Donkey Punch

July 3, 2007

So what now?

Filed under: Ben Franklin, Colonial Congress, Politics, Progosphere — t4toby @ 11:50 am

I’m all like, “Whaaaa!!!”

Dennis Perrin has a blog today that poses an interesting question. How are Democrats any better than Republicans? I have some surface, ‘lesser of two evils’ sort of responses, but is it the party, or the system? If it is the system, what can be done?

This is an ongoing conversation. The obvious answer is ‘Revolution!’. But how will that work? Violence begets violence. Sure it offers a short term solution, but the underlying problems don’t go away.

During the Revolutionary war, the Colonial Congress issued bonds, or IOUs, that they never even intended to pay off. In fact, they issued close to $241 million of them. Check out this quote from Ben Franklin:

“This currency, as we manage it, is a wonderful machine. It performs its office when we issue it. And when we are obligated to issue an excessive quantity, it pays itself off by depreciation.”

The money in question was a six dollar bill. At the beginning of the war, $6 was a private soldiers pay for an entire month. By the end of the war, you couldn’t even pay for a pound of butter with the same amount. (h/t to History Detectives)

So here we have one of our most esteemed Founders willfully duping the citizenry for the good of the Country. It is endemic to the American Way. Don’t worry your pretty little head about the government. They have your best interests at heart.

Yeah, Right! I certainly feel better.

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