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.If fiction, it certainly is a convenient one:
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!"
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.Shame about that double coincidence of wants problem, isn't it?
"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.
Full Onion reporting here. HT: Greg Yost.