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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Barter and Trade Exchanges by Tom Chmielewski, Jerry Howell

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Part 1
Barter—an Alternative Currency
Cash has value only because we believe it has value. After all, a $1 bill has no inherent worth beyond the paper it’s printed on. But it represents the value of the goods it can buy.
People and businesses don’t always have cash on hand, but they do have services they can provide, or goods in stock. People can use those goods and services to back their own form of currency in a barter economy, and they’ve been doing it for thousands of years. In this part, you’ll learn how primitive barter developed into complex economies and how barter continues today in many forms.
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