new currency for the US: ft^2
I am not going to argue with Ron Paul or with our own abitarecatania that currency should be reliable and safe to hold. However, I am going to suggest that their worry about the greenback is overdone. Indeed, in case you haven't noticed, we already have such reliable currency. It is called the square foot, and I can even suggest a special symbol for it: ft^2.
Our govenment has handled the supply of ft^2 with conservatism and responsibility. It has never allowed any monetary measure of ft^2 supply, be it M1, M2, or M3, to grow faster than 1-2% per year. Moreover, any period of exhuberance was always followed by a period of moderation. For example, after the increase of ft^2 supply exceed the historical average in 2005-2006, it reverted to the mean in 2007 and went below the average in early 2008.
ft^2 has proven its ability to hold up against other currencies. For example, since 2000, the dollar lost 50% of its value relative to the euro. At the same time, ft^2 appreciated 100% relative to the dollar, which means its exchange rate relative to the euro has remained pretty much constant. By the same token, ft^2 held up against oil, gold, and food much better than the battered devalued grenback.
It can be shown that ft^2 matches the definition of currency much better than its competitor, $. If we define currency as something that you get in compensation for your 9-to-5 job and that you exchange freely for other life's necessities, then ft^2 wins the competition outright. Indeed, everybody who follows price trends will confirm that no amount of $ that you can realistically expect to earn from your job can buy you one ft^2. In this respect, the $ clearly fails the definition of currency. But think in terms of ft^2, and now everything changes. After merely 1 or 2 years on your job (and one visit to a mortgage broker) you can get into possesstion of a substantial number of square feet. (A purist will object here that such a move will also saddle you with a substantial amount of debt denominated in $, but this is pure nonsense: as we all know, these debts never need to be repaid becuase your lender will never dare to ask you to, and even if he does, Congress will pay for you anyway). So ft^2 meets the definition of currency. This conclusion is also borne out by empirical evidence: most wage earners, when asked about their motivation, will say that even though, technically speaking, they are working for $, what they really view as their compensation is ft^2 (The virtuous cycle is now complete becuase if you ask real estate agents to justify the valuation of ft^2, they will cite its proximity to the place where you work). The ft^2 also meets the second part of the definition because (again, everybody who watches HELOC trends will agree with me on this point) it serves as the principle means of exchange, enabling consumers to acquire everything from vacations in Antarctica to flat-screen TVs (which, again, they couldn't afford if their compensation came in dollars). A ft^2 is also easily convertible into any amount of $, except in Phoenix, AZ. This new reality is reflected in the very way we use language. It is ft^2 that we affectionately call the American dream. But nobody is calling the $ an American dream anymore, such a slogan would be considered too materialistic. (The dollar also had its day of fame in the 19th century, when it was accompanied by the adjective "almighty", but today an easy comparison with the Brazilian real would quickly make the adjective obsolete).
The conclusion is obvious: the square foot has already become our national currency, so we may just as well call a spade a spade (or a house a house).