So it’s with a certain detachment that I read about Uncle Sam minting a snazzy new C-note that’s harder to counterfeit. I suppose it matters in North Korea, where counterfeiting ranks right behind starvation as the national pastime, but the rest of us here in the lower 99 percent of Americans probably won’t be seeing many of the new bills.
The most telling thing about the story is, as usual, the thousands of crusty comments that have glommed onto it like barnacles. America’s education system may rank near the bottom in developed nations, but all Americans are experts on fiscal policy. The noted economists on Yahoo’s news site weigh in thusly (small errors intact) on the new $100 bill:
- “… it will end up in Saudi Arabia, China, Isreal, or any number of nations we waste our money on.”
- “… fodder only for drug dealers and congressmen, plus the occasional CEO.”
- “Obama is the world’s biggest counterfeiter.”
- “1923 Weimar Republic brought to you by the Obama voters who have economic I.Q. less than Zero.”
- “Read about hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic, and educate yourself.”
- “Russia and China have declared it worthless and will no longer accept US Dollars for Trade. They have also informed their trading partners to not accept US Dollars for Trade and convert their Monitory Systems.”
- “Gold, silver and gems are the currency of the future.”
- “This will be the new gold-backed currency after the dollar is taken down to zero, debt default for the country, chaos and then the NWO.”
- “Bring back the gold standard.”
- “It’s still worth only $55.00.”
- “Is it even worth $30?”
- “It’s still only worth about $20.”
- “$100 is the new $1.”
- “Soon to be worth the same as a penny.”
- “The new toilet paper.”
And so it goes. I love the comparisons to the Weimar Republic. Top inflation then reached about 29,000 percent, as opposed to, let’s see… about 1.5 percent over the last year in the United States. So like all analogies that try to invoke the rise of the Third Reich, maybe this one is a little exaggerated. Maybe they’re thinking of Banana Republic, the retail chain, where a hundred bucks won’t get you a whiff of the clerk’s cologne.
Anyway, I think the new bills look kind of cool. In the unlikely event that one of them should come my way soon, I don’t think I’ll be wiping my ass with it.