15 November 2010
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Dear Sen. Graham:
Yesterday, The Hill reported on your disappointment that Pres. Obama failed to persuade Beijing to raise the value of China’s currency. In response to this ‘failure,’ you proclaimed that “They [the Chinese] already have enough advantages.”
Given your belief that a currency whose value is lower than you think it should be confers “advantages” upon its holders, I hereby offer to confer such advantages upon you and your family. Before you or anyone else in the Graham household spends dollars, contact me first. I will give you a fifty-cent coin in exchange for each dollar that you would otherwise have spent on your purchases. You will then make your purchases using only the 50-cent coins. That is, you will have a lower-valued currency unit to spend rather than be burdened by the heavy yoke of having to spend a higher-valued currency unit.
I will also act as your agent to demand that your employers (and anyone else who purchases goods and services from the Graham household) pay to the Grahams only 50-cents on the dollar.
I promise to do this exchange for each and every dollar that you and yours wish to spend – and to act as your agent to ensure that you are paid no more than 50 cents on the dollar – for as long as you wish. In this way, you will effectively devalue the currency used and earned by the Graham household and, I presume (because you are a knowledgeable and thoughtful U.S. Senator who has divined that lower-value currency is a blessing), earn for your family great riches and other “advantages.”
Do we have a deal?
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030