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Posted on Thursday, December 27th, 2007

Dave!How can the economy be "strong" when so many businesses are struggling? Everywhere I go, I see stores shutting down or cutting their hours or laying off staff. Tonight I was sad to learn that a restaurant I like is closing next month. And there are a few shops I enjoy that I'm worried about too. If things keep going this way, small business owners will be a thing of the past. I can't help but be a little depressed about that.

I'd ask if anybody is working on fixing our badly broken economy, but if politicians are deluded into thinking "everything is great" then I suppose they don't think there's anything to fix. This is a real pity, because the dollar is so weak in international markets now that my upcoming trip to Europe is looking downright depressing. Lodging is so pricey that there's barely money in my budget left to eat, let alone see or do anything interesting.

Back in 2005, I made a graph comparing the value of the US dollar to the cost of toilet paper in Europe, and using that as an indicator of my vacation prospects...

Blogography Dollar

A quick check at Yahoo! Finance reveals that the dollar has plummeted even further since then...

Dollar vs. Euro

I suppose I should now be less concerned with being able to afford going to a museum or eating dinner, and more concerned with being able to afford to wipe my ass.

Though I suppose I could always take a stack of US dollars with me to use as toilet paper.

They're sure not good for much else outside this country anymore.

Categories: Travel 2007Click To It: Permalink


  1. Robin says:

    Dollar bills would be preferable to some of the toilet paper available in Europe.

  2. Bridgette says:

    I can relate to this as I just went to Northern Ireland in October. The money I was left with after the exchange definitely put a damper on the trip. What a difference from when I was last there ten years ago….(sigh)

  3. ssp says:

    Fun thing is, however, that industry over here in Euro land is bitching about the weak dollar as well as it makes it harder for them to compete on the American market with the price of their own products rising just because of the exchange rate.

    At least people who actually work and create or produce stuff in the U.S. should become more competitive and be better off that way.

    I’ll enjoy this while it lasts as it makes ordering stuff from the U.S. quite cheap. Even after adding the horrendous shipping charges you often end up cheaper than buying stuff here. And some albums or books are published much earlier over in the U.S. I guess I’m even supporting your economy that way. Evil me.

    And before you start feeling too sorry for yourself just check prices the next time you refuel. While they may be horrendous for you, historically, they are still relatively low. I guess the dollar is still good for something.

  4. Lisa says:

    I’ve been asking the same question. I live in a area that was rural 15 years ago. Over the past 15 years the big box stores have moved in and squashed the small stores. I worked for small business for two years and left when business took a nose dive due an economy that was doing so well. The downturn in the housing market had a direct impact on the business…like it’s had on so many other business.

    I keep reading about a credit crisis emerging…and everyone keeps predicting that we haven’t even seen the worst of it yet.

    Hey, no worries though, right? The economy is doing just fine…if you have your head in the sand.

  5. Wayne says:

    I thought that’s why they used bedets…

    So, do you think more businesses are going out of business, or do you think you notice it more? (or both?) Seems to me businesses always succeed and fail, every month someone’s coming in and someone’s going out.

    Over the same approximate dates, tells me

    – unemployment dropped from > 6% to the mid 4’s
    – nonfarm payroll employment increased from 130m to almost 140m
    – avg hourly earnings rose from $15 to $18
    – quarterly productivity in non-farm went from 125 per hour worked to almost 140 (whatever that means)

    Now, I can barely spell economy much less understand all these numbers – all I know is what the impact to me, my family and my friends is. In general, I’m doing better than I did a few years back. Maybe it’s the economy, and then again maybe it’s me. But most if not all my friends and family are doing better. Buying more stuff, achieving goals, saving.

    We’re planning a trip in 2009 to Greece. I’m hoping the TP index shows favorable numbers then 🙂

  6. Lewis says:

    So, help me out here….you’re saying that if you want to take a dump, it’s all good. And, otherwise, not? Wild!

  7. PocketCT says:

    Why is the DV line different than the dollar line? Does Blogography really have its own currency?

  8. serap says:

    If you’re coming to the uk, you’re welcome to come over and use my toilet paper!

  9. Avitable says:

    Yeah, it’s definitely felt much slower than it has the past three years. Now only if Bush could have caught Barak Osama like he promised 6 years ago. 🙂

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