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# Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or

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Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 22 Sep 2019, 01:24
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 162, Date : 22-APR-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details

Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or with small, infrequent, and informal exchanges made within economies that use traditional currency. But bartering has also played a role when once robust economies have faltered. During the Great Depression, for example, farmers directly traded crops and other services with one another, since what little money the farmers had was of negligible value. And after the fall of communism, inflation was so high that individuals and businesses in the former Soviet Union found it safer to trade goods and services directly. (Traditional currency was still used, but the street value of the currency stretched to fit the need of the purchased item: rubles used to buy staples such as food were considered to be of greater value than rubles used to buy luxury items such as fur coats.)

We are now seeing a growing movement of individuals and businesses that prefer to use bartering in a wide variety of transactions, including multi-million-dollar purchases. In New Zealand, a house and surrounding property, valued at 5.1 million United States dollars, was recently sold for 1.7 Barterdollars (BDs), a form of credit used by about 9,000 individuals and 50 businesses in four countries. Though the deal did not involve legal tender, it was not illegal, and a contract secured the sale through business property owned by the buyer. In this case, the seller will use most of the BDs to obtain plumbing and electrical work — for both office space and his new home — from the buyer, who owns a business that provides these services. The seller is under no obligation to use the BDs this way, however, and can spend them elsewhere or simply save them as credits for later use. There is, however, little incentive to save, because, as with most barter systems, the currency does not generate interest. This also applies to loans: several bartering organizations have set up facilities that lend currency in exchange for an agreement that stipulates that the borrower will "pay" it back with products and services over a set period of time, interest-free, though a transaction fee is charged.

Community-based non-profit bartering is generally not subject to taxation, but virtually all governments consider bartering by businesses identical to cash transactions, and taxes need to be paid accordingly. However, the nature of these transactions has made them harder for governments to track, especially as bartering on the Internet has become more popular. Determining the value of the terms of a barter can also be problematic. If A designs a website for B in exchange for barter credits, A should pay taxes on the value of the credits received, while B can consider the credits as a business expense. For tax purposes, A has an incentive to underestimate the value of the transaction and B has an incentive to overestimate. To minimize this sort of problem, some governments have set a standard, so that 1 credit in a non-governmental but nationally recognized barter system corresponds to a certain valuation of the official currency.

1. According to the author, which of the following is a problem for governments?

(A) Non-profit organizations that serve communities are not subject to taxation on barter transactions.
(B) Governments of different countries do not always agree on which bartering systems to recognize.
(C) A separate set of tax laws apply to financial transactions made on the Internet.
(D) Bartering is inherently different from conventional financial transactions.
(E) An individual who sells a service in exchange for bartering credits is likely to judge the worth of the service to be greater than would an individual who sells the same service in exchange for traditional currency.

Spoiler: :: OE

The parenthetical note in the first paragraph makes clear that traditional currency (the ruble) was used at the same time that people were bartering.

The currency "stretched" to fit the item being sold, making the currency unusually flexible.

Therefore, A is the correct answer.

B is incorrect because the problem of determining the value of goods is discussed in the third paragraph, long after any mention of the former Soviet Union.

While farmers were mentioned in the first paragraph, they are discussed in relation to the Depression, not the former Soviet Union, making C wrong.

D is incorrect because while the first paragraph does mention the use of traditional currency for the purchase of staple goods and luxury items, it never says that people bartered for these things.

The passage never states that bartering was taxed in the former Soviet Union, which is only mentioned in the first paragraph; thus E is also wrong.

2. According to the author of the passage, bartering in the former Soviet Union was

(A) used along with an unusually flexible currency
(B) problematic because of the difficulty of determining the value of goods
(C) mainly used by farmers who directly traded with each other
(D) used for the purchase of both staple goods and luxury items
(E) subject to taxation to the same degree as were traditional transactions

Spoiler: :: OE

The second paragraph states: "The seller is under no obligation to use the BDs this way, however, and can spend them elsewhere or simply save them as credits for later use." Thus C is the correct response.

Answer A is incorrect because according to the second paragraph, "There is, however, little incentive to save, because, as with most barter systems, the currency does not generate interest."

Choice B is wrong because the opening sentence of the second paragraph states that "virtually all governments consider bartering by businesses identical to cash transactions, and taxes need to be paid accordingly." There is no indication that barter credits - BDs in this case - are not taxed until they are used.

For answer D, nowhere in the passage does it state that BDs can be exchanged or redeemed for traditional currency in some countries.

And E is contrary to the correct answer, which is supported by the statement in the second paragraph, which makes it clear that BDs can be spent "elsewhere," and not necessarily with the individual or business from whom the BDs were received.

3. According to the author, a seller who receives Barterdollars (BDs)

(A) can receive interest on the amount received through exchange facilities that accept BDs
(B) does not owe taxes on the credits received until they are used for a purchase of goods or services
(C) can apply the credits received to an unrelated transaction
(D) can, in some countries, redeem the BDs for traditional currency
(E) is obligated to redeem the Barterdollars through the purchase of goods or services offered by the buyer from whom the BDs were received

Spoiler: :: OE

The first paragraph of the passage discusses traditional bartering, and this is contrasted with the remainder of the passage, which discusses modern-day bartering. The ramifications of modern bartering, especially interest and taxation issues, are described in the second and third paragraphs. Thus B is the correct response.

Answer A is incorrect because the author does not criticize governments for how they tax bartering.

Because the author does not try to prove to the reader that bartering is just as legitimate as other types of transactions, answer C is wrong.

D is incorrect for the author never categorizes any of the issues discussed as being either "for" or "against" the use of bartering.

While the author might feel that bartering will never become as popular as other transactions, or that bartering might become as popular without first needing to resolve the tax issues, we cannot say for sure from this passage alone, making E also incorrect.

4. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) take issue with the way in which most governments today handle the problems involved with taxing barter transactions
(B) discuss recent, non-traditional ways in which bartering is used, and to present some of the ramifications of this use
(D) provide some of the reasons for and against the widespread use of bartering
(E) show that bartering will not become as popular as other types of financial transactions until the tax issues associated with bartering are resolved

Originally posted by globaldesi on 02 Oct 2018, 20:30.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 22 Sep 2019, 01:24, edited 1 time in total.
Updated - Complete topic (604).
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Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2018, 16:51
4
csaluja wrote:
could someone please explain q1? I am not sure why the OA is D instead of E

Hi as per the passage If A designs a website for B in exchange for barter credits, A should pay taxes on the value of the credits received, while B can consider the credits as a business expense. For tax purposes, A has an incentive to underestimate the value of the transaction and B has an incentive to overestimate.

the person who is selling would be underestimating the price and the person who is buying will overestimate the price very much like we do in our income tax, and the option D says just opposite.
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Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2018, 19:49
2
could someone please explain q1? I am not sure why the OA is D instead of E
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Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2019, 06:35
2
All correct in 8 mins 20 seconds, including 4 mins 30 seconds to read

Para 1- what most people think of bartering, bartering has played a role even when robust economies have faltered
Para 2- Barterdollars- how it works?
Para 3- taxation issues

1. According to the author, which of the following is a problem for governments?
(D) Bartering is inherently different from conventional financial transactions.

However, the nature of these transactions has made them harder for governments to track, especially as bartering on the Internet has become more popular. Determining the value of the terms of a barter can also be problematic

2. According to the author of the passage, bartering in the former Soviet Union was
(A) used along with an unusually flexible currency
And after the fall of communism, inflation was so high that individuals and businesses in the former Soviet Union found it safer to trade goods and services directly. (Traditional currency was still used, but the street value of the currency stretched to fit the need of the purchased item: rubles used to buy staples such as food were considered to be of greater value than rubles used to buy luxury items such as fur coats.)

3. According to the author, a seller who receives Barterdollars (BDs)
(C) can apply the credits received to an unrelated transaction

The seller is under no obligation to use the BDs this way, however, and can spend them elsewhere or simply save them as credits for later use.

4. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(B) discuss recent, non-traditional ways in which bartering is used, and to present some of the ramifications of this use
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Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2018, 21:23
Hi,

What is the source of this RC passage??
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Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2018, 21:35
warrior1991 wrote:
Hi,

What is the source of this RC passage??

Source is mentioned as Veritas Prep
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Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2018, 21:43
Please post more questions if any.
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Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2018, 21:47
warrior1991 wrote:
Please post more questions if any.

Havent got any moe yet. Will surely do once i get more questions for same paragrapgh
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Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2018, 21:55
globaldesi wrote:
warrior1991 wrote:
Please post more questions if any.

Havent got any moe yet. Will surely do once i get more questions for same paragrapgh

Ok.
Thank you !!
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Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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09 Nov 2018, 18:27

Passage Map:

1) Use of Bartering. Examples from past
2) Present bartering example
3) Tax on Bartering
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Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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14 Nov 2018, 09:07
Hello

Can someone please explain Question 2
Quote:
2. According to the author of the passage, bartering in the former Soviet Union was

(A) used along with an unusually flexible currency
(B) problematic because of the difficulty of determining the value of goods
(C) mainly used by farmers who directly traded with each other
(D) used for the purchase of both staple goods and luxury items
(E) subject to taxation to the same degree as were traditional transactions

I was able to narrow this down to A and D

Isn't
Quote:
unusually flexible
kind of unconvincing , though i agree that this has been mentioned in the paragraph
Quote:
Traditional currency was still used, but the street value of the currency stretched to fit the need of the purchased item:
. It is nowhere mentioned whether the currency was Unusually flexible or not

If someone could explain this, I will be thankful
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Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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17 Nov 2018, 01:13
Ujjwalkathpalia wrote:
Hello

Can someone please explain Question 2
Quote:
2. According to the author of the passage, bartering in the former Soviet Union was

(A) used along with an unusually flexible currency
(B) problematic because of the difficulty of determining the value of goods
(C) mainly used by farmers who directly traded with each other
(D) used for the purchase of both staple goods and luxury items
(E) subject to taxation to the same degree as were traditional transactions

I was able to narrow this down to A and D

Isn't
Quote:
unusually flexible
kind of unconvincing , though i agree that this has been mentioned in the paragraph
Quote:
Traditional currency was still used, but the street value of the currency stretched to fit the need of the purchased item:
. It is nowhere mentioned whether the currency was Unusually flexible or not

If someone could explain this, I will be thankful

It is actually mentioned in the brackets that the currency had a different value for the purchase of certain goods and could be stretched to purchase other goods. This allows you to surmize that the currency was, in fact, flexible.

Edit: Also, bartering was used in conjunction with the stretchable currency. So regardless of whether the term "flexible" is specifically used in the passage, you have enough information to pick A. D is just wrong because the currency was used for the purchase of both staples and luxury items, not bartering. You can eliminate other choices because they're too general and not specific to the situation in the SU.
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Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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14 May 2019, 08:26
Skywalker18 wrote:
All correct in 8 mins 20 seconds, including 4 mins 30 seconds to read

Para 1- what most people think of bartering, bartering has played a role even when robust economies have faltered
Para 2- Barterdollars- how it works?
Para 3- taxation issues

1. According to the author, which of the following is a problem for governments?
(D) Bartering is inherently different from conventional financial transactions.

However, the nature of these transactions has made them harder for governments to track, especially as bartering on the Internet has become more popular. Determining the value of the terms of a barter can also be problematic

2. According to the author of the passage, bartering in the former Soviet Union was
(A) used along with an unusually flexible currency
And after the fall of communism, inflation was so high that individuals and businesses in the former Soviet Union found it safer to trade goods and services directly. (Traditional currency was still used, but the street value of the currency stretched to fit the need of the purchased item: rubles used to buy staples such as food were considered to be of greater value than rubles used to buy luxury items such as fur coats.)

3. According to the author, a seller who receives Barterdollars (BDs)
(C) can apply the credits received to an unrelated transaction

The seller is under no obligation to use the BDs this way, however, and can spend them elsewhere or simply save them as credits for later use.

4. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(B) discuss recent, non-traditional ways in which bartering is used, and to present some of the ramifications of this use

Though I agree with the OA of the second question but can you explain how did you eliminated option D.
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Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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27 May 2019, 00:18
BarcaForLife wrote:
Skywalker18 wrote:
All correct in 8 mins 20 seconds, including 4 mins 30 seconds to read

Para 1- what most people think of bartering, bartering has played a role even when robust economies have faltered
Para 2- Barterdollars- how it works?
Para 3- taxation issues

1. According to the author, which of the following is a problem for governments?
(D) Bartering is inherently different from conventional financial transactions.

However, the nature of these transactions has made them harder for governments to track, especially as bartering on the Internet has become more popular. Determining the value of the terms of a barter can also be problematic

2. According to the author of the passage, bartering in the former Soviet Union was
(A) used along with an unusually flexible currency
And after the fall of communism, inflation was so high that individuals and businesses in the former Soviet Union found it safer to trade goods and services directly. (Traditional currency was still used, but the street value of the currency stretched to fit the need of the purchased item: rubles used to buy staples such as food were considered to be of greater value than rubles used to buy luxury items such as fur coats.)

3. According to the author, a seller who receives Barterdollars (BDs)
(C) can apply the credits received to an unrelated transaction

The seller is under no obligation to use the BDs this way, however, and can spend them elsewhere or simply save them as credits for later use.

4. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(B) discuss recent, non-traditional ways in which bartering is used, and to present some of the ramifications of this use

Though I agree with the OA of the second question but can you explain how did you eliminated option D.

Hi BarcaForLife,

"And after the fall of communism, inflation was so high that individuals and businesses in the former Soviet Union found it safer to trade goods and services directly. (Traditional currency was still used, but the street value of the currency stretched to fit the need of the purchased item: rubles used to buy staples such as food were considered to be of greater value than rubles used to buy luxury items such as fur coats.)"

The part within the brackets--> Traditional currency was used to purchase both staple and luxury goods. We are never told that people bartered to buy staple and luxury goods.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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15 Jun 2019, 02:31
Hi,

In question 4 why is option B the correct answer?If we want to look for the main point of the passage then we have to consider the entire passage.The first paragraph the passage talks about the traditional bartering methods. Then how can we say that the main idea op the passage is to talk about the non-traditional and recent bartering methods?In doing so won't we be neglecting the 1st paragraph.
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Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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29 Jun 2019, 00:22
Ambika02 wrote:
Hi,

In question 4 why is option B the correct answer?If we want to look for the main point of the passage then we have to consider the entire passage.The first paragraph the passage talks about the traditional bartering methods. Then how can we say that the main idea op the passage is to talk about the non-traditional and recent bartering methods?In doing so won't we be neglecting the 1st paragraph.

Hi,
I totally agree with you. I eliminated this option because of the same reason.
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Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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22 Oct 2019, 03:07
Hi Experts, could anyone please explain question 1
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Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2019, 23:52
while passage is easy and we can understand it easily, we are still in problem.

the difficulty is that we have to infer the needed information from one sentence or one word in the passage. if we can do this job, we fully understand the text. so, understand main idea and structure of the passage is just one job. the second job is inference.

in daily reading, we try to understand the main idea of the text and seldom we make inference. but on gmat, inference is one of two jobs and we need to practice inference.
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Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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20 Nov 2019, 17:31
About 7 minutes. All correct but 1

1. According to the author, which of the following is a problem for governments?

(A) Non-profit organizations that serve communities are not subject to taxation on barter transactions.
(B) Governments of different countries do not always agree on which bartering systems to recognize.
(C) A separate set of tax laws apply to financial transactions made on the Internet.
(D) Bartering is inherently different from conventional financial transactions.
(E) An individual who sells a service in exchange for bartering credits is likely to judge the worth of the service to be greater than would an individual who sells the same service in exchange for traditional currency.

I knew E is a trap answer. Because the author has portrayed the option E as a situation between buyer and seller rather than government. D is correct because for governments the problem is to deal with bartering in general (Just like Bitcoin; modern times you know)

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Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or  [#permalink]

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22 Nov 2019, 00:12
Around 7.5 mins - all correct seemed straightforward maybe because I have been lately rattled by LSAT RC passages.
Re: Most people associate bartering with poor or undeveloped societies, or   [#permalink] 22 Nov 2019, 00:12

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