Your Money’s No Good Here

Can you imagine what it would be like if one day the US government issued a statement saying that the US Dollar is no longer valid, that the Treasury Department will be revaluing our money, and you will have the chance to exchange old dollars for new dollars a week from now, with a $10,000 per family cap?

That’s essentially what North Korea just did. Except that the cap per family is closer to the equivalent of $500 (read about it here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6940482.ece#cid=OTC-RSS&attr=797093).

Apparently, the recent slightly-freed up markets in the country were creating a bit of a discrepancy between people that could afford to participate in the market and those that couldn’t.

I understand that North Korea is a completely totalitarian socialist state and that, ideally, people have equal financial footing in a socialist society and all that, but come ON! This policy will completely destroy the savings of thousands of families! Even my savings would be wiped out, paltry as they are.

I honestly cannot imagine what the reaction would be here in the States. In North Korea, all businesses based on the won (North Korean currency), which is basically all of them, closed at the announcement and will remain closed for at least a week until the new valuation is completed and people can pick up the new money and buy themselves food and water. What if our grocery stores closed for a week, let alone, gasp, malls.

Here’s what I think would happen here:
1) Mass suicides – people wouldn’t know what to do if they lost their savings. Seriously. How do you provide for your family? And the suicide rate would be highest among the rich.
2) Rioting like crazy. I think I’d finally get that 50″ TV I’ve been wanting…
3) A revolt the likes of which haven’t been seen since we became a sovereign nation. The White House would crumble and the mob would rule.

<shakes head> The government just came out and said that cash was no longer valid. That’s some messed up policy. I think that, given the alternative, I’ll take being poor in America to being equal in North Korea.

NY,NY

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4 Comments on “Your Money’s No Good Here”

  1. Art Says:

    if that happened here, that would completely decimate wealth and decouple the power structure in an unimaginable way. it may hurt our families if we had to get “new american dollars” at a cap of $10k, but imagine someone like bill gates? either he’d be forced to do it, or he’d flee the country. he and all the other rich families would completely bolt the u.s. leaving us with a destroyed economy and tons of angry angry people. yeah, you’re right- this is effed up

  2. Katie Says:

    This is a silly question, but didn’t we do this after the Civil War? Where the Confederate dollars completely useless? How did we make that work?


    • As far as I remember, we, meaning the US government, never really recognized the Confederate States of America as legitimate, so their currency was never valid in the US anyway. But it was used throughout the South (read: The Confederate States of America) during the war. I don’t think, though, that there was any kind of exchange rate put out by the US gov’t that allowed holders of Confederate Dollars to trade them in for US Dollars.


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