It would appear a rudimentary understanding of economics isn’t necessary to get your ideas into one of the world’s best-known business publications. That’s how we get the sort of tripe Frank Beck passed off earlier this week.
Beck, writing on Forbes.com, says our current economic morass can be remedied by devaluing the dollar. If Mr. Beck’s idea wasn’t nutty enough, he reinforces it by saying that currency devaluation in the 1930s “proved effective in ending the Great Depression.”
“In 1933, through a series of gold-related acts, culminating in the Gold Reserve Act of 1934, America realized a dollar devaluation of 41 percent when the price of gold was adjusted from $20.67 per ounce of gold to $35 per ounce,” he writes. “America … had its economy bottom and recover (sic) as a result.”
Except that the American economy didn’t fully bounce back until World War II.
Ask anyone who lived through the Great Depression and few will recall good times arriving anytime soon after Roosevelt took the U.S. off the Gold Standard in 1934, devaluing the dollar. In fact, in 1938, five years after Roosevelt took office, the U.S. unemployment rate was 19 percent.
Devaluation hurts investors and people who set aside money for the future. Business capital tends to dissipate and creditors take it on the chin. Trade partners also don’t take kindly to devaluation.
If you want to see what currency devaluation does to a country, look at the situation in Zimbabwe today or Russia a decade ago. Not pretty. That Forbes chose to publish Mr. Beck’s ill-conceived twaddle speaks poorly of the publication.
Over on nationalreview.com’s sports media blog, Greg Pollowitz asks the question: “How long before the credit crunch hits the professional sports leagues?”
The topic of interest for Mr. Pollowitz was the signing of Francisco Rodriguez by the New York Mets to a three-year, $37 million contract.
“These sports franchises are built on the credit bubble,” he writes. “The banks and car companies, the biggest advertisers, will have to cut back. If Americans won’t buy cars, then how in the world will there be money available to pay the salaries of these players?”
The best part of a recent BBC story reporting that significant percentages of men and women lie about reading to impress the other is that the men polled said they would be most impressed by women who read news websites, Shakespeare or song lyrics.
Shakespeare is understandable, but news websites and song lyrics? That’s not exactly setting the bar very high, is it?
And if you really want to impress the opposite sex, why not actually read a book, instead of just pretending?
Cold Stone Creamery CEO Dan Beem, interviewed in today’s Charlotte Observer, said he expects consumer demand for his company’s $4 ice cream to continue.
“People are giving up five-star vacations and that luxury steak dinner, but they still need that 10-minute vacation with the family. They need that bonding, and they do that through ice cream.”
Sorry, Dan, but that same “vacation” can be had for one-quarter the cost at Sonic, and even less at home. Pretentiousness is free at Cold Stone, however.