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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The problem of gold



Lots of folks out there are promoting gold as a store of wealth. They have some good points. Gold is independent from any particular financial system. It's held value for thousands of years. Gold is durable, transportable, and relatively compact. Over the years various countries have been on the gold standard and many think the United State's problems stem from when they abandoned the system. That's a very short overview. Many books have been written about the subject.

Most gold is not used up. Some is lost in industrial uses, but even much of that is eventually recovered. Some of the same gold has been bouncing around the world in various forms for thousands of years.

Personally, I'm not a fan of gold. I'm not judging those who are, but I just can't get into it. For me, gold has a huge moral problem.

Gold makes people crazy. The pursuit of gold has driven men to do horrific things: robbery, murder, slave mines, genocide, war -a long list of evils. The way I see it, holding gold buys into a horribly exploitive system. Creating demand for the metal encourages those abusive systems that extract and collect it.

So how does one store wealth? Darned if I know. All my money goes into having experiences. I collect things like books that have little monetary value yet provide me with pleasure. I've a house and a bit of land, but that can be taxed, or repossessed so it's not a perfect store of value. Frankly, the pursuit of wealth has always bored me.

I'm the first to admit that I'm the last person to talk to about monetary wealth. My bias against gold may just be a personal failing. After all, most people who collect gold have never done any of the bad things associated with it. They didn't invent the system, they are only trying to get by in it.

In the interest of full disclosure, I do have a gold wedding band. That's the extent of my gold. It's value is not in the few dollars it could fetch on the market, but as a symbol of a wonderful marriage.

-Sixbears

16 comments:

  1. The problem with storing wealth in any material form is that it can be taken away from you..... gold or otherwise.

    You plays your nickel and you takes your chances.

    Such is life.

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  2. You're a very smart man, Sixbears...

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    1. Not too sure about smart, but sometimes I ain't stupid. :)

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  3. Good call on the hoarding of gold. But I do admit that SOME gold holding would be a good idea, especially if it is portable.

    Valuable commodity. For me, knives and multi-tools are a possibility. If the world goes upside down, most people will have to learn to make-do and having a good tool to repair and build (I think) will be valuable. Learning to do this now is fun and educational at the same time and isn't wasted time.

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    1. It would be handy to have something in one's pocket when skirting border guards with a fake ID.

      I do like the value of good tools.

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  4. In my mind, the most valuable two resources one has is knowledge and keeping your mind and body in good shape. If you can keep those two resources intact, then all other resources can be acquired.

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    1. Mind and body, plus strength of spirit.

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  5. Hermit's Baby Sis (Texas Ann)October 22, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    Well said and Amen, Sixbears..

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    1. Thanks Hermit's Baby Sis, Nice of you to stop by and say hello. I'll keep my eye out for Texas Ann from now on.

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  6. Personally, I would prefer junk silver, if I hadn't already had to sell all mine. I once read that the best trade items in hard times would be whiskey and .22 shells. I tend to agree.

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  7. Whiskey I can make. Sure wish I'd picked up even more bricks of 500 when they $12.

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  8. I am a member of the GPAA, Gold Prospectors Assoc. of America and have found a little of it. Not enough to pay for the trip to the gold dig, but it was a heck of a lot of fun.

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    1. Looks like you had the right attitude.

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  9. Gorges Smythe is dead on re: Silver ves gold.
    I was in Havana during the 24 hours when Batista was leaving as Castro walked in. The Cuban Peso was 1:1 with the US dollar, but within hours the Peso went to virtually zero. My Cuban escort nearly cried when I gave him an inexpensive 35mm camera. The camera had an intrinsic value.
    Lesson learned, I have collected a fair amount of so-called "junk-silver." Junk silver is small change minted before 1954 from nearly pure silver but owing to its worn condition worth only its face value and of no interest to collectors. Hence, a 1954 dime, today, at the store, is worth exactly 10 cents. Why small, beat up silver dimes as opposed to gold in any shape or form? Imagine going to the store to buy a quart of oil for your van... you offer the store a gold coin worth hundreds of dollars today, but the shop keeper gives you baskets full of worthless paper in change! But, a 10 cent nearly pure silver dime would mean you could barter it for oil, beans and ammo. Google Junk Silver...lots of advice and where/how to buy it.

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    1. Makes sense that small silver "junk" coins would be more easily exchanged. Gold has too much value for most purchases.

      However, my investment in .22 ammo has outperformed most other investments.

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