Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The New Street Currency

I hear advertisements every day heralding the use of gold as an investment. Other advertisements tell us about investing in precious metals, oil and real estate. The Street, not Wall Street, finds ways to level the playing field in ways that amaze me every day.

Americans living along the highways and byways in normal neighborhoods find ways to move the economy along that no legislation or political manipulation could. If we are short on good old United States currency we invent our own.

Police and retailers are pushing back against a report claiming that theft of Tide laundry detergent is on the rise nationwide and that some cities are devising special task forces to crack down on the alleged phenomenon. You heard me right, Tide is being stolen in record amounts.

Lt. Matt Swenke of the West St. Paul Police Department in Minnesota described laundry detergent as a "needed commodity" – much like baby formula and toilet paper – that he said is often a target for shoplifters looking to profit by reselling the items to privately-owned retail stores.

Apparently people are stealing to resell the items to other less professional retail establishments.

Law enforcement officials acknowledge that name-brand goods, like Tide, are easily converted to cash on the black market. A $20 shoplifted bottle of Tide, for instance, could be sold illegally for $10 – more than the sale of a lesser-known, generic brand.

"Tide is highly recognizable," former FBI Special Agent Brad Garrett told ABC's "Good Morning America". "It's very difficult to trace and it's easily resold".

In some areas Tide bottles now have security devices attached even though many retailers say that they are not experiencing an increase in Tide theft.

The world seems to find ways for us to 'adjust' the system so it tilts in our favor. Think about those post apocalyptic movies that Hollywood distributes; the economies portrayed in those movies are not currency based but rather commodity based.

I believe that hard times prepare us for harder times. Learning the fine art of 'bartering' may be the salvation for many of us once everything falls down around us. Knowing the value of one commodity against another may be a way to produce the 'Americam Dream' in a post apocalyptic age.

So much to learn with no idea how much time we have to learn it.


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