Press reports received recently in this country state that Guatemala has decided to abandon the use of subsidiary coins made of hard rubber, and is to adopt coins of German manufacture which are to be made of porcelain. No longer can the spendthrift Guatemalan carelessly toss his extra pesos to the street urchins, knowing that if they fail to catch them on the fly they will get them on the rebound; now, alas, the coins upon striking the paving will be shattered into a thousand pleces, valueless as a means of exchange and effective only in puncturing automobile tires.
There must be some reason for this, either political or economic. It is quite possible that insidious German propagandists have duped the Guatemalan government into believing that porcelain coins are better, solely for the purpose of establishing a new market for German goods, a market which will never be satiated. For as long as the coins are constantly being destroyed by break-age, there will be a demand for more, thus keeping the German workingmen occupied, and increasing the prosperity of the Fatherland.
Or perhaps the Central American polititians have evolved a new scheme for beating the high cost of living. Professor Taussig tells us that prices depend upon the quantity of money; possibly the government hopes that by establishing a porcelain currency system, then merely sitting still and waiting for the money to break, the amount of money will be so much reduced that prices will fall almost to nothing, everyone will feel happy, and the administration, by claiming the credit, would establish itself in the good graces of the public and for the first time in history be able to complete its term without being destroyed by a revolution.