March 7, 2013 12:00 AM

Gold standard might sound good – but it would be a disaster

When Jonathan Swift wrote in 1729 “that a young healthy child, well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food,” he was using gallows humor to draw attention to a largely English-contrived Irish famine. The phrase “a modest proposal” is now an allusion to such straight-faced satire.

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