Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Crazy Idea #7 - Paczki-Based Currency System

Now that the dust of Fat Tuesday / Paczki Day has finally cleared (as an aside, Firefox does not recognize paczki as a real word, and I'm outraged), it is time to reflect on what we learned yesterday. If you are not a Christian Polish person or grow up in Michigan, I already know that you are ashamed to not know the glory of the paczki. The basic idea is that paczki were created to help you remove all of the fat and sugar from your house prior to the lean times in Lent, so you go through your cupboards, remove everything delicious, push all of the products you find through a meat grinder, and out pops a paczki. I'm pretty sure that's how it works. They're much like a jelly donut, except enterprising Poles figured out some way to incorporate more calories, fat, and carbohydrates into the same amount of space as the lowly jelly donut. As Homer Simpsons would say, "Butter that bacon, boy." Because Michigan has so many Polish people in Hamtramck, people rush out to that area of the state on Fat Tuesday and purchases these 400-600 calorie treats by the heart attack-full. Individual bakeries can sell into the tens and hundreds of thousands on one day, and we are more than happy to oblige and consume.

Now for some economy - as most people know, the U.S. currency used to be of the gold standard variety. Specifically, every dollar that you had was theoretically backed by some tiny quantity of gold owned by the U.S. government and stored in a place like Fort Knox. That system has been gone since the early 70s, and now all of our currency is backed by the faith-based system. We all believe a $1 bill is worth trading for something equivalent of $1 because the U.S Treasury says so, and that's where money comes from. A little bit scary, isn't it? Here's an interesting interview from The Colbert Report that happens to coincide perfectly with this subject.

Now that we've got that out of the way, I have figured out the correct way to marry these two subjects for the betterment of Michigan. Clearly, the faith-based currency system that we have has been coming up short for the past 6-9 months. There are certainly some major shortcomings with the existing system. On top of that, one of two things happens to your dollar over time - inflation or deflation. As my brother and I have been discussing for the past two weeks, inflation and deflation within our current system are utter madness because they both seem to be terrible. Inflation is a blight, but the only thing worse (so we're told) is deflation. What kind of system is it when both outcomes are hurtful and painful? An untenable system, that's what kind.

Which is why, today, I propose that the entire United States and possibly the European Union (because of the Polish people there) move entirely to a paczki-based currency system. This wouldn't even require us to move away from the paper that we currently have in circulation, but rather every dollar would have to be backed by a paczki stored in Hamtramck in Michigan. We all had dreams of robbing Fort Knox growing up in grade school, so a new generation of children will have dreams of robbing Fort Fatstorage in Michigan. It seems that the stock market is already behind this plan because the stock market was up about 230 glorious points yesterday. The traders have spoken!

Our history with the paczki and proven ability to mass produce this now-valuable treat will move us to the front and center of the new global economy because we will naturally hold the majority of the currency valuation within our state boundaries. That doesn't make any sense, you say? New York became the financial center of the world (I don't want to hear it my thousands of London readers) because they claimed to have a mastery of the financial system on Wall Street and thereabouts, so it is time for Michigan to reclaim its rightful throne as the center and primary player in the global economy - and it will all be due to Polish immigrants.


Elizabeth said...

Have you seen his documentary? It's really good.

Ken said...

PBS? I don't know what you're trying to imply about me, but I am not a communist.

I'll have to check it out - I thought the interview with Colbert (as much as Steven would let him get out) was quite interesting. Thanks for the direction!

Kim said...

In the event you ever wondered if your blog was live and nationwide, let me put your fears to rest - it is! I sent a link to your paczki blog entry to a friend of mine who is of Polish descent but - shock of all shocks - DIDN'T know what a paczki was! I was gushing to him about how I'd found paczki in the bakery section of my local grocery store (astounding in and of itself because my local grocery store is in Atlanta, GA - a bastion of pecan pies but definitely NOT paczki) to which he responded, "Yeah, I'm Polish, and I'm sure I should know what that is, but I don't." So, so sad. Just thought I'd let you know how your humble blog is serving double-duty as an instructional tool for the uneducated Polish masses. :-) (And in the spirit of blog share and share alike, my Polish compadre can be found at Enjoy!)