Gender backed dollar

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language,” 1946:

Modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug.

I know exactly what the “gold backed dollar” is. It is a dollar that you can trade in for gold. But what is a “gender backed dollar”? Can you trade it in to get gender? The metaphor is meaningless, and the mind that produced this metaphor has demonstrated a lack of clear thinking.

Jonathan Chait points us to the New York Sun, which demonstrates a kind of writing that is non-rational. This is from the Sun:

Are we entering the era of the gender-backed dollar? We don’t discount the issue of discrimination against women in America or the importance of cracking the glass ceilings. Your editor has spent a career cheering on high octane women. But what good is a gender-backed dollar going to do in an era of fiat money? The debate about the next Fed chairman has been conducted absent any attention to the question of whether America, or the world, is being well-served by a system in which the nation’s money is convertible into nothing other than other pieces of fiat money.

We know how we are going to measure Mr. Bernanke’s performance — by the value of the dollar entrusted to his care by the Congress. He may reclaim things between now and the end of his tenure in office, but as things now stand his tenure has been a disaster. The value of the dollar, at but a 1,333rd of an ounce of gold, is substantially less than half of the 568th of an ounce of gold it was valued at on the day Mr. Bernanke acceded to the chairmanship of the Fed. Would this record have been any better were he a woman? Where does that leave Governor Yellen?

The Times characterizes her as “one of three female friends, all former or current professors at the University of California, Berkeley, who have broken into the male-dominated business of advising presidents on economic policy.” The other members of the triumvirate are Christina Romer, who headed President Obama’s first Council of Economic Advisers, and Laura D’Andrea Tyson, who had the same post under President Clinton. None of them, in so far as we’re aware, has made it her business to plump for an end to the system of fiat money.

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