US Economy To Shift From Dollar To Barter
Washington, D.C. - Officials at the Treasury Department announced today that, starting early next year, the United States would be moving from a dollar based economy to the older and more traditional barter system widely used during the Middle Ages for the transfer of commodities between individuals, organizations and countries. Speaking to reporters, Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson said that this radical departure from modern economic practices was made necessary by the rapidly falling value of the dollar which has seen the nation's wealth decline precipitously over the last 6 years. Paulson also stated that, "The barter system may date back to the dawn of civilization but it does have some advantages. It is very simple to learn and easy to use."
Though this new policy is said to have certain benefits for the domestic marketplace, it is being greeted with a great deal of hostility among creditor nations that hold American IOUs. In particular, it has drawn an angry reaction from China after they were informed that America's national debt would now be paid in kumquats rather than dollars. In response to China's concerns, Paulson said that America would be willing to substitute pork bellies for kumquats as a means to payoff the debt if that would suit the Chinese better. So far, there has been no official response from Chinese officials to this generous offer.
In order to make the transition to a barter system as smooth as possible, banks have been told that they will be required to receive grain, fruit, vegetables and livestock as legal currency once these new measures take effect. The government has also issued an initial exchange rate that is to be used as a guideline for bartered goods. A pair of shoes will cost approximately 20 lbs of potatoes. A television set 150 lbs of flour, and a 5 lb bag of carrots will cost 5 lbs of onions.