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Argentines Turn to Barter to Obtain Food After the Socialist Destruction of Currency

Argentinos, El American

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Argentines are once again resorting to bartering in the face of the nation’s economic crisis and are organizing to exchange clothes, toys, or household appliances for the food they need to survive: a baby’s pants for two bottles of milk, a jacket for diapers, two children’s sports pants for three packets of sugar, a bottle of milk for detergent, and pasta for T-shirts.

The exchange of goods and services without money was a survival strategy in the face of the economic crisis at the beginning of the century in Argentina, when, in addition to the lack of resources and work, the amount of money in circulation had fallen.

This practice is reissued during the socialist government of Alberto Fernández in the face of year-on-year inflation of 51.8% last July, the fall of employment, and poverty that had already climbed to 42% in the second semester of 2020, in an economy that last year suffered the second-deepest fall since 2001 — 9.9 % — accumulating three years in recession.

Argentines also resort to bartering to avoid paying the high taxes and regulations that Kirchnerism has established in the nation since according to a report by the Argentine Institute of Fiscal Analysis, citizens must pay almost one out of every 4 pesos of salary to the Treasury.

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Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez (r) and Argentina’s Vice President Cristina Fernandez (EFE)

Families part with their belongings or donations to barter, mainly for food or cleaning and personal hygiene products.

In the exchanges, they also try to obtain cash for higher-value garments in order to pay for services or transportation.

In Buenos Aires, community fairs of four or five blocks are organized. At the end of the day, to help those who have not sold anything, goods are exchanged or raffled for cash or merchandise.