Pan fried or cooked with onion and cheese, the German egg noodles called spätzle can have a healthy golden glow. For more than 300 centuries, spätzle has been an alpine culinary standard. The long strands of done are easily cut and divisible and a standard part of a southern German meal.
But a good monetary standard must be universally acceptable. Unfortunately in Germany spätzle is a source of division rather than unity, noted the New York Times’ Nicholas Kulish, who described the recent desecration with spätzle of a bronze statue of artist Kathe Kollwitz in Berlin.
Native Berliners are upset by the increasing numbers of well-off Swabians who have moved to the German capital from more prosperous southern Germany – pushing up prices and pushing out poorer Berliners. Swabia is generally considered the state of Baden-Württemberg and eastern Bavaria in the country’s southwest. “The swabians, for their part, resent their reputation as careptbaggers and the slights they have been forced to endure, with graffiti reading “Schwaben raus,’ or Swabians out,’ a slogan often directly at foreigners, an increasingly common sight,” wrote Kulish.
The statue protest was carried out by group called “Free Swabylon” which claimed to want independence for an area of East Berlin called Prenzlauer Berg that included the home of an outspoken critic of the Swabian invasion.
The critic, Wolfgang Thierse, the vice-president of Germany’s federal parliament, the Bundestag, had said: “I hope the Swabians realize they are now in Berlin. And not in their little towns, with their spring cleaning...They come here because it’s all so colourful and adventurous and lively, but after a while, they want to make it like it is back home. You can’t have both.”
The Berliner Zeitung declared the statue defacers“dough terrorists.” Obviously, a good monetary standard should never be weaponized. Furthermore, gooey spätzle doesn’t travel well in one’s pockets. Eat it while it’s hot. But never in Berlin.
Today’s economic conditions reflect a fiat monetary system held together by many tricks and luck over the past 40 years. The world has been awash in paper money since removal of the last vestige of the gold standard by Richard Nixon when he buried the Bretton Woods agreement — the gold exchange standard — on August 15, 1971.
Since then we’ve been on a worldwide paper dollar standard. Quite possibly we are seeing the beginning of the end of that system. If so, tough times are ahead for the United States and the world economy.
The new Federal Reserve chairman, Janet Yellen, gave a policy speech today at Chicago, where, in a startling gesture, she mentioned three working individuals by name — Jermaine Brownlee, Vicki Lira, and Doreen Poole. They lost their jobs the Great Recession and have been struggling ever since. It was a refreshing, even affecting demarche by Mrs. Yellen, who has made a return to full employment a public priority. She underscored her sincerity by telephoning Mr. Brownlee and Ms. Lira and Ms. Poole before delivering her speech.
Publisher's Note: Originally released in June/July of 1991, this detailed report discusses Jacques Rueff's economic theories and applies them to modern economic events.
By John D. Mueller
Who Was Jacques Rueff?
... Trained in science and mathematics at the Ecole Polytechnique, Rueff devoted his first theoretical work to showing that the same scientific method applies to “moral” or “social” sciences like economics as to the physical sciences (Des Sciences Physiques aux Sciences Morales, 1922). In both cases, he pointed out, individual acts can be “indeterminate,” but the pattern of large numbers of individual acts can be predicted as a matter of probability. And so in economics no less than physics, as he later wrote, “A scientific theory is considered correct only if it makes forecasting possible.”
"Forerunners of man lived upon the planet several million years ago. But the unique, modern, social order of man – civilization – emerged only four to five thousand years ago. Historical and archaeological evidence suggests that the institution of money evolved coterminously with civilization. From the standpoint of the 100,000-year history of Homo sapiens, civilization and money are but young and fragile reeds. Today their very existence is threatened by financial disorder."
Hostility toward gold has a long pedigree.
19th century depiction of Pliny the Elder courtesy of the Library of Congress
Gaius Plinius Secundus, commonly known as Pliny the Elder, in his The Natural History, Book 33, section 3, writes:
Would that gold could have been banished for ever from the earth, accursed by...
The New York Times’ Jonathan Gilbert reported: “Argentines endured price rises of nearly 30 percent last year, according to an unofficial index published by opposition politicians; the government, which has been accused of manipulating economic data in the past, claims inflation reached only 10.9 percent in 2013. In 2014, inflation...