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Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

 

Voting

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Hey there! I’m a former subscriber who only stopped because I could not afford to renew my subscription, but follow you regularly (several times a week) on my work computer.

I adore Jackie Clay. Some day I’m going to get brave and really pressure can instead of only doing boiling water bath. Hooray Jackie!

But I have to say, I’m going to vote for Ron Paul. If I only write his name in on a ballot, I’m going to vote for him. In spite of the fact that he may eliminate the Social Security that I have contributed to all my working life (since age 18, against my will), and that will leave me darn near penniless unless I can continue to work. I now have nothing else to support me in my “old age”, but that’s okay, and do you know why?  Because the rest of his ideas and ideals MAKE TOTAL SENSE…..

I also am NOT going to “absentee ballot”.  Big scandal in 2008 in my precinct when it was discovered NONE of the absentee ballots had been counted!!!!!!!  And we had presidential and senatorial races going on!  The Clerk said “they didn’t have the people to count” so none of them were counted until weeks after the closing of the races, and of course by that time it didn’t matter squat….. I thought of adding to the stink that was raised…..I was going to volunteer to help count…but didn’t. I am now sorry I didn’t. I might still just do that this year.

Again, I would be a subscriber but I just don’t have the money. I had to drop my health insurance because it more than doubled. I’m paid by the line for my work, production, and it’s basically all I can do to keep my house payments up and certain other bills/expenses paid. I’m not whining, really. At least my company keeps work here in the US instead of sending it “globally”. And I am blessed to be still able to do this worik (I’m a medical transcriptionist).

Back to my original intent – VOTE FOR RON PAUL………I feel he is the ONLY one who can help us, if it’s just not too late.

Kathleen in IL

 

Defunding government

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Sir,

I will start with the statement that I have read your magazine since its inception many years ago. Our lives have been tested in similar manners, divorce, child rearing, attempting to start over again ect. This is why I find it shocking that you advocate the throw the baby out with the bathwater solution so many have… I expected better..or at least  a fair chance, you see Dave, I AM ONE OF THEM a good for nothing fat cat rich public employee.

I would love to make 30+ dollars an hour and all those FREE MONEY BENEFITS I would sure like some body to show them to me.

I did get a raise this year Dave, a whole .25 cents an hour  didn’t get a raise the last 3 years though.

My” golden parachute “retirement from the state I work for after 30 years of loyal service will be about 785 a month.And that is it, if our Governor doesn’t decide to give it to the teachers union, which means you guessed it… screwed again.

Yes… the joys of working for “the people”. I guess I could be bitter about it, but hey with all the millions in free benefits who could complain?

What do I do you ask?  I am a nurses aide on a Maximum Security Ward of a Mental Institution. And we all know how well DEFUNDING mental health has been working on that problem don’t we Dave?

My whole point is there are services that are necessary if not popular and the people who step up to do these jobs don’t really need to be demonized by an editorial that may be true in Oregon is not necessarily true every where else.

A one size fits all approach is one that rarely fits any. And while I have enjoyed your publication for many years and do agree with you on most things I have to draw a line Dave….. Sorry you have been defunded.

Yours,

Bruce E. Blankenship

 

A guide to buying silver and gold

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

I’m writing in response to Mr. Buckley’s excellent article. Id like to add some observations to that excellent overview.

The thoughts below are solely my opinion and are not intended proselytize anyone; I am including them to provide my rationale for the silver acquisition strategy I am about to share below.

I am not a precious metals dealer, nor do I have any commercial interest in what I have to say. I just have a belief that regardless of political orientation, with a very few notable exceptions, the same gang of myopic, quarreling, self focused, gladiator-politicians, who have for decades been catering to a moneyed aristocracy for whom “More!” is never enough, will probably continue in power. That’s a scary enough scenario. However, if plague-flu, nuclear terrorists, computer saboteurs, unchecked global heating, climate wierding, nuclear states acting out historical grudges (Iran, Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea. Etc.), or a nuclear terrorist attack on Washington or New York don’t bring on Dylan’s “It’s A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”, the Wall Street locusts will. The world economy dropped to its knees in a few short weeks after years of wink-and-a-nod regulation (bad, bad, word) fostered staggering greed that eventually compromised our financial and national security, with the only remedy being either mortgage the farm to buy more slop for the Hogs or let the farm go to hell.

Any one of these scenarios would almost immediately dry up the oil supply (how much bread and milk would be on the shelves after a few diesel-less weeks for oil tankers, trucks, container ships, power plants, etc.; who would go to work in the teeth of a virulent lethal flu? And just how long before desperate people would start “foraging”, that is, taking whatever they need from whoever has it? In the long term, considering that only Congress has legislative authority to reduce the obscenely massive national deficit is worrying enough, but should they actually do anything, that burden is sure to fall on ordinary citizens, and not the creators and beneficiaries of this catastrophe, who have been, are now, and will continue to finance campaigns of “friendly” politicians. As Deep Throat once said to Carl Bernstein: “Follow the money”. I say, “It is time to get smart”.

I grew up assuming that other people had organized the world for my benefit, and that all I needed to do was work hard, obey the law and pay my taxes to earn money for my wants and needs. That was called the American Way of Life; and it was all based on earning and spending enough to keep the economy growing. It seems that most politicians think that only by borrowing money to spend or reducing national income (tax cuts) or stripping government services will keep the economy growing. That’s like saying the best way to avoid foreclosure is to take out a loan, get a lower-paying job, or start selling off your inheritance. The horrifying truth is the Chinese, Saudis, and Japanese hold the mortgage, and the family is in crisis and tearing itself apart. No politician will do anything that could endanger re- election. That is where things are now, and the sickening truth is the medicine we need is gone – to Wall Street hedge funds, banks, corporate growth and profit machine and stockholders, and especially to the wealth aristocrats with super-size medicine cabinets brimming with (w)health, while the patient’s monitor red-lines and the doctor sits watching ESPN and picking his nose. In response, I have been relying on an old and fundamental American value; self-reliance. Among many other things, part of my strategy is acquiring the things of value I can use to secure things like food, fuel and shelter and safety.

David Weschler, the premier constructor of intelligence tests (Weschler Scales of Intelligence) once defined “intelligence” as not some mysterious “mental energy” intelligence tests measure (including his own), or even one’s ability to benefit from instruction (although that comes closer), but (to paraphrase) “the ability to organize the world to your benefit”. Sooo – I think it’s Time To Get Smart.

I have a suggestion for people who wish to acquire precious metals as a precaution against paper money’s predictable loss of value during “Hard Times”: Buy silver. Unlike other precious metals, silver has a wide range of important industrial uses that sustain demand and smooth out the volatility of the precious metal commodity exchanges. If you do choose to buy silver bullion, don’t “nickel and dime” unless you must. It is better to buy silver in 100 to 1000 oz. bars because the greater the quantity, the less of a dealer’s premium you pay. It is best to buy local and pick it up yourself. You should meet the person you are buying from in his office. If the office looks like a shabby dump, well, caveat emptor. Furthermore, unlike gold, silver can be a medium of daily person-to-person exchange during hard times. Try buying a carton of milk with a Krugerrand. You could bite it into bits with your teeth and weigh them – or just give the person a silver dime.

Three years ago in October when the Deregulation buzzards came home to roost, and after I realized the government had let the aristocracy of the never-rich-enough suck up national security. I bought two $1000 bags of U.S. pre 1964 silver coins. My first point is if you perceive the need, DON’T WAIT. If things go to Hell, it won’t matter if you paid $5.00 or $50.00 per ounce. No matter how much “profit” you made, the only difference will be how much paper you’re holding in your hand to wipe your buttocks when paper towels would do just as well. I bought U.S. pre- 1964 90% silver coins when the spot price was $10.50. Today’s spot is $29.43. If you are acquiring and not selling, this paper difference is of no consequence. If you need help convincing a cautious partner, spouse, etc., there are graphs of the change in the price of silver at MJPM.com: daily, monthly, and yearly from 1792 to present. The price trends for the last two decades are sobering. If I’d listened to advice back then (anxious spouse), I’d still be waiting for the price to drop.

As far as the forms of silver, I suggest not buying the Treasury “American Silver Eagle” dollar coins. First of all, they are so stunningly beautiful and limited in issue, they have numismatic (coin-collecting) value (i.e., they appreciate over time), and collectors pay a premium over their 1 oz. bullion (spot) value. If you want bulk silver for barter, many silver producers issue 1 oz. (or more) .999 pure silver “coins” called “rounds” which come in “half”, “quarter”, and “tenth” ounce sizes. I’d only buy silver rounds that feature the most beautiful of old Treasury issues, such as the “Walking Liberty”, “Standing Liberty”, “Morgan Dollar”, “Saint Gaudens”, “Incuse Indian”, or my favorite, the James Earl Fraser “Indian Head” or “Buffalo” design used on the 1913 – 1938 nickels (for example, see at Golden Gate Mint website). Since these silver “rounds” are not U.S. coins; their value” isn’t backed by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. government, which is often given as a reason to buy Silver Eagles. But considering that the face value of a Silver Eagle is one dollar, if things do go to hell, the government will only give you a dollar for it, and that will probably will be in some form of paper. Duh. Again, if things do go “south of the border” (chasing NAFTA?), the value of an ounce coin will be way beyond present day spot. Again, think about trying to buy a carton of milk with a 1 oz. Silver Eagle perhaps worth the equivalent of $100 – if not more.

In barter situations, people may question the authenticity of what you have to give; in addition, you will need a form of silver that can be used for everyday small purchases. People will be most comfortable with actual out-of-circulation U.S. silver coins. Again, even these in dime form, in a “gone-to hell” situation, could be worth considerably more than a loaf of bread.

There is a strategy I have used that has allowed me to acquire pre-1964 90% U.S silver coins for less than their commercial spot value. Interested? Although it is time-consuming, it is not difficult, nor does it require knowledge or skills beyond the ability of a reasonably intelligent adult. Although time-intensive, I found it to be satisfying and enjoyable.

I bought a $1000 face value bag each of pre-1964 silver dimes and quarters. Many buyers of bulk coins ask for bags of half dollars or dollars. This is a mistake for the reason outlined above. Instead of just packing the coins away, I sorted them into the various US Treasury issues, or face designs, if you will. A word about U.S. silver coins. When they were pulled from circulation after 1964, most ended up in Treasury vaults. It appears that the larger denominations have been culled of earlier Treasury releases – I would imagine based on their numismatic value. So, for example, only about ten of the $1000 of bag of quarters predated the Washington 1932-1964 issue, and these were so worn they were worthless to any collector. Again, there were practically none of the more valuable coins of the early 1930′s. This was not so for the dimes, which were represented (roughly) as follows (in descending order of issue):

About 60% “Roosevelt” dimes (1946 – 1964) About 37% “Winged Liberty Head” or “Mercury”dimes (1916 – 1946) About 2,5%, “Barber” or “Liberty Head” dimes (1892 – 1916) About 0.5% “Liberty Seated” dimes (1837 – 1891).

Unlike the quarters, the earlier coins of these releases, as well as the scarcer mintmarks (more below) were proportionally well-represented. I cannot guarantee that any particular bag of dimes would have the same proportions of these various issues, but I think there is reason to believe so. First, anyone who has sorted through a $1000 bag (10,000) dimes would not find it implausible that someone has taken the time to sort them. Second, I was careful to choose a reputable seller of precious metals who could identify their origin, in this case, a bank vault. I would suggest that anyone wanting to use my strategy identify the source of their purchase. Under no circumstances are coins to be purchased from a coin dealer. And if you do find a valuable coin, you have some certainty it is not conterfeit. China has been flooding the U.S. precious coin market with – well, Chinese crap.

After sorting out the low-value Roosevelt dimes, which I have reserved for future bartering, I sorted the Mercury and Barber dimes by their U.S. mint marks. These marks indicate their origin and can also be used to identify the numbers produced by each mint, which along with condition (wear)determines their numismatic value. Typically scarce for “Mercury” dimes are the “S” (San Francisco) mintmark, and, to a lesser extent, the “D” or Denver mintmark. The earlier the date, the higher the numismatic value. For the “Barber” dimes, the “O” or New Orleans mintmark and “S” or San Francisco mintmark are usually scarcest, as are the Philadelphia and Denver 1916 and 1921 issues. 1920, 1921. I hit JACKPOT on several coins: an 1896-O and 1905 “micro ‘O’” in “Very Good” condition ($160, $25); two 1921′s and one 1921 “D” in “Good” condition ($65, $65, $80), and two 1926-S in “Very Good” condition ($15, $15). I was also able to make several 50 coin roll of the scarcer earliest-dated coins which I also sold for a good profit.

The bottom line is that I sold the Mercury and Barber dimes for about and $800 profit, thus discounting what I paid for the dimes ($10,500) about 7.5%. My only caveat is that this strategy is time-consuming: Not only must you sort through 10,000 dimes by issue and mintmark, you must grade their condition before you can identify their value. There are various on-line sources for this. There is no guarantee this strategy will work for others; for example, you might not receive an unsorted bag of coins. However, if this is so, if your mission is to acquire coins for barter, there is no loss other than a lost opportunity to make a profit.

[Name withheld by request]

A guide to buying silver and gold By Thomas M. Buckley

I’m writing in response to Mr. Buckley’s excellent article. Id like to add some observations to that excellent overview.

The thoughts below are solely my opinion and are not intended proselytize anyone; I am including them to provide my rationale for the silver acquisition strategy I am about to share below.

I am not a precious metals dealer, nor do I have any commercial interest in what I have to say. I just have a belief that regardless of political orientation, with a very few notable exceptions, the same gang of myopic, quarreling, self focused, gladiator-politicians, who have for decades been catering to a moneyed aristocracy for whom “More!” is never enough, will probably continue in power. That’s a scary enough scenario. However, if plague-flu, nuclear terrorists, computer saboteurs, unchecked global heating, climate wierding, nuclear states acting out historical grudges (Iran, Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea. Etc.), or a nuclear terrorist attack on Washington or New York don’t bring on Dylan’s “It’s A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”, the Wall Street locusts will. The world economy dropped to its knees in a few short weeks after years of wink-and-a-nod regulation (bad, bad, word) fostered staggering greed that eventually compromised our financial and national security, with the only remedy being either mortgage the farm to buy more slop for the Hogs or let the farm go to hell.

Any one of these scenarios would almost immediately dry up the oil supply (how much bread and milk would be on the shelves after a few diesel-less weeks for oil tankers, trucks, container ships, power plants, etc.; who would go to work in the teeth of a virulent lethal flu? And just how long before desperate people would start “foraging”, that is, taking whatever they need from whoever has it? In the long term, considering that only Congress has legislative authority to reduce the obscenely massive national deficit is worrying enough, but should they actually do anything, that burden is sure to fall on ordinary citizens, and not the creators and beneficiaries of this catastrophe, who have been, are now, and will continue to finance campaigns of “friendly” politicians. As Deep Throat once said to Carl Bernstein: “Follow the money”. I say, “It is time to get smart”.

I grew up assuming that other people had organized the world for my benefit, and that all I needed to do was work hard, obey the law and pay my taxes to earn money for my wants and needs. That was called the American Way of Life; and it was all based on earning and spending enough to keep the economy growing. It seems that most politicians think that only by borrowing money to spend or reducing national income (tax cuts) or stripping government services will keep the economy growing. That’s like saying the best way to avoid foreclosure is to take out a loan, get a lower-paying job, or start selling off your inheritance. The horrifying truth is the Chinese, Saudis, and Japanese hold the mortgage, and the family is in crisis and tearing itself apart. No politician will do anything that could endanger re- election. That is where things are now, and the sickening truth is the medicine we need is gone – to Wall Street hedge funds, banks, corporate growth and profit machine and stockholders, and especially to the wealth aristocrats with super-size medicine cabinets brimming with (w)health, while the patient’s monitor red-lines and the doctor sits watching ESPN and picking his nose. In response, I have been relying on an old and fundamental American value; self-reliance. Among many other things, part of my strategy is acquiring the things of value I can use to secure things like food, fuel and shelter and safety.

David Weschler, the premier constructor of intelligence tests (Weschler Scales of Intelligence) once defined “intelligence” as not some mysterious “mental energy” intelligence tests measure (including his own), or even one’s ability to benefit from instruction (although that comes closer), but (to paraphrase) “the ability to organize the world to your benefit”. Sooo – I think it’s Time To Get Smart.

I have a suggestion for people who wish to acquire precious metals as a precaution against paper money’s predictable loss of value during “Hard Times”: Buy silver. Unlike other precious metals, silver has a wide range of important industrial uses that sustain demand and smooth out the volatility of the precious metal commodity exchanges. If you do choose to buy silver bullion, don’t “nickel and dime” unless you must. It is better to buy silver in 100 to 1000 oz. bars because the greater the quantity, the less of a dealer’s premium you pay. It is best to buy local and pick it up yourself. You should meet the person you are buying from in his office. If the office looks like a shabby dump, well, caveat emptor. Furthermore, unlike gold, silver can be a medium of daily person-to-person exchange during hard times. Try buying a carton of milk with a Krugerrand. You could bite it into bits with your teeth and weigh them – or just give the person a silver dime.

Three years ago in October when the Deregulation buzzards came home to roost, and after I realized the government had let the aristocracy of the never-rich-enough suck up national security. I bought two $1000 bags of U.S. pre 1964 silver coins. My first point is if you perceive the need, DON’T WAIT. If things go to Hell, it won’t matter if you paid $5.00 or $50.00 per ounce. No matter how much “profit” you made, the only difference will be how much paper you’re holding in your hand to wipe your buttocks when paper towels would do just as well. I bought U.S. pre- 1964 90% silver coins when the spot price was $10.50. Today’s spot is $29.43. If you are acquiring and not selling, this paper difference is of no consequence. If you need help convincing a cautious partner, spouse, etc., there are graphs of the change in the price of silver at MJPM.com: daily, monthly, and yearly from 1792 to present. The price trends for the last two decades are sobering. If I’d listened to advice back then (anxious spouse), I’d still be waiting for the price to drop.

As far as the forms of silver, I suggest not buying the Treasury “American Silver Eagle” dollar coins. First of all, they are so stunningly beautiful and limited in issue, they have numismatic (coin-collecting) value (i.e., they appreciate over time), and collectors pay a premium over their 1 oz. bullion (spot) value. If you want bulk silver for barter, many silver producers issue 1 oz. (or more) .999 pure silver “coins” called “rounds” which come in “half”, “quarter”, and “tenth” ounce sizes. I’d only buy silver rounds that feature the most beautiful of old Treasury issues, such as the “Walking Liberty”, “Standing Liberty”, “Morgan Dollar”, “Saint Gaudens”, “Incuse Indian”, or my favorite, the James Earl Fraser “Indian Head” or “Buffalo” design used on the 1913 – 1938 nickels (for example, see at Golden Gate Mint website). Since these silver “rounds” are not U.S. coins; their value” isn’t backed by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. government, which is often given as a reason to buy Silver Eagles. But considering that the face value of a Silver Eagle is one dollar, if things do go to hell, the government will only give you a dollar for it, and that will probably will be in some form of paper. Duh. Again, if things do go “south of the border” (chasing NAFTA?), the value of an ounce coin will be way beyond present day spot. Again, think about trying to buy a carton of milk with a 1 oz. Silver Eagle perhaps worth the equivalent of $100 – if not more.

In barter situations, people may question the authenticity of what you have to give; in addition, you will need a form of silver that can be used for everyday small purchases. People will be most comfortable with actual out-of-circulation U.S. silver coins. Again, even these in dime form, in a “gone-to hell” situation, could be worth considerably more than a loaf of bread.

There is a strategy I have used that has allowed me to acquire pre-1964 90% U.S silver coins for less than their commercial spot value. Interested? Although it is time-consuming, it is not difficult, nor does it require knowledge or skills beyond the ability of a reasonably intelligent adult. Although time-intensive, I found it to be satisfying and enjoyable.

I bought a $1000 face value bag each of pre-1964 silver dimes and quarters. Many buyers of bulk coins ask for bags of half dollars or dollars. This is a mistake for the reason outlined above. Instead of just packing the coins away, I sorted them into the various US Treasury issues, or face designs, if you will. A word about U.S. silver coins. When they were pulled from circulation after 1964, most ended up in Treasury vaults. It appears that the larger denominations have been culled of earlier Treasury releases – I would imagine based on their numismatic value. So, for example, only about ten of the $1000 of bag of quarters predated the Washington 1932-1964 issue, and these were so worn they were worthless to any collector. Again, there were practically none of the more valuable coins of the early 1930′s. This was not so for the dimes, which were represented (roughly) as follows (in descending order of issue):

About 60% “Roosevelt” dimes (1946 – 1964) About 37% “Winged Liberty Head” or “Mercury”dimes (1916 – 1946) About 2,5%, “Barber” or “Liberty Head” dimes (1892 – 1916) About 0.5% “Liberty Seated” dimes (1837 – 1891).

Unlike the quarters, the earlier coins of these releases, as well as the scarcer mintmarks (more below) were proportionally well-represented. I cannot guarantee that any particular bag of dimes would have the same proportions of these various issues, but I think there is reason to believe so. First, anyone who has sorted through a $1000 bag (10,000) dimes would not find it implausible that someone has taken the time to sort them. Second, I was careful to choose a reputable seller of precious metals who could identify their origin, in this case, a bank vault. I would suggest that anyone wanting to use my strategy identify the source of their purchase. Under no circumstances are coins to be purchased from a coin dealer. And if you do find a valuable coin, you have some certainty it is not conterfeit. China has been flooding the U.S. precious coin market with – well, Chinese crap.

After sorting out the low-value Roosevelt dimes, which I have reserved for future bartering, I sorted the Mercury and Barber dimes by their U.S. mint marks. These marks indicate their origin and can also be used to identify the numbers produced by each mint, which along with condition (wear)determines their numismatic value. Typically scarce for “Mercury” dimes are the “S” (San Francisco) mintmark, and, to a lesser extent, the “D” or Denver mintmark. The earlier the date, the higher the numismatic value. For the “Barber” dimes, the “O” or New Orleans mintmark and “S” or San Francisco mintmark are usually scarcest, as are the Philadelphia and Denver 1916 and 1921 issues. 1920, 1921. I hit JACKPOT on several coins: an 1896-O and 1905 “micro ‘O’” in “Very Good” condition ($160, $25); two 1921′s and one 1921 “D” in “Good” condition ($65, $65, $80), and two 1926-S in “Very Good” condition ($15, $15). I was also able to make several 50 coin roll of the scarcer earliest-dated coins which I also sold for a good profit.

The bottom line is that I sold the Mercury and Barber dimes for about and $800 profit, thus discounting what I paid for the dimes ($10,500) about 7.5%. My only caveat is that this strategy is time-consuming: Not only must you sort through 10,000 dimes by issue and mintmark, you must grade their condition before you can identify their value. There are various on-line sources for this. There is no guarantee this strategy will work for others; for example, you might not receive an unsorted bag of coins. However, if this is so, if your mission is to acquire coins for barter, there is no loss other than a lost opportunity to make a profit.

 

Double dip recession

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

[In response to How deep can this recession get? How do we escape from it? ]

You people are so full of crap it’s not funny anymore.

Carl Aresco

 

Hyperinflation

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

My kids got an electronic monopoly game for Christmas. I wondered why you got 2 million dollars to pass go.  Could this be the first step in desensitizing us to hyperinflation?

You just gotta wonder.

Sue Pulen

 

A quick Tour of Hyperinflation

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Great article. My husband, Bob, and I saw this coming back in 1974 and have been spreading the word since then, to small avail.

One point not made was that the government has mortgaged away our country to other countries like China. When the whole ball of wax starts to melt, those mortgages are going to be called in and we, who were born and raised here in the USA, will find ourselves tenants on land that is no longer American owned. Actually, we are tenants already; most people just don’t know that… yet.

Also, remember the Federal Reserve isn’t federal at all. A wise banker once said, “Allow me to control the money and I don’t care who runs the country.”

Obviously, there is no simple fix. No, we cannot predict the future, but by looking to the history of once great nations, we can see the natural results of hyperinflation. Thank you for sharing in such a wise and concise manner.

Lizzie Hough

 

The Path to Another Depression

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Dear Editor:

Although largely unresearched, I generally agree with the thought process in Mr John Silviera’s The Path To Another Depression.  My feeling is that in the constant clash between politicians and the economy, most generally the economy suffers in order to benefit the politician’s quest for monetary/political gain.

However, in the third to the last paragraph, one of Mr. Silviera’s conclusions is; “Hence, GM’s Saturn, Chrysler’s PT Cruiser, and other small car disasters that have befallen Detroit.”  I have read and heard several times over the past few years that the PT Cruiser was the most successful new car rollout since Ford’s Mustang in the early sixties.  Obviously, my current understanding of the success of this rollout seems to be in direct contrast to Mr. Silviera’s conclusion.

If Mr. Silviera’s statement is correct, why was the PT Crusier a disaster?

If I am correct – the PT Crusier was the most successful new car rollout since Ford’s Mustang – what other statements in the article are incorrect?  or is the article just the personal unresearched feelings on the issue by the author?

Thank you,

Stan Thibault

The PT Cruiser may have started out with a bang, but by 2007 Chrysler was losing money on it and was trying to get rid of it.  (Here’s one site talks specifically about the PT Cruiser: .  You can find others on your own.)

The reasons Chrysler was trying to get rid of it were many, customer complaints about quality being among them.  But because of average-mileage constraints placed on the fleets of cars each of the “Big Three” manufacture, they are obligated to keep small cars in their fleets, even when they’re losers, otherwise they face congressional and bureaucratic wrath.

JES

 

John Silveira et. al.

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Hi,

I found your web site a few years ago searching sausage making information. I saved the article to my favorites. Last weekend I came across it, reread it and looked around your site. I found The path to another Depression By John Silveira .

I was wowed. I have been talking like this for 25+ years.

What is going on is madness. I don’t mean rhetorical madness, I mean real full blown madness.

(Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds)

(“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” )

I don’t think there is a stopping this train wreck. The people have been mass hypnotized. The end is near.

I believe in Jesus returning soon and even if you don’t, we have much in common.

Keep up the good work.

I wish that I had looked at your site more closely, sooner.

Thank You,

Jon Holzapfel

 

The Path to Another Depression, John Silveira

Monday, July 6th, 2009

John,

Thanks for another insightful analysis pertaining to what ails this country. Your argument is spot-on, and I whole-heartedly agree we are going down the same path toward depression as we did in the 30′s due to massive government intervention.

I like to ask people nowadays, “If the goal of today’s government is to completely wreck the economy, should they be doing anything differently?”

Again, thanks for lending clarity to this issue, as the mainstream media will not connect the dots anytime soon.

Bob Wood
Churubusco, IN

 

“The path to another Depression”

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

I just have to comment on your online article The path to another Depression by John Silveira.

I live in a small farm in central Alberta and my husband and I have discussed the automaking industries woes many times, as the situation here in Canada is the same as south of the border for the auto industry.  We have both said many times – “let them go bankrupt, it’s the only way they’ll get the unions out and truly become competitive in the world market”!  We have opened from scratch (& without bank financing), grew our small business to 5 times it’s original square footage, and maintained it and turned a decent profit every year for 13 years (then we sold it), so I feel that we have the right to say this.  Business owners MUST have the ability to cut costs, cut people, change suppliers, etc. as needed to keep their company profitable – unions null and void this ability on many fronts.

Over and over in government, it’s individuals who have no ‘real world’ business skills who are in power.  Could they, on their own, open and run a successful small business in a competitive industry? I believe that for most of them, the answer would be no.  If they can’t manage a small business successfully, how can we possibly expect them to manage an entire country?

This is the first time I’ve come across your website and must say – so far I’m very impressed with the common sense advice that is being given!

R. Dixon
Alberta, Canada

 

Dave Duffy’s “My View” March/April 09

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Dear Editor:

I read with great satisfaction Mr. Duffy’s “My View” in your March/April 09 issue.   I agree, point by point, with all that he had to say regarding the loss of our freedom, and the global problems for which our government prescribes socialist, and especially in the case of non-existent global warming, non-sensical solutions.   I would add only that at the top of the heap in all of this madness, is the privately held cartel known as the Federal Reserve.

Until we rid ourselves of this self-serving monopoly that controls our government and the people, we haven’t a prayer of turning things around.   For more info, please research the Austrian School of Economics, the Mises Institute.org,  Peter Schiff’s work,  Tom Wood’s work, and of course, one of the few truth tellers in Washington, Ron Paul’s work.

For an initial taste of our arguments, check out [the following] article, found in the [Wall Street Journal website] no less!

Thank you for a great journal and great writers.

Take Care,

Elena Campbell
Winter Park, CO

From http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123440593696275773.html

Capitalism Needs a Sound-Money Foundation
Let’s give the Fed some competition. Abolish legal tender laws and see whose money people trust.
By JUDY SHELTON
Febrruary 11, 2009

Let’s go back to the gold standard.

If the very idea seems at odds with what is currently happening in our country — with Congress preparing to pass a massive economic stimulus bill that will push the fiscal deficit to triple the size of last year’s record budget gap — it’s because a gold standard stands in the way of runaway government spending.

Under a gold standard, if people think the paper money printed by government is losing value, they have the right to switch to gold. Fiat money — i.e., currency with no intrinsic worth that government has decreed legal tender — loses its value when government creates more than can be absorbed by the productive real economy. Too much fiat money results in inflation — which pools in certain sectors at first, such as housing or financial assets, but ultimately raises prices in general.

Inflation is the enemy of capitalism, chiseling away at the foundation of free markets and the laws of supply and demand. It distorts price signals, making retailers look like profiteers and deceiving workers into thinking their wages have gone up. It pushes families into higher income tax brackets without increasing their real consumption opportunities.

In short, inflation undermines capitalism by destroying the rationale for dedicating a portion of today’s earnings to savings. Accumulated savings provide the capital that finances projects that generate higher future returns; it’s how an economy grows, how a society reaches higher levels of prosperity. But inflation makes suckers out of savers.

If capitalism is to be preserved, it can’t be through the con game of diluting the value of money. People see through such tactics; they recognize the signs of impending inflation. When we see Congress getting ready to pay for 40% of 2009 federal budget expenditures with money created from thin air, there’s no getting around it. Our money will lose its capacity to serve as an honest measure, a meaningful unit of account. Our paper currency cannot provide a reliable store of value.

So we must first establish a sound foundation for capitalism by permitting people to use a form of money they trust. Gold and silver have traditionally served as currencies — and for good reason. A study by two economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Arthur Rolnick and Warren Weber, concluded that gold and silver standards consistently outperform fiat standards. Analyzing data over many decades for a large sample of countries, they found that “every country in our sample experienced a higher rate of inflation in the period during which it was operating under a fiat standard than in the period during which it was operating under a commodity standard.”

Given that the driving force of free-market capitalism is competition, it stands to reason that the best way to improve money is through currency competition. Individuals should be able to choose whether they wish to carry out their personal economic transactions using the paper currency offered by the government, or to conduct their affairs using voluntary private contracts linked to payment in gold or silver.

Legal tender laws currently favor government-issued money, putting private contracts in gold or silver at a distinct disadvantage. Contracts denominated in Federal Reserve notes are enforced by the courts, whereas contracts denominated in gold are not. Gold purchases are subject to taxes, both sales and capital gains. And while the Constitution specifies that only commodity standards are lawful — “No state shall coin money, emit bills of credit, or make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts” (Art. I, Sec. 10) — it is fiat money that enjoys legal tender status and its protections.

Now is the time to challenge the exclusive monopoly of Federal Reserve notes as currency. Buyers and sellers, by mutual consent, should have access to an alternate means for settling accounts; they should be able to do business using a monetary unit of account defined in terms of gold. The existence of parallel currencies operating side-by-side on an equal legal footing would make it clear whether people had more confidence in fiat money or money redeemable in gold. If the gold-based system is preferred, it means that people fully understand that the purpose of money is to facilitate commerce, not to camouflage fiscal mismanagement.

Private gold currencies have served as the medium of exchange throughout history — long before kings and governments took over the franchise. The initial justification for government involvement in money was to certify the weight and fineness of private gold coins. That rulers found it all too tempting to debase the money and defraud its users testifies more to the corruptive aspects of sovereign authority than to the viability of gold-based money.

Which is why government officials should not now have the last word in determining the monetary measure, especially when they have abused the privilege.

The same values that will help America regain its economic footing and get back on the path to productive growth — honesty, reliability, accountability — should be reflected in our money. Economists who promote the government-knows-best approach of Keynesian economics fail to comprehend the damaging consequences of spurring economic activity through a money illusion. Fiscal “stimulus” at the expense of monetary stability may accommodate the principles of the childless British economist who famously quipped, “In the long run, we’re all dead.” But it shortchanges future generations by saddling them with undeserved debt obligations.

There is also the argument that gold-linked money deprives the government of needed “flexibility” and could lead to falling prices. But contrary to fears of harmful deflation, the big problem is not that nominal prices might go down as production declines, but rather that dollar prices artificially pumped up by government deficit spending merely paper over the real economic situation. When the output of goods grows faster than the stock of money, benign deflation can occur — it happened from 1880 to 1900 while the U.S. was on a gold standard. But the total price-level decline was 10% stretched over 20 years. Meanwhile, the gross domestic product more than doubled.

At a moment when the world is questioning the virtues of democratic capitalism, our nation should provide global leadership by focusing on the need for monetary integrity. One of the most serious threats to global economic recovery — aside from inadequate savings — is protectionism. An important benefit of developing a parallel currency linked to gold is that other countries could likewise permit their own citizens to utilize it. To the extent they did so, a common currency area would be created not subject to the insidious protectionism of sliding exchange rates.

The fiasco of the G-20 meeting in Washington last November — it was supposed to usher in “the next Bretton Woods” — suggests that any move toward a new international monetary system based on gold will more likely take place through the grass-roots efforts of Americans. It may already be happening at the state level. Last month, Indiana state Sen. Greg Walker introduced a bill — “The Indiana Honest Money Act” — which would, if enacted, allow citizens the option of paying in or receiving back gold, silver or the equivalent electronic receipt as an alternative to Federal Reserve notes for all transactions conducted with the state of Indiana.

It may turn out to be a bellwether. Certainly, it’s a sign of a growing feeling in the heartland that we need to go back to sound money. We need money that works for the legitimate producers and consumers of the world — the savers and borrowers, the entrepreneurs. Not money that works for the chiselers.

Ms. Shelton, an economist, is author of “Money Meltdown: Restoring Order to the Global Currency System” (Free Press, 1994).

 

The meltdown and the bailout, why, how, and what they mean, by John Silveira

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Everyone should read this article, whether you are struggling in this economy or not.

I know many families losing their houses. Three of which are close friends. I remember wondering how they where going to make the large mortgage payments or home equity loan payments with their incomes. But who am I to judge? The banks know better than me right?

Well here we are and until some of them figure out what they are going to do next, my property is starting to look like a compound. That just means a bigger garden and more hands to help with it! We may end up having to use the local food bank. But many of us will be donating time and plants to the new garden being installed there this year. I live in a small community and in the last two years the number of families using the food bank has nearly doubled.

Back to John’s article, thank you for writing this in a way everyone can understand. Instead of trying to explain it myself I just hand them my magazine. Works great.

Sandra Housego
Whidbey Island

 

Last Word Jan/Feb 2009

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

John,

Having received this issue a few weeks back and finally getting a chance to read the Last Word from this issue I was struck by the simplicity that could have prevented the current meltdown.

I have a 14 year old stepson. He is given a set amount each weekend that is enough money to pay for his school lunches for the week and give him a small amount of pocket money. If he goes to the mall and spends it all on something, that is not my problem. The money was there. If he could not be responsible with it, when it is gone it is gone. I refuse to bail him out by giving him more money. If it costs more then he is willing to spend that is what saving your money is all about.

If governments acted like a tough love parent and kept their hands out of our pockets this could have been avoided. Yes the less efficient companies would have failed. So what? They’re in what is called business not what is called bail me out. Show the backbone I show to my stepson when someone comes whining for more. Suck it up companies, your mommies are not in government.

Jamie Allen
Sacramento, CA

 

Great Articles

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Just found the BWH website and read 2 of your articles; one on the bailout and one on the Bill Of Rights.  Just the kind of stuff I’ve been looking for; easy to understand, concise articles on issues important to people who care about the direction this country is going.

Thanks,

Randy
Iowa

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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