The orange standard

>> Wednesday, October 19, 2011

We are replacing the current tax code with oranges.


See, here's the thing: fiat currencies just don't work because they're not pegged to anything real. Now, a lot of people will say we ought to go back to the gold standard. And I respect that, but the fact is the gold standard has a lot of short-term volatility, plus at this point we have more money in circulation than we have gold to back it, so switching over would crash the economy. So, you might say, gold isn't the only precious metal out there, instead of crucifying the United States on a cross of gold, why not base currency on gold and some other metal, such as silver? But that really doesn't solve the basic problem, see, which is that the economy is bigger than that.

What I'm saying we need, y'all, is something that has intrinsic value, that doesn't force us to rely on the Federal Reserve, a renewable resource that exists in enough bulk to match the vibrancy of our economy. And something that has a nice color to it, like gold and silver.

I'm talking about oranges.

Now, this may be where you're thinking I've lost my mind. You're sitting there, thinking, "This man has lost his mind, or he must be joking." I am not joking and I am completely sane. You have to hear me out, you have to consider what I'm saying here, and you have to realize that we are talking about a comprehensive solution to all of the ills that are facing this country.

Wikipedia tells us the orange is a fruit that originated in Asia and was brought to the New World in the 16th Century. This news may surprise you, for the orange has done so well for itself in Florida that the place has become synonymous with oranges. I walk through my grocery store juice aisle, I see that they have juice from Florida, named after Florida, made from Florida oranges. And I go through my fruit aisle in the same supermarket, and I see that there are oranges from Florida on sale there. I would have thought the orange was the native fruit of this land, but like so many of us, the orange is a fruit that emigrated here long ago and has put down roots in this great nation. Or, I should say, the trees upon which that fruit grows have put down roots, for the orange itself has no roots, being a pocked spherical object exactly the right size and shape to be held in the hand. It has a thick skin, a rind, they call it, and if it is a navel orange it has a dimple or hole up at one end. You cut into this fruit, or dig your fingers in, and you find it is juicy and easily divided into sections.

This ability of the orange to be divided into sections is key, and we will come back to it.

The orange grows in sunny places, and its siren call has been heard throughout the land. If you have read John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath, or seen the fine movie adaptation by John Ford, starring Henry Fonda, you may recall how surprised you were to discover that there are not actually any grapes in the book, but there is a lot of talk about how all the Okies will pick oranges when they reach California. This is a crucial point, as well: the grape has a thin skin, like the honorable Governor Perry, and is as easily crushed as Representative Bachmann's presidential aspirations, and is not in the least a suitable candidate for a fruit-based currency.

Yes, that is the crux of this, my friends. I have let slip what I was building to, so let's come out into the open.

The dollar has failed. It is not a criticism of America to say that the dollar has failed, for we all know that it's the fault of the Democrats for selling this country to the heathen Chinese, although we have to point out that while former President Bill Clinton was doing so, the House Speaker of the House Of Representatives was (for much of that time, anyway), Mr. Newt Gingrich. Americans find themselves sitting on top of mounds of useless currency, or on nothing, and yet the entire time the supermarkets and fruit stands of this great nation are full of succulent, sweet, juicy oranges. The dollar may not grow on trees, but the orange does, and this is part of its value and charm.

Which brings us to something else. Governor Perry and former Governor Mitt Romney have, as they have pointed out to each other, something of an "immigration problem". They argue between themselves over which is worse, hiring a firm that hires illegal aliens for yardwork or giving scholarships to the children of illegal aliens while opposing a border fence, and in doing so they both miss the more important point. That would be the fact that what many of these immigrants are coming into our great nation to do is to pick oranges, because under our current, warped, inefficient, ineffectual economic system, these laborers pick oranges which are handed over to "growers" who sell them to juice companies and fruit wholesalers.

Now, think about this: the logical thing to do here is to cut out the middleman, isn't it? Why are we encouraging illegal immigrants to come pick our oranges so they can be traded for pieces of paper? When we could, instead, be assigning the value directly to the oranges themselves, with the result that millions of Americans would be flocking to California and Florida, not to attend theme parks, but to willingly and voluntarily work in the orange groves where they could grab the new national currency from the branches and immediately go and spend their shares. They would, of course, share part of their profits with the entrepreneur who invested in the land, trees and water (that's only fair), but they would have, literally, the fruit of their own labors to spend as they see fit. There would be nothing for the illegal immigrants to do, and they would return to their homelands, their mission to steal American jobs a failure, and millions of unemployed Americans would be back to work.

And consider that there would need to be an infrastructure to support the accumulation of wealth, and that this would put still more Americans to work. Bank vaults are not, I don't think, climate controlled or designed to hold vast piles of oranges; now they would have to be. The mesh fruit bag industry alone would be expected to explode, as ordinary wallets aren't designed to hold lots of spending fruit. American engineers would need to figure out how to redesign cash registers and ATMs.

And let us talk about virtues that Republicans are so often and wrongly derided for supposedly lacking: empathy, compassion, a feeling for the destitute and hungry. We all hear about the mother who can't feed her child because she doesn't have enough money for food in this tough economy. Democrats will tell you that she needs a handout. I'm telling you that she needs a hand-up (patent pending on that phrase)--a hand up to grab a piece of currency off the nearest tree which she can immediately peel and feed to her starving child. When food is money, y'all, nobody can starve unless they're too lazy to lift an arm. And do I even need to point out that oranges are rich in Vitamin C, an "essential nutrient" that fights scurvy and is popularly believed to improve health and immunity in general?

We have eliminated the Federal Reserve, we have solved the immigration crisis, we have eliminated poverty and want and we've solved healthcare--all with the simple expedient of making the most perfect fruit God has blessed us with the national currency.

Now, some of you may be saying, "It can't be that simple. It just can't be. What about counterfeiting?" And I'll ask you, what rhymes with orange? Nothing. You cannot counterfeit an orange, you cannot make a duplicate or simulation. An orange is an orange is an orange. And you may say, "But what about Tang?" And I'll say to you that Tang is tasty but nothing rhymes with orange. And you may say, "What about that awesome orange drink they used to sell at McDonald's?" And I'll say to you, nothing rhymes with orange. And you may say, "What about orange Sunkist?" and at that point I will tell you to shut up because orange Sunkist may be sweet and it may be orange in color, but nothing, I tell you, nothing rhymes with orange.

And don't try any of that "approximate" or "soft" rhyme guff, because everybody knows that's cheating and doesn't count.

And some of you may be saying, "But what about denominations?" And here is genius folks, here is where the brilliance of replacing our currency with the orange standard truly shines, people. You remember, perhaps, that I pointed out earlier in this essay that oranges can easily be pried apart into sections? That's right: oranges are perfect for making change. Somebody--we will assume this to be possible, however un-American it may seem--somebody might say, "I am sick and tired of eating all these oranges. My hands are sticky and my belly hurts, and flies keep landing on the front of my shirt. I think I would like a chicken." And there might be somebody walking past who has a chicken but is wishing he had some oranges, and this person might offer to trade the chicken for, say, five oranges. And the first person might say, "I don't think your chicken is worth five oranges, but I will give you two-and-a-half." And this, you see, is perfect. Other fruits are difficult to divide. Apples, for instance, are indivisible, and while a banana is easily broken, the bottom part will never be quite symmetrical to the top part it was sundered from. But oranges are easily sectioned, and our orange-for-chicken capitalists might, off the top of my head, decide the fair price of a chicken is three whole oranges and two slices, with the change easily being made by prying an orange apart and dividing it appropriately.

And you might say, "Why not give mandarin oranges a different value from navels?" And that system, I reply, would be too complicated. I am looking at instituting a flat orange--well, a round orange fiscal standard.

And someone might say, "Well what about tangelos?" And I will say that that is exactly the kind of stupid and irrelevant proposal I would expect from Rick Santorum, and if that's the kind of candidate you want, maybe you should go Google him right now.

Now, you may say that I am clearly being influenced by Herman Cain, here, and I will say, yes, didn't you see the quote that started this essay. And you might say, "Well, how do you feel about Mr. Cain's 9-9-9 tax proposal, then?" And my response is that while I am not formally affiliated with the Cain campaign, clearly he and I are on the exact same page. This April, 53% of Americans will sit down with piles of forms and try to figure out how much tax they owe and whether buying a yacht can be deducted if you had a business lunch on it, and they will tear their hair and despair. When it would be so much fairer if they simply knew that they were supposed to put nine oranges in an appropriately-sized shipping container and mail them to the IRS. And the lazy, good-for-nothing 47% of Americans who shirk and whine? They'd have no excuse for being freeriders: if you can occupy a park, you can occupy an orange grove and pick nine oranges for Uncle Sam. And if you can't, you can be shot.*

We will replace the tax code with oranges.

This is the dream. This is the vision. A nation of Americans no longer divided along partisan lines, separated by class warfare, estranged by religious and ethnic divisions: a nation stuck together by the sweet residue of our bright, juicy economy. Join me. Join me in supporting Herman Cain for President.










*We might have to amend the Constitution for this part.

I'm not officially affiliated with the Cain campaign and so I can't promise anything and I'm not promising anything, but there could be free pizza in it. Doesn't hurt to ask. Just throwing that out there.










11 comments:

Nathan Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 2:33:00 PM EDT  

I have a few reactions to this, so I may be back later with more, but...

This is all fine and dandy until some pesky SCIENCE GUYS prove that vitamin C causes DEATH. And CANCER. And DEATH. (This can, of course be avoided if we outlaw stem-fruit research.)

Also, keep your eyes peeled for hits coming from wherever Mr. Cain is campaigning and then make sure you get credit if he takes this up as his new plan.

John the Scientist Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 6:31:00 PM EDT  

Nathan, the pesky science guys are more likely to point out the increased likelyhood of an ornage blight with an increase in orange trees. Just saying.

Nathan Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 7:44:00 PM EDT  

I have no response to that -- you pesky science guy!

Eric Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 7:58:00 PM EDT  

Yes, John, but we all know that the pesky science guys are part of a conspiracy to say there's an orange blight so they can rake in tons of oranges in the form of research grants--all at the taxpayer's orange, of course. That's how the scheming liberal mind works: first it's "evolution", then it's "global warming", so of course it'll have to be "orange blight" next, even though everybody knows that so-called "orange blights" are merely the result of sunspot activity.

timb111 Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 9:12:00 PM EDT  

I'm with you and McCain on moving to a fruit standard, however, have you considered which other nations have huge number of oranges? Do you want China to have that sort of advantage?

I say it should be a Huckleberry standard. Nothing rhymes with Huckleberry and you don't have to peel them either.

Nathan Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 10:04:00 PM EDT  

Mary, Mary quite contrary
really hated huckleberry.

Didn't like to ride the ferry;
always needing to be wary.

Mary, Mary's brother Gary
lost his job
down at the dairy.
--------------

Besides that, huckleberries are just plain silly.

timb111 Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 10:15:00 PM EDT  

;-(

You still don't have to peel them.

Warner Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 9:51:00 AM EDT  

Boysenberries then.

And why not lemons or limes, ring the bells of St. Clemons?

Eric Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 11:11:00 AM EDT  

Surely, the lime would be the logical surrogate for the Pound, thanks to the long association between that tart fruit and the glorious days of Britania's dominance of the high seas? As for the lemon--do we want a fruit synonymous with failure for our currency? I think not!

No, despite excellent suggestions from all, I must stick with Mr. Cain and insist on the mighty orange!

Carol Elaine Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 1:53:00 PM EDT  

All I can think of is Holland and tulips.

I realize it's not exactly the same, as oranges (or lemons or huckleberries or kumquats - ooh, there's a nice fruit to use!) will be the actual currency as opposed to just being sold for astronomical prices, but you just know that the US will be infiltrated by terrorists who will introduce a fast-acting/replicating pest into the fruit ecosystem, thereby wiping out our economy.

Nathan Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 5:14:00 PM EDT  

I've just realized another potential problem with this idea.

A large percentage of our oranges are grown by Floridians. Florida (really, really deservedly) has its own tag on Fark.com. This may be a system designed to fail.

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