Just As I Thought

Speaking of money

as I was a little while ago, I was just perusing the Bank of England’s website and their new banknotes. Again, I’m struck by the artistry in other countries’ cash, and how dowdy ours is by comparison. For example: the £20 note in England carries a picture of composer Sir Edward Elgar – you’ve heard his music at every graduation procession – and the background of the bill contains references to music everywhere. There are bass clefs in the background pattern, flat marks in the medallion, and a little piece of music under the “Bank of England” signature. There’s even an image of the patron saint of music, St. Cecilia.
Cash is something so ubiquitous that it makes a wonderful vehicle for cultural celebration and civic pride. It’s a pity we can’t muster anything better than a few buildings on ours. What’s more, I’m dead certain that the future of our cash is as a place for sponsored advertisements in order to prop up the government in the financial crisis that’s coming as a result of the Bush administration. Wouldn’t it be fun to spend a Taco Bell Ten at your local McDonald’s?


  • Yes, of course. This economy MUST be the result of the whopping 2.5 years of Bush’s economic policies. It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with:
    a) The dot-com-overheated-economy culmination that crashed & burned in the last year (of EIGHT mind you) of the Clinton administration
    b) September 11th
    c) Overspending by State governments during the Clinton years

  • Well, let’s see.
    a) True. But despite the crash of this nonsensical dot-com economy (who didn’t see THAT coming?), Clinton’s administration still left a record surplus. Bush squandered it and took us into a record deficit. When discussing the difficulties facing the states, Republicans insist that the Feds should not help, saying that the states should have set something aside for a rainy day. Clinton left a huge rainy day fund, and Bush threw it away to his rich cronies.
    b) Definitely a big factor, but I don’t think it’s of paramount importance. Instead, it was the Bush reaction to September 11 – spending money on poor security instead of smarter security, creating the biggest government bureaucracy in memory, terrifying people just enough so that they accelerated a downward economy. The actual economic cost of the attacks was nothing compared to the actions of the administration using the attacks to push their agenda.
    c) Absolutely. They wallowed in the cash and never thought that times could change. There’s nothing new here, it’s the old tale of the ant and the grasshopper. Of course, there’s a reason that things worked out the way they did: almost all the states have balanced budget requirements, so they had to spend everything they took in. This is why balanced budget rules are a little silly. They don’t allow for a “profit.” And once you’ve spent all that money on various programs, it’s awfully hard to cut them later. This is an old story, too. Federal bureaus always ask for more money every year whether they need it or not, and must spend every penny to protect next year’s budget request.

    Anyway. valid points you have. The downturn started at the very end of Clinton’s watch, but in 2-1/2 years, Bush has made it far, far worse.

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