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Saturday, October 13, 2012


 Saturday, 8:15 AM.  42 degrees F, wind SW, calm.  The sky is overcast and the barometer predicts rain.  The decks and roads are wet this morning so we evidently got a bit of rain last night.  The red oaks are mostly in full color now, taking over where the red maples left off.There is still a lot of fall color in Bayfield, but a good rain storm or strong winds would likely bring most of the remaining color to the ground.

The dollar just doesn’t seem to be worth what it used to be.  It seems it takes two dollars to buy as much food today as one dollar bought four years ago.
    Nonsense. A dollar is a dollar is a dollar.
    I don’t know, I think the dollar has become much weaker at the grocery store over the last four years.
    Don’t worry about food prices.  Our statisticians don’t even track food prices.  They are too volatile.  The dollar is a dollar…
    Well they ought to track food prices, because I can’t afford to buy as much food as I used to.
    Americans are obese and should go on a diet. And shoot some hoops, too.
    But the dollar used to be worth something tangible, a certain amount of gold that it could be redeemed for.
    That is a silly, old fashioned idea.  There isn’t enough gold in all the Fort Knoxes on the planet, or under all  the mountains of the world, to back the untold trillions of dollar bills we have printed.  What nonsense!
    Maybe we shouldn’t print so many dollars.
    Well, what would people use for money? With prices so high, we need trillions and trillions of dollars floating around so that people can buy all the things they need, like food.
    Let me get this straight.  We need more and more dollars that will buy less and less because otherwise people wouldn’t have enough dollars to buy things, like food for instance.
    Right, right! You’ve got it now. How about a beer?
    No, thanks.  Maybe we would have enough dollars to buy things if we had fewer people.
    Exactly! like China, no more than one child per family. More abortions.  Greater women’s rights.  It’s an idea that works, look how strong the Chinese currency has become.
    O.K., sounds like a plan.  Actually that is how the Germans strengthened the mark during and after the Great Depression.  Between killing all their Jews and WWII, they eliminated a good part of their population, and It’s been a sound currency ever since.
    I don’t think I would go that far, but the economic theory is sound. How about a beer?
    But if we cut the size of our population to limit the number of dollars we need, how will we pay the Social Security we owe to millions and millions of people because the money wasn’t invested and it isn’t worth much anyway? 
    That’s easy. We will print a few trillion more dollars.
    O.K., but I still think the dollar should actually be worth something in and of itself, have an intrinsic value.
    It is, it does!  I keep telling you, a dollar is worth exactly one dollar! Anytime you want you can take a dirty, wrinkled old paper dollar and trade it in for a clean,crisp new one, at any bank.
    Well, I guess I am just old fashioned and don’t understand modern finance.  Anyway it still says, “In God We Trust” on each dollar, and I guess that is good enough for me.
    Another old-fashioned idea that I would like to get rid of.  And please don’t use the “G” word. "Allah" is O.K. though. 

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