With all the talk these days about illegal immigration in Arizona, I missed last week’s “chicken for checkups” bartering suggestion made by Nevada Republican Senatorial Candidate Sue Lowden. She’s running in Nevada to unseat Democrat and Senate Leader Harry Reid.
Up until her ‘chicken crossing the road’ detour, the former state senator, t.v. personality and casino executive, had been polling well. Many think Harry’s in trouble. Too bad her suggestion harkening back to yesteryear’s practices of patients bartering for medical care with chickens has received so much scorn. So long as both sides of the transaction agree, I don’t see much wrong, for instance, with paying for medical exams, say a pullet for a prostate or a capon for a cold.
After all, Irreverent Lawyer readers know that bartering remains alive and well among lawyers. Last December I blogged that Bartering for bad food is o.k. but not for sex and about More on the pitfalls of legal services and bartering.
And as recently as this month, bartering lawyers were readily findable online, including the following classifieds from two New York Lawyers. One offers to barter an experienced lawyer’s litigation services for a reliable van and another from a lawyer who will barter services for ?, makes an open-ended pitch for like-in-value exchanges.
Pundits poke fun at Lowden.
The pundits online, on t.v., and in print had plenty of fun at her expense. There’s even a website with a built-in converter for barter equivalencies on The Lowden Plan to determine the number of chickens needed for various types of healthcare.
To her credit, she hasn’t backed down. The Las Vegas Sun reported last week that Sue Lowden stands by her health care bartering plan. She explained herself this way, “You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor, they would say I’ll paint your house,” she said. “I mean, that’s the old days of what people would do to get health care with your doctors. Doctors are very sympathetic people. I’m not backing down from that system.”
Barter, barter and more barter.
Outside of legal and medical circles, bartering is flourishing. There are plenty of bartering opportunities on the Internet. In fact, after I blogged about it in December, I received the usual run of annoying spam-indexing comments (that fool no one) from barterers trying to build traffic to their sites.
Barter has been around a long time. 18th century British statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke said “. . .indeed, every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act – is founded on compromise and barter.”