Saturday, April 19, 2008

A tisket, a tasket, an economic basket

Although so many noted economists seem to say that the precipitous fall of the dollar in international currency markets has no downside, I'm thinking that simply cannot be. Although I admit that the last non-marxist economics class I took was in high school, I do seem to recall that there was another word associated with a decline in the value of one's money.

The word is "inflation."

And there is also a word, albeit hyphenated, for what happens when a country continues to print vast quantities of cash and spend it like an NBA star in a strip club. That word is "hyper-inflation."

Thankfully, we here in the United States are not subject to old fashioned economic theory. With our historically unique brand of take-no-prisoners get-up-and-go, we have apparently been able to run gargantuan deficits without triggering more than an acceptable smidgen of inflation. And not being an economist, I wouldn't know where to begin to look for evidence to the contrary. I guess I'll just have to trust the assurances of the experts and the government numbers.

In unrelated news, last night I discovered that in the last week that the price of a Pizza in our neighborhood went from $13 to $16 and the giant can of Asahi we get to go with it went from $3 to $4. This blow to our budget was followed closely by the landlord raising the rent by $1200 per year, a steep increase in the price of a metrocard, a significantly larger co-pay for doctors visits, and the cost of our prescriptions going from $30 to $50. Fortunately clothes pins at the dollar store are still a dollar, but the price of laundry detergent went up about 20 percent.

Oh well, all those extra dollars we waste on food, shelter, transportation, health and hygiene will just lighten the load of the suitcase full of money we'll need to go to Europe this summer.