I’m not much of a skier, but I wouldn’t mind driving that little bus around for a while. Travel agent is one of those jobs that I tend to have stereotyped as female in my head. I guess it used to be mostly men, or I’m just wrong.


from Skiing to Sightseeing

Expert, novice—or onlooker—it’s as much fun to watch as to ski yourself. Learn to ski—or hire a horse-drawn, bell-tinkling sleigh and. bundled in fur blankets, explore the trails. Come evening, gather by the fire, comparing adventures with gay international vacationists!

No other country offers such mountains, such lakes, so much variety! Switzerland is the crossroads of Europe—like visiting four countries in one! As little as $39.50 a week pays for fabulous meals, spotless rooms-even tips. Order in English—practically all your Swiss hosts speak it!


Swiss National Travel Office

10 West 49th St., New York 20, N. Y.
661 Market St., San Francisco 5, Cal.



  1. bob says: February 20, 201211:46 am

    The last time I was there $39.50 would about cover lunch for two.

  2. Hirudinea says: February 20, 20123:07 pm

    @ Bob – Yea, they won’t even let you look at Switzerland for $39.50 now adays.

  3. Ligu says: February 20, 20127:31 pm

    Actually, in 1952 the price of gold was about $35 per ounce. At today’s price, the equal amount of gold would buy you a reasonably decent week’s vacation in Switzerland. Just goes to show how Helicopter Ben and his equally corrupt predecessors and enablers debased the once mighty dollar.

  4. JMyint says: February 21, 20129:09 am

    In 1971 Nixon unilaterally took the US off of the Gold Standard. In 1980 gold was trading for $615 per ounce, adjusted for inflation that would be $1,691.66 today. As of this morning gold is trading for $1754.80 per ounce.

    What is debasing the “mighty dollar” is not anyone’s policy but the massive trade deficit, which what prompted the move from the gold standard in the first place. In 2011 the trade deficit for goods was $737 billion, a big part of that is oil.

  5. Charlie says: February 21, 201210:38 am

    Ligu: This is a pretty bizarre argument. I mean besides inflation, and the fact that we’re not on a gold standard anymore, a shitload of gold has been mined between 1952 and now. So I really don’t understand what you’re trying to say.

  6. Nomen Nescio says: February 21, 201210:45 am

    Nixon may have “unilaterally” ended the gold standard, but then, which other parties would have had to be involved? any country that’s sovereign in its currency gets to define that currency as it pleases, by definition, and if congress had objected they had the power to overrule the executive with a law.

    (and yes, ending the gold standard was one of the few things Nixon did that i can approve of, even in retrospect. tying a country’s currency to any tangible resource is silly. the stuff’s not supposed to represent anything that concrete, that’s not how it gets used.)

  7. JMyint says: February 21, 20122:23 pm

    What I meant by unilaterally (though yes it was a executive order by Nixon) was that no other country or organization was consulted before the announcement so it became what was known as the the “Nixon Shock”. The reasons behind it were in part the price of gold was being artificially manipulated by the Bretton Woods agreement to keep the price at $35 an ounce, inflation was eroding the value of the dollar overseas, and countries holding large amounts of dollars were increasingly exchanging them for gold.


    If you want to read how it went down.

  8. Ligu says: February 21, 20122:29 pm

    While a gold standard has its problems, the problem with fiat money is that it is at the mercy of the discipline of whoever controls the printing presses. The Federal Reserve’s mandate should strictly be matching money supply to the economic activity of the country. Reducing unemployment, bailing out cronies and poorly managed companies, or help hiding the excesses of government spending and unfunded liabilities are all “scope-creep” that have been and continue to debase the US Dollar. So the choice is: Discipline or a standard based on something that cannot be made up easily.

    I find it an interesting data point that this ad shows how something that has been considered a proxy for value since ancient times quite closely represents the value of a particular good in 1952 and today.

    @Charlie: As a “shitload” of gold has been mined since 1952, wouldn’t that mean the gold price should be lower today? Well, of course the problems is that a “shitload of shitloads” of dollars have been printed since then.

  9. Nomen Nescio says: February 21, 20123:02 pm

    ALL money is at the mercy of the discipline of whoever issues it. no law of nature says that X amount of gold has to be “worth” this or that much value, or that one gold coin has to have exactly yea weight of pure metal in it. coin debasement was a problem for centuries before fiat money as we know it — because in the end, all money is in some sense fiat money, considering that no commodity has any inherent quality of “value”. even strictly limited resources only have whatever “value” we humans decide to assign to them.

    bringing the fed into it is a red herring. ultimately, in any monetarily sovereign nation, money is a government monopoly and it’s the government’s discipline you’re trusting; might as well make that explicit. managing unemployment and seeing to the welfare of the citizenry are among the functions of any dutiful government, monetary and fiscal policy are just some of the tools that can be used to help fulfill those (and other) duties. worrying about the currency being “debased” is really a much, much lesser concern than rampaging unemployment or destabilizing wealth inequalities. countries have come back from even hyperinflation in one piece, whereas those other two problems have started revolutions.

    for some background data on where i’m coming from, and to shorten this comment by a great deal, y’all can google “modern monetary theory” for yourselves. it was developed by much smarter people than me, and there’s better explanations of it online than i can write.

  10. Jari says: February 21, 20128:05 pm

    I’m just happy, that we don’t use Swedish riksdalers anymore here in Finland. They were made of copper, and the largest 10 daler weighted almost 20 kg. You could buy a farm in Finland about 100 dalers in 1700’s, if I remember correctly. That’s around 200kg of copper to carry around….

    Then again, I vaguelly recall an article about using gold as a currency. The problem would be that one dollar/euro/pound/frank etc. would have something like milligrams of gold in them, when the amount of currency increased, or something like that.

    5 am… great… Pieces of eight?

  11. Orv says: February 22, 20125:56 pm

    @8: It’s been said that while fiat money is at the mercy of whoever runs the printing press, gold-based money is at the mercy of men with shovels. 😉

    There’s nothing magic about gold as a store of value. If the gold supply happens to expand faster than overall economic growth, the price of gold will fall and a gold-backed currency will experience inflation; if it expands slower than overall economic growth, the price of gold will rise and a gold-backed currency will deflate. It only really works out if gold production happens to coincidentally expand the supply at the same rate the economy overall is growing.

    I highly recommend the book _Lord of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke The World_ for some perspective on how the gold standard worked (or, more accurately, how it didn’t) and the problems it caused during the inter-war years.

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