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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

A good trade

I grew up in a rural area where it wasn't that uncommon to barter, even for medical services: I can't afford to pay for that tooth extraction, but, say, do you need some chickens or a little firewood cut? Now, apparently, the deepening recession has gotten even city folks in the bartering mood.

At Craigslist, the popular one-stop swap site, posts to the bartering category have more than doubled this year. A quick check of Craigslist sites from Los Angeles to Boston to Omaha, Neb., revealed dozens of people seeking to trade skills or products for medical care.

Lisa Hermanek-Roth, 43, of Omaha, is a bartering veteran who recently advertised on her local Craigslist site for someone who would provide orthodontic work in exchange for construction drywall services.

Sounds like a good idea to me, but I'm not sure what skills I could barter with. I'd offer to teach doctors how to write prescriptions that can actually be read, but they probably like producing illegible scrawls. I know, maybe I can offer to teach their kids the proper way to argue so they can find successful careers. "No, Billy, what we say is that Johnny has relied on ad hominem fallacies instead of marshaling the facts in support of his logic. We do not say Johnny is a silly old poopy-head."

The way it's going in the blogosphere, though, Billy is probably right.