Black Market Money

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Around the USA, thieves are stealing bottles of liquid Tide.

I did a Google search for these three words: liquid Tide theft. I got a lot of hits.

The thieves could steal anything. Why are they stealing Tide? Because Tide functions as a black market currency.

To function as currency, a commodity needs the following:

1. Wide demand

2. Recognizable

3. Transportable

4. Durable

5. Divisible

6. High value in relation to volume and weight

Tide qualifies on all six.It is weakest in #6. But it has a high enough value to be worth stealing.

People will develop alternative currencies when the economy gets tight. These currencies are not taxable. Profits are not taxable.

If people are looking for an item to store for preserving long-term value, Tide would be a good candidate. Gold is better, but Tide is good.

If someone thinks the economy is close to collapse – I don’t – liquid Tide would be a prime candidate for barter.

Even if you allergic to detergent – I am (the only thing I am allergic to) – Tide would be something you could swap for soap. It is easier to make soap than detergent.

This guy has the right attitude:

Whether this is all just a bizarre shoplifting trend that will soon pass or one of the weird ways in which the down economy is rearing its ugly head (most likely a combination of the two), I’m not going to worry until there’s a shady character on every other street corner pushing bars of Fels-Naptha. Psst. Hey buddy, I got something here for you – excellent price … even better stain pre-treating abilities. Soothes bug bites and poison ivy rashes, too. I’ll give you a good deal. Then, I’d know that something is really wrong.

For more on Tide as black market money, click the link.

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Gary North [send him mail] is the author of Mises on Money. Visit http://www.garynorth.com. He is also the author of a free 20-volume series, An Economic Commentary on the Bible.

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