Originally posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013


CBS News recently reported that almost 100,000 people recently “Liked” a photograph posted to Subway’s Facebook fan page (comprising almost 20 million hungry Likers) showing one of its vaunted “footlong” submarine sandwiches to measure only eleven inches.

CBS noted that the New York Post conducted its own forensic investigation, finding four out of seven “footlong” sandwiches short. Reports the Post:  “Stingy Subway sandwich honchos are shorting customers by serving 11-inch ‘Footlong’ subs, hungry New Yorkers say.”

CBS reported that Subway, reportedly the largest fast food chain in the world, responded in an e-mail statement:

“We are reinforcing our policies and procedures in an effort to ensure our offerings are always consistent no matter which Subway restaurant you visit,” read an e-mailed statement.

Money — the dollar — is a store of value, a medium of exchange, and a unit of account.  Currently, the definition of that unit fluctuates, over time consistently eroding, as a result of the decisions of the twelve members of the Federal Open Market Committee.  Unlike that of Subway’s sandwiches, shortfalls have not caused flashmobs to appear on Facebook.  Yet consider the severe damage done but an eroding dollar to the U.S. (and world) economy.

Economic policy commentator Rich Lowrie, formerly advisor to the Herman Cain presidential campaign, recently noted:

For America’s first 180 years, when the dollar had a defined value backed by gold, real growth averaged 3.9%, despite income tax rates that varied widely. During our subsequent 41 years of the paper dollar standard, in which the dollar has had no defined value and has been backed only by empty political promises, growth has averaged 2.8%. Under the weak dollar regimes of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, growth has been an anemic 1.57%. If we want to return to high growth rates, we must return to a stable dollar.

Upon learning of the shortfall, the management of Subway immediately swung into taking corrective action to reinforce the integrity of one of its signature products.  The Federal Reserve, by contrast, continues to pledge the “full faith and credit of the United States” for its own product — Federal Reserve Notes — while watching its value erode, since America repudiated the last vestiges of the gold standard in 1971, to 15% of its former value.

If the Federal Reserve managed the nation’s sandwich supply they way they manage its money a “foot long” submarine sandwich now would measure … less than an inch.

Talk about “stingy honchos … shorting customers.”  Paging Mr. Bernanke!