Jewish World Review Jan. 4, 2001 / 20 Teves, 5762

Greg Crosby

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Consumer Reports

Euroland -- ALL the talking heads on TV are excited about it. Even The Wall Street Journal says it's a great idea. "The euro is now the sole unit of currency in the 12-nation eurozone," they say. "That's good news for Europe," they say. "But the euro also carries economic benefits and lessons for Americans and the rest of the world," they say. Everyone says it's a good thing. So why am I the only one who seems to be bothered by the new euro single common currency?

One reason is purely aesthetic, romantic, old-fashioned, and completely illogical. I like old ways. I like to go to Italy and see Italians listening to Italian music while eating Italian food paid for with Italian Lire. I like the idea of local food, local customs, local architecture, and local money in individual countries. That's the way one realizes that one is actually in a foreign country and not in Hackensack.

I'd hate to buy a French beret as a souvenir only to find it was manufactured in China. Or a piece of parmesan cheese that was imported from Wisconsin. I like individual countries to be completely individual. Call me a romantic old fluff, but if it were up to me, I'd still have the western Austrians and the northern Italians walking around in Tyrolean outfits playing accordions, the British wearing black bowlers and carrying bumber shoots and the Dutch stumbling down cobblestone streets in wooden shoes.

Another reason I hate the euro is it feels like another step closer to one-worldism. Sure, right now having one currency throughout Europe might sound wonderful economically speaking, but it's only the beginning. What if they decide that this common European monetary system is working so good, they should apply it to other areas of culture and society?

How would you like to see a common European cuisine? Wait. It's already started. It's called McDonald's. Or a common language, like English. Oh ... that's already taken root, too. And I know they've got a common political philosophy ... Socialism. And a common religion -- Devout Secularists. See what I mean? Europe is already well on the road, or should I say autobahn, to a one-world government.

The whole thing of it is, they created the euro to better compete with the U.S. dollar. So what happens if the euro gets so strong that it starts to totally hammer the dollar? Will some economic genius here in the States figure out that the best way to compete with the euro is to devise a new Pan-American currency?

Well, sure. After all, an American economic union has already begun with the formation of NAFTA. Let's just roll the rest of the Americas in and form one common currency -- just like those European rascals. We could call the new currency AMERICASH. The small change would be AMERICOIN. The names are so perfect that you know it absolutely will be done!

Then, of course, the Asian countries would have to do the same thing in order to compete economically with Europe and the Americas. That's how the ASI-YEN currency will be born. Next might be a union amongst the African nations. They're new currency would certainly be called AFRICASH.

Then before you know it, someone will decide that what we really need to do is to just come up with one currency for the entire world. Mark my words, it will happen. Yessir, today the euro, tomorrow the world.

JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. You may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2001 Greg Crosby