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money gone!
Author Jim Devine
Date 10/02/17/14:51
Hit Count 697

U.S. Economy Grinds To Halt As Nation Realizes Money Just A Symbolic,
Mutually Shared Illusion
February 16, 2010 | Issue 46•07

WASHINGTON—The U.S. economy ceased to function this week after
unexpected existential remarks by Federal Reserve chairman Ben
Bernanke shocked Americans into realizing that money is, in fact, just
a meaningless and intangible social construct.

Calling it "basically no more than five rectangular strips of paper,"
Fed chairman Ben Bernanke illustrates how much "$200" is actually
worth.

What began as a routine report before the Senate Finance Committee
Tuesday ended with Bernanke passionately disavowing the entire concept
of currency, and negating in an instant the very foundation of the
world's largest economy.

"Though raising interest rates is unlikely at the moment, the Fed will
of course act appropriately if we…if we…" said Bernanke, who then
paused for a moment, looked down at his prepared statement, and shook
his head in utter disbelief. "You know what? It doesn't matter. None
of this—this so-called 'money'—really matters at all."

"It's just an illusion," a wide-eyed Bernanke added as he removed
bills from his wallet and slowly spread them out before him. "Just
look at it: Meaningless pieces of paper with numbers printed on them.
Worthless."

According to witnesses, Finance Committee members sat in thunderstruck
silence for several moments until Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) finally
shouted out, "Oh my God, he's right. It's all a mirage. All of it—the
money, our whole economy—it's all a lie!"

Screams then filled the Senate Chamber as lawmakers and members of the
press ran for the exits, leaving in their wake aisles littered with
the remains of torn currency.

U.S. markets closed as traders left their jobs and resolved for once
to do or make something, anything of real value.

As news of the nation's collectively held delusion spread, the economy
ground a halt, with dumbfounded citizens everywhere walking out on
their jobs as they contemplated the little green drawings of buildings
and dead white men they once used to measure their adequacy and
importance as human beings.

At the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday morning's opening bell
echoed across a silent floor as the few traders who arrived for work
out of habit looked up blankly at the meaningless scrolling numbers on
the flashing screens above.

"I've spent 25 years in this room yelling 'Buy, buy! Sell, sell!' and
for what?" longtime trader Michael Palermo said. "All I've done is
move arbitrary designations of wealth from one column to another,
wasting my life chasing this unattainable hallucination of wealth."

"What a cruel cosmic joke," he added. "I'm going home to hug my daughter."

Sources at the White House said President Obama was "still trying to
get his head around all this" and was in seclusion with his coin
collection, muttering "it's just metal, it's just metal" over and over
again.

"The president will be making a statement very soon," press secretary
Robert Gibbs told reporters. "At the moment, though, his mind is just
too blown to comment."

A few U.S. banks have remained open, though most teller windows are
unmanned due to a lack of interest in transactions involving mere
scraps of paper or, worse, decimal points and computer data signifying
mere scraps of paper. At a Bank of America branch in Spokane, WA,
curious former customers wandered aimlessly through a large empty
vault, while several would-be robbers of a Chase bank in Columbus, OH
reportedly put their guns down and exited the building hand in hand
with security guards, laughing over the inherent absurdity of the idea
of $100 bills.

Likewise, the real estate industry has all but vanished, with mortgage
lenders seeing no reason to stop people from reclaiming their
foreclosed-upon homes.

"I don't even know what we were thinking in the first place," said
former banker Nathan Collins of Brandon, MS, as he jimmyed open a door
to allow a single mother and her five children to move back into their
house. "A bunch of people sign a bunch of papers, and now this family
has no place to live? That's just plain ludicrous."

The realization that money is nothing more than an elaborate head game
seems to have penetrated the entire country: In Wilmington, DE, for
instance, a collection agent reportedly broke down in joyful sobs when
he informed a woman on the other end of the phone that he had
absolutely no reason to harass her anymore, as her Discover Card debt
was no longer comprehensible.

For some Americans, the fog of disbelief surrounding the nation's
epiphany has begun to lift, with many building new lives free from the
illusion of money.

"It's back to basics for me," Bernard Polk of Waverly, OH said. "I'm
going to till the soil for my own sustenance and get anything else I
need by bartering. If I want milk, I'll pay for it in tomatoes. If
need a new hoe, I'll pay for it in lettuce."

When asked, hypothetically, how he would pay for complicated
life-saving surgery for a loved one, Polk seemed uncertain.

"That's a lot of vegetables, isn't it?" he said.

[from the ONION]

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