the Barter Industry. The most important thing for people to know is that they have given of themselves, their time, their money and have never asked for anything in return. These people have NEVER done anything wrong and the industry should be ashamed of what it has let happen.

I would put the accomplishments of Fran, Patti or Jerry up against everything the “so-called” new board has ever done! Four of them have not even been to a NATE meeting in the last four years. They are really involved! All I can say is the people that supported them...deserve them!

Tom McDowell
(Former director of the National Association of Trade Exchanges)

Editor’s Note: The following trade exchanges were the 30 that voted in the most recent election for NATE (National Association of Trade Exchanges) members —

Affiliated Business Commonwealth
Alamo Barter
American Commerce Exchange
American Exchange Network
American Trade Exchange
Atlantic Barter
Barter Business Exchange
Barter Company
Barter Group
Barter Network Ltd.
Business Trade Exchange
Crescent City Trade
Exchange Enterprises
Executive One Alaska
Florida Barter
Genesis Trade Exchange
Gulf Coast Trade Exchange
International Monetary Systems (IMS)
ITEX
Midwest Business Exchange
New England Trade
North Louisiana Trade Exchange
Southern Barter Exchange
TradeAmericanCard
Tradefirst
Trade Network, Inc.
Tradesource, Inc.
Velocity Trade Exchange
VIP Barter
We Trade Network
 


Rachel Taylor Hooper’s Perspective On NATE Vote

Hi Bob,

Hope you are doing well — and hope to be seeing you at the upcoming IRTA & or NATE meeting. I was forwarded a copy of Tom McDowell’s e-mail to you concerning the NATE voting results for the new board. I’m sure you know that this has been a very long and arduous process to get NATE back on track — and of course there is a very long and arduous story that goes along with it — as there always is.

Our desire is to go forward in the most positive way possible, as well as acknowledge the many years of service to the industry that MANY people have given freely.

Thanks,

Rachel Taylor Hooper (President)
Alamo Barter


Attention Trade Exchange Owners. . .It’s GROW OR GO!

The magic bullet for growth is sales, always has been and always will be...yet the industry’s overall growth is anemic. Why? Maybe it’s because we’re not providing on-going education about our unique way of doing business. Knowledge is always a pre-requisite to taking sustained action.

And for those newcomers, the lifeblood of an exchange, awareness of and understanding about the value of trading is even more important.

If you expect prospects to come aboard and your members to be more active traders, but you are perplexed when the results are less than you desire...there’s a good reason. You must continually educate and motivate every month--month after month after month!

Such action is necessary because, let’s face it, more cash business, not trade, is of paramount importance to your members. You must break through this “cash only” focus and redirect their thinking toward barter. Although most exchanges don’t see the importance of doing so, many industry leaders are taking action and so can you.

As the owner of your own operation, there is an easy and inexpensive solution for moving forward...look into using The Competitive Edge newsletter. It’s a camera-ready, 4-page, professionally written, informational marketing tool...available in PDF format as well as print. So regardless of how you reach your prospects and clients, you will have the necessary vehicle.

Written especially for you, the busy trade exchange owner, I am certain it will be the best investment you ever make.

For more information about The Competitive Edge, and how it can benefit you click here.


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·         International visitors look for BARTER CONTACTS in our Global Barter Section. If YOUR exchange isn’t listed see the forms on the lower left of the page. (Click here.)

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Back To California & Arizona

By Thomas H. Greco

For more than 27 years Tom Greco has been working at the leading edge of economic and financial restructuring. He’s traveled throughout the world lecturing and working with various communities (to set up community currencies).

Greco addressed the 2006 International Reciprocal Trade Association’s (IRTA) Annual Convention, pointing out the unique opportunity the barter industry has to be a major savior of the coming currency crisis—if there was a united worldwide common currency developed.

Tom Greco’s recently published book is “The End of Money and the Future of Civilization” from Chelsea Green Publishers.

Blog dated Saturday, May 30, 2009

It seems like ages since I sent out my last missive. Checking my files, I see that it was on April 21, the day I flew from New Zealand to Australia. It’s taken a while for me to get up the motivation to complete this next installment that I started writing weeks ago. As usual, there’s been a lot going on, and I must confess to a bit of travel weariness. Despite a six week long sinus infection that lingered through the end of my tour, a lot was accomplished, but it left me more depleted than I first realized. I think I need to stay put for a while.

I’ll start with a few highlights. Yes, I’m back in the USA, having flown from Adelaide to Melbourne to Auckland to San Francisco all in the same elongated day (April 27). I was warmly welcomed by the Lub family who took me into their home where I was able to rest up. After a couple weeks in California I drove my Dodge Caravan to Tucson where I intend to base myself for the next few months. I’ll fill in a few details below—but first a word from our sponsor (that would be me).

After more than a year of intensive labor I finally got to hold my new book (The End of Money and the Future of Civilization) in my hands. It arrived in the mail at my California address just a few days after my return. What a thrill it was to look at it, to feel the weight of it in my hands, and to riffle its pages. Even the cover is pleasing to the eye. The more I look at it the better I like it; its imagery portrays the proper hopeful message of the book.

My choice of title for this book is intentionally provocative, but not at all based on wishful thinking. It expresses what is actually happening NOW. The recent emergence of commercial “barter” exchanges, mutual credit clearing associations, private voucher systems and community currencies, represent the early stages of a process of power devolution that will inevitably lead to the end of POLITICAL money.

But the end of money refers NOT ONLY to the end of political money, but also to the evolutionary process by which the essential nature of money has changed over the past two or three centuries — from commodity money, to symbolic (redeemable paper) money, to credit money. Of course, the reciprocal exchange process that money is intended to facilitate will continue, but in a different way from before, a way that does not require the use of conventional money or banks.

The ultimate stage in the evolution of money and the exchange process that is now emerging is the direct credit clearing amongst buyers and sellers, i.e., the offset of their purchases against their sales. The widespread application of this process does indeed mean, in a very real sense, the end of money.

The more than a dozen pre-publication reviews of the book have been uniformly positive and we’ve gotten important endorsements from a number of people who are both knowledgeable and well-known.

The important thing now is to get large numbers of people to read the book. I truly believe that it provides information that is essential for people to have as we negotiate what futurist Robert Theobald called, “the rapids of change.” You can help by placing orders through conventional channels, especially your local independent bookstore. If they get enough orders, they will stock it and hopefully display it. It is also important for readers to rate the book and post their reviews on Amazon.com.

Australia

My Australia visit during April was tacked on to the end of my New Zealand tour. While only a brief six days, it was both interesting and productive. I was able to renew and deepen relationships with long-time correspondents, John Zube and Shann Turnbull, to initiate some new working relationships, and to present my ideas to an attentive audience in Adelaide, the latter resulting in several new members for the host organization, Economic Reform Australia (ERA).

To all of my Kiwi and Aussie friends, both old and new, I want you to know that it was a great pleasure for me to spend time and to share ideas with you. I appreciate having had the opportunity to enjoy your warm hospitality and experience the beauty and culture of your great countries. I hope that my visits may have helped in moving your projects forward.

Reentry

Living abroad for significant amounts of time, one gets and a chance to see a broader range of lifestyles, and a different perspective on the world. Returning to the United States can be a bit of a shock. The most striking thing about Asian cities, for example, is their liveliness. The people are hard-working and enterprising, and the streets are filled with hawkers and vendors of all sorts.

Besides the food vendors who cook up amazingly delicious food right out on the street from propane-fueled carts, there are various kinds of craftspeople, too. It is common to see cobblers and sewers working right out on the sidewalk, fixing shoes or sewing up bags for passers-by. American cities by comparison are orderly and quiet, segmented into districts by function — commercial, residential and industrial, that may be active only at particular times of day or night.

In Asia, except for heavy industry, all of these happen together in the same spaces or in close proximity. I’m not saying that one way is necessarily better than the other. Both have their advantages, as well as disadvantages.

Tucson is a medium-sized city that has many cultural advantages. It is home to a major university and a sizable population of well educated citizens, many of whom have relocated or retired from colder climes. A few nights ago I went to the Museum of Art to attended a screening of the documentary film, Manufactured Landscapes. The film is a stunning portrayal of places and scenes that have been impacted by human activity.

Filmed in China, it show factories, mines, quarries, scrap yards, buildings and dams. There is a certain beauty in the images as abstractions of color and form, but that’s only because the medium separates us from the full experience of what we see — the odors, the tastes, the tactile sensations, the discomforts, and the long-term personal impact on health and sanity.

One of the most astounding things about it is the massive scale of the things that are shown. The Three Gorges Dam, for example, which is shown in various stages of completion, is half again as large as any other dam in the world. Over a million people had to be relocated to make way for the resulting reservoir. Entire cities were not only evacuated but demolished, mostly by hand, by the residents themselves, who were hired to take down the buildings to prevent their becoming navigation hazards.

The film opens with a slow pan across a factory floor that extends for two thirds of a mile, filled with row upon row of work benches and machines staffed by thousands of ant-like workers engaged in mostly repetitive tasks.

But this film is no polemic; it merely shows what is. Much of it is junk. Where does your discarded computer or electronic gadget end up. Chances are 50/50 that it ends up in China along with similar items imported from all over the industrialized world to be disassembled, smashed, cut up, and sorted bit-by-bit by legions of workers who earn pennies-per-day to do it.

One of the most moving scenes showed teenage kids inside the hulks of decommissioned oil tankers, scooping out tar and sludge so that the steel could be cut up and salvaged. These are things that we don’t normally see that reveal the hidden costs of out own lifestyles. Something to think about...

For more information on Greco visit http://www.reinventingmoney.com.


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Check it out... www.barternews.com/secondary_capital.htm.


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