Sliding Scale and Barter
Would You Like to Help Build a Stronger, More Self-Reliant and Fair Local Living Economy Together?
Wendell Berry defines economy as “the making of the human household upon the earth; the arts of adapting kindly the many, many human households to the earth’s many eco-systems and human neighborhoods.”
As such, The Calyx Institute is dedicated to increasing access to services and classes typically reserved for those with considerable disposable income.
Recognizing that income has not so much to do with personal willpower as it does baked-in systemic inequalities interferes with the myth of the American Dream. This is why such things are not often discussed in a calm or realistic manner.
The fact remains, however, that income inequality in the US is literally worse than it was when the Roman Empire fell.
So, while we deserve to get paid for the skills we bring, you deserve services that recognize the multiple realities of economic access and privilege. We can work together on this.
Two tools (beyond Medicaid acceptance) accepted at The Calyx Institute increase affordability and build community: sliding scale and barter.
Sliding scale is a tool that allows for a single item/service to be obtained at multiple price points based on the purchaser’s circumstances. The Calyx Institute uses three such rates for each service offered: full, middle and base.
The full rate for sessions reflects the actual cost, while the middle and base rates reflects our willingness to sacrifice a portion of our own income in order to honor clients’ varied and complex socioeconomic realities, which we most certainly share.
We don’t ask for income verification because that’s annoying for all of us. Instead we trust you to be honest. Being honest about your financial situation when engaging with sliding scale practices feels good.
Please do be mindful that if you purchase sessions at the lower ends of the scale when you can truthfully afford the full rate, you are limiting access to those who genuinely need financial flexibility. Community flourishes when accountability is high, because that is where trust grows and true depth work can occur.
And developing deeper living skills is, you know, kind of the point of engaging our services….:)
Bartering builds community and trust. Done responsibly, everyone comes out ahead.
Cooperative strategies like bartering are hardly new. It’s what all peoples did before the invention of symbolic currency, of course. Such strategies have been used throughout the modern era as well, amongst European immigrants and during the Depression, for instance.
Tribal, African-American and other populations have a long history of developing creative cooperative strategies, such as sociedades mutualistas, and many continue to do so today. Meanwhile, recently bartering boards and banks in major cities have been thriving alongside neighbors and friends who set up more informal bartering markets and skill shares.
Here are some suggestions for services and/or products to consider offering in exchange for your Calyx Institute sessions: Building materials (especially plywood and other types of lumber); marketing assistance; auto repair; herbal supplies; homegrown or homemade goods; printing services; old rvs; arts and crafts; body work such as massage (especially craniosacral); straw bales; gardening supplies; graphic design; holistic or biological dental; old sheds/outbuildings; homesteading supplies; office or shop space; etc.
Please email first to propose an exchange. If mutually beneficial, we will then sign an agreement that looks something like this:
In the event that we’re not able to work something out, consider proposing a three-way trade. Example: Laura walks Jorge’s dogs; Jorge repairs Carol’s roof; and Carol mows Laura’s lawn.
Trust can be a wild thing. We have a deep trust that the people called to work on reworlding — reclaiming lost parts of ourselves and our world — through The Calyx Pearl Center will honor efforts in holding spaces for healing, growth and community. In turn, I honor the trust you place in me to hold this space.
See you soon!
- Welcome to Commonomics: How to Build Local Economies Strong Enough for Everyone
- Nuevomexicano Cultural Legacy: Forms, Agencies, and Discourse, edited by F.A. Lomelí, V.A. Sorell, G.M. Padilla
- Collective Courage, a History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice by Jessica Gordon Nembhard
- The Barter Economy: Coming Soon to a Backyard Near You
- Craigslist, SouthWest Barter Club, USA Barter Mall, etc.
- Working Definitions of Class
- Economista: The Poor Man’s Savings Club
- DIY Finance
- Where We Stand: Class Matters by bell hooks
- Class Matters: Cross-Class Alliance Building for Middle-Class Activists by Betsy Leondar-Wright