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Forum Post: The Gift Exchange Economy

Posted 11 years ago on Sept. 1, 2012, 2:08 a.m. EST by nickbor (9)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Obviously the monetary system has its flaws, and there is no such thing as the perfect economy, but the gift exchange economy has seen a real resurgence in modern times and it may be the most ethical economy. For those of you whom do not know the internet is largely a gift exchange economy for it is the giving and receiving of ideas and information, and it has been proven to work. People celebrate Christmas by giving and receiving, and the Buddha started a gift exchange economy in his day in age. The original Buddhist monks used no money, they gave knowledge and wisdom in exchange for food. What if everyday was like Christmas? what if the only reason someone worked was to give to someone other than themselves? The act of giving or helping another because it is the right thing to do creates mutual happiness. I'm not saying that we should have everyday be a day in which we over spoil each other, just that everyday would be a day of gift exchange. The way I see it this is what heaven on Earth would look like. In this type of economy peer pressure would be the limiting factor in determining how much a person gives or receives, but there can be some dissatisfaction for those whom view giving to another as a burdensome obligation. What do you think? Am I right? Do the examples I gave prove it works?



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[-] 2 points by Area51 (31) from Alamo, NV 11 years ago

It's probably a much better system than Paul Ryan has planned for us.

[-] 2 points by nickbor (9) 11 years ago

I think it is better, I know many would argue that this is not a good medium for exchange for there would be no common thing or electronic idea to govern prices. The longer we have money or something like it, the longer we will deal with injustice. But would it be so horrible for everything and everyone to be considered priceless. Today we have this idea of Net Worth. Many think a person is only worth the amount of equity they "have". Life is sacred and it should be viewed as such, life is truly priceless.

[-] 2 points by ogoj11 (263) 11 years ago

Great idea. I'm going to start the system by presenting you with a gift of knowledge.

Growing up is good. True, everyday isn't Christmas and the news about Santa is not good. But in the long run, grasshopper, you will achieve wisdom.

You can send my gift to the Buddhist Monks Committed Racist Genocide in Sri Lanka and It's High Time We Stopped Thinking Buddhism Is Holy Society - care of the Tamil Tigers.

[-] 2 points by nickbor (9) 11 years ago

I never wrote Buddhism was holy, I was merely commenting on the fact that the Buddha started a gift exchange economy, so did Jesus. In a way they were economists of a sort, only they were not economists of money. I don't know how you personally feel about religion and it is true that not all religious people are good, and it is true that not all of them are bad. But that's besides the point. The way I see it the best economic system is the one that creates the most happiness.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (23790) 11 years ago

Forum poster jph posted this a while ago. It has many good links regarding gift economies. I think it's a great idea.