This issue is our Third
This issue is dedicated to the economy.
Sections will follow as more content is added...
Mortgage Meltdown and It's a Wonderful Life
Dollars to Doughnuts Economics
It's a shame when a perfectly good
slang phrase meets its death. It's downright tragic when a superior
one bites it. Such is the case with the phrase "I'll bet a
dollar to a donut" which was often used to express one's
certainty. A donut is still a donut but unfortunately a dollar falls
quite a bit short of where it once did and to such extent that the
comparison of the two no longer adds up to a safe bet.
While I have not been able to trace
this wonderful phrase to its origin I do know that I have been aware
of and using it regularly since a time when donuts came in dozens
numbering thirteen at a cost of around two dollars. It doesn't take
a mathemagician* to estimate the relative value of a singular donut
at that price. No matter how the math works this is not a bad rate
of return to the winner and even if you lose you still get the donut
even if the price was dear.
It seems though that donuts of the
singular variety these days are pushing the dollar mark. More in
places that have no compunction for taxing foodstuffs and while it is
arguable that one's life may not depend on having a donut to the
extent that a sack of flour might, in general terms a donut is far
more desirable. The market demonstrates this through the conspicuous
absence of 'coffee and flour' shops. Even if there were such a thing
I doubt that cops would be known to frequent such an establishment.
|continued from preceding column
All of this reminds me of feeling
robbed in an east coast airport. I paid $4 for a coffee and the
Danish equivalent of a donut. This all speaks to the devaluation of
the dollar. Perhaps if I were to demonstrate. Let us move the economy
onto a donut basis:
The Federal Reserve would measure
the donut supply (d1). People would amass and even hoard donuts in
various forms but since unlike dollars, donuts lose their usability,
one should never hide donuts in one's mattress. People would
speculate in values: Danishes trading at a ratio to the French
cruller, Bismarks trading against the An-doughnut, the sort the
Japanese eat. Like unto the "Berliner" an An-doughnut is
filled with Bean Jam. The South Africans have one called a
Koeksister, (try saying that three times fast). This would be the
ForEx or Foreign Exchange.
The government would of course take
some portion of your donut and hold it. There's a perverseness about
me that hopes this would be the filling --the jelly or cream part,
and this part should be replaceable but since all donuts are not
created equal in that some are not filled my fantasy will probably
also not be. Filled, that is.
Further, the Fed would evaluate
donuts on their relative worth, i.e. the desirability of each
variety. Donut holes for example are not greater than the sum of
their parts. We would think of them as donut makers themselves do,
as spare change. The holes are something you save up for a rainy
day; more difficult to exchange but still of some measurable value.
continued from preceding column
So as currency, various donuts
would have an exchange value of increasing quantity, based on both
the ease of consumption and the degree of satisfaction they provide.
Am I the only one getting hungry by
now? When I started this article it was only my wallet pining for
sustenance. That hasn't yet changed but now insult has been added to
injury by way of stomach pangs.
There is a political historical
precedent for moving the economy onto a donut basis. One famous
U.S. president announced that he was a jelly donut to a crowd of Germans.
“Ich bin eine Berliner" was the phrase in question.
He intended to say that he was a citizen of Berlin. No, it wasn't Ronald Reagan and he knew that the mic was on. Many
economic dissertations have been made on the basis of beans, though
not specifically those of the jelly-variety, which is where Ronald Reagan would
I should establish my bona fides
I am no tyro in the field of
donuts. I prefer the spelling doughnuts much as I prefer my cheese as
"cheese," not "cheese food."
I was once feted on a birthday with
a plate of donuts with candles.
I once lived with several cats (4)
all of whom enjoyed consuming donuts and two of whom would search out
the boxes and steal the contents with impudence. One of those two did
so with both relish and impudence. No, he did not use pickle relish
on his donuts, that would be as silly and unlikely as an American
President announcing to hundreds of thousands of Germans that he was
a jelly donut.
I started work at a rate of
twenty-three donuts an hour. I am currently making less than that
rate. What has happened?
Did the Federal Donut Reserve make some
error? Did I back the wrong activity as a choice of profession?