Ah, the Temptation

Music: An Old Music Box.
Sequenced by David Doig.

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Ah, the temptation
When one can print money
To print it and print it --
As much as one needs!

Ah, for one moment
The outlook is sunny:
Wealth is restored!
The project succeeds!

People are working,
Beginning to spend;
Credit is flowing,
The market is pleased;

Banks once again
Have money to lend;
One has a sense
That the moment was seized.

The problem is nothing
Can never be something:
Money just printed
Was not bought or sold.

There was no exchange
Of one thing for one thing:
Something produced,
Like laughter or gold.

And so we've increased
Our money without
Increasing the value
Of what it can buy.

The outcome must be
Without any doubt,
According to laws
Of demand and supply.

When there is more money
In relation to things,
Prices will rise
In response to demand.

Since just-printed wealth
No exchange for goods brings,
The goods stay the same
As the dollars expand.

Prices rise quickly,
Leaving us nothing
More than we had
When we first began.

And so we learn nothing
Can never be something
The hard way -- again --
As we sink in the sand.

Copyright by Nicholas Gordon





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