Green Eggs and the Cyprus Levy: An Edible Defence Economy
Alert: Before reading this article it helps if you drink a little wine, if it's late at night, and if you gobble an omelette immediately afterwards – I mean the kind to induce a mind-racking cheese dream. Following these guidelines might help you read with a sense of disillusionment this vision that I'm impelled to work off. But that is lunacy, you say, urgency is in the air.... so read on anyway, in the knowledge that certain things can only be fully appreciated in particular conditions.
Visiting a country that recently adopted the Euro, Slovakia, got me thinking about the mess in Cyprus. A certain unhealthy obsession with prestige cars has become apparent in the Slovakian capital since the sparky currency checked in. Witnessing their clean-numberplated volume reminded me of the warm afternoon when I recovered a ten Slovak Koruna coin from a gutter in Hungary. But cross into the single currency zone and who has ever found any undersized Euro change discarded on the street? No-one. Even an expert like myself in sub-leaf coin-fishing techniques. The Euro's prosaic, sorry universal, design has the peculiar effect of making edible items in packets seem expensive.... of making everything seem expensive except the nauseating new plastic of a BMW X5. My brain prefers a wider normative range in a currency. Rather give me the Vietnamese Dong, the Mongolian Tugrik, even the Japanese Yen, with their more mind-stretching numbers that ironically dissipate the prohibitive instinct.
Yet the Euro certainly can surprise, which is why the edible commodity of the egg could gain legs as a new levy-defensive European currency solution. But could an edible object really replace the insipid Euro coins and notes?
If albumen-heavy assets were to be given this new cash persona, Cypriots could take a touch of solace in witnessing the cholesteric self-destruction of various bureaucrats, as they and their cronies attempt to shovel in up to two in twenty of each individual's personal egg reserves. Some of this loot may well have gone off anyway, and who would know bad from good except the depositor who doesn't date stamp. Clever savers, then, might take it upon themselves to make officials the sickest group in a levying scenario. Green egg, not on their face, but deeply backed-up in their ilea for years as a festering consequence of over-sustenance. Such a feat may induce politico swamp-dredgers to leave the eggs where they are and concentrate on encouraging islanders to rear their chickens with a non-competitive attitude. And what a useful service that would be. So many of us like to eat eggs after all and they're so filling, even when the rest of the cupboard is bare.
Would, then, a levy be as savage with an animal product rather than one of human labour or opportunity? With biological in place of artificial? Not for the savers, since food poisoning is naturally indiscriminate, except when it's targeted. Think about investing in your local farmer if you welcome a change – foodstuff in lieu of interest payments. Whispers say that some packages even come with online yield reporting and your personal investment hen-cam. Or lead the way by becoming an investment-ready producer yourself, responsible for a sustaining amount of shelled Euro-substitutes, soft to the bite. It's an imaginable near-future. It's all in the pipeline – far back, yes, but ready to come shooting out as a leftfield alternative. Campaign, if you're fanciful in a twisted moment, for a move towards the universal currency of the egg. Here's the structural plan:
Currency Denominations: S, M, L, XL
World Economies: Split into two categories – Battery and Free Range
Delivery: A chicken coop becomes a cooperative bank governed primarily by nature – a nature susceptible to disease and generosity, whose fair below-moderate unpredictability takes the place of politicking and fingers in the till
The world wouldn't be so different under nature's incorruptible growth and decay. You could eat or spend the proposed new currency units, but remember they do go off. Hang on though, I know, you've thought of it already.... of boiling the eggs and storing them in a purpose-built security fridge! Good. But you might want to hold back a few green ones... And remember – cracked shells reduce the value of your investment. Store carefully. Eggshells alone have negligible residual value (composting) but are crucial protection for the commodities they house.
If the worst does play out of the neo-economic Cyprus invasion, after any premeditated climbdown, only the tiniest minority might take solace in the words of Chuck Palahniuk's fictional rebel Tyler Durden: “It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.” Unfortunately Palahniuk didn't design an equally mollifying maxim aimed at the 6-10% loss margin, but here's hoping that Cyprus savers don't need one. In the meantime the gracefully good who live within their means are rightfully angry this week at the example of society in action.
Compose your own levy-quelling maxim in the name of propagating the growth of an egg-based economy. Reach for your four kilo dictionaries and random solutions – start your letters to whichever body your mood selects with the words:
“Scratch the depositor levy and I'll sub you a vegetable-fat-heavy bar of imagination chocolate. Or....”
We can now consider the defensive benefits of an edible currency that's designed to be vulnerable – but a versatile two-way vulnerability that can be deployed by everyone. An egalitarian vulnerability then, if we keep the process on simple rails. Outside these, though, we'll still find ourselves squabbling over an egg in the upturned street.
So who knows what to expect when reading the economic forecast. This is just one prediction. A physical egg-rooted investment culture through which we feed ourselves into a guaranteed survival oblivion. A culture in which the defensive colour becomes green.
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