Looking to the less-mighty almighty dollar

By James Kneblik, Jr.

While growing up the phrase the “almighty dollar” was familiar to me.

I knew nothing about world economics as a kid, but somehow I knew I lived in a special and fortunate place: the United States of America. Whether that impression was realistic, I am not sure. I know now that economics change and financial stability is never, well, stable.

While working a few weeks ago, a manager mentioned how the store goes through twenties and fives more quickly than tens. People are using bigger bills for the same products they bought in the past. Imagine what $1 would have bought 50 years ago. Obviously, I understand that inflation is normal, healthy and even predictable, but is there something more to it?

This kind of thinking made me wonder: if more dollars buy less product, can we still call it the almighty dollar?

Isn’t it more like the almighty $5 or $20?

A pocket full of change may have been enough to feed a hungry person on the street in the past, but now it’s just too little to spend at once and too much to toss aside.

Yet before one feels sorry for himself in the U.S. economy, consider those competing for food and wages around the world. Take Zimbabwe for example. A recent New York Times article stated that 2007 inflation increased 12,000 percent in Zimbabwe, and $1 is worth approximately 10 trillion Zimbabwean dollars.

The almighty dollar is surely less mighty than it was and the future of the economy will never be accurately forecasted.

It simply makes me ask myself if I live for more than my financial future or if I measure personal success by wealth. Do I dream of more than the almighty dollar? I hope so.

There are things in life more valuable than the almighty, or less-mighty, dollar: free of inflation and a price tag.


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