Sunday, June 24, 2012

We're Taking You With Us

One of, if not "the" single thing I hate about teaching is answering a "wrong question."

A "wrong question" is where the student asks a question that is based on false or erroneous premises, and thus it's not enough to simply answer the question.  You have to:

1.  Spend time explaining or deconstructing their false premises so they get the correct ones.
2.  Explain to them the correct premises/how it works in the real world.
3.  Then reanswer their wrong question, hoping to god they understood your deconstruction/rebuilding of their premises.

And I fear with this topic, I'm going to have to do the same.  So in an attempt to be preemptive and efficient, let me explain a couple things about economics, so that when I do make my point EVERYBODY will understand.

First, understand there is no such thing as "money."  Money really doesn't exist.  It is only a means by which we track and account for how much labor somebody gave up for "payment."  If you look at the economy all it is, is really people just exchanging their finite time on this planet in barter for goods and services that either extend, maintain or enhance their lives (write that one down because that sentence right there is worth about 12 college economics textbooks)

Second, understand there is nothing inherently valuable about money.  The only reason "gold" or "paper dollars" have "value" is because they can be traded for something that DOES have genuine value.  Food, gas, a desk, a computer, a video game, etc. etc.

Third (and this is VERY important), what is "wealth?"  What makes a person or a nation "wealthy?"

I'll tell you this.  It's not money.  Because money is a piece of paper or rare metal. There is no inherent value to money.  It is the STUFF MONEY CAN BUY that is WEALTH.

And it is here people are confused about economics.

Understand that a person who is "rich" or "wealthy" is not "rich" or "wealthy" because they have "a lot of money."  They are rich or wealthy because they can afford STUFF and THINGS they can CONSUME to MAINTAIN, ENHANCE and EXTEND their lives (write that one down too for the "Economist Book O' Gold")

In short "wealth" is not the currency or money you hold.  Wealth is all the stuff you can produce.

This is why Adam Smith wrote the book "The Wealth of Nations."  He wasn't talking about billions of "dollars" or "yen" or "rupees."  He was talking about all the stuff that improves and enhances our lives.  He was talking about nations' abilities to produce things of value - food, booze, clothing, games, cars, electronics, styrafoam, trees, cattle, dogs, cats, minks, furs, jewelry, diamonds, motorcycles, etc. etc. etc.

Because if you think about it, a dollar doesn't do anything for you.  It is the STUFF the dollar can purchase that does something for you.

So all the wars, all the votes, all the progressive taxation is NOT about somebody else's "money," it is about getting other people to forfeit their time to pay for the stuff you want to consume while sacrificing none of your time at all.  It's about making other people pay for your "stuff."  It's simply just slavery.  This is the base level modus operandi of all humans and cultures since the dawn of man (you may also write that one down in the "Economist Book O' Gold.")

Now, since HOPEFULLY I've deconstructed your previous beliefs that economics is "all about the money" and made you realize it's all about "the stuff."  So now let us talk about grocery stores.

I know a lot of you on the left think you're entitled to "basic" things.  Food, clothing, and shelter.  I've seen some people even proclaim they're "entitled" to health care, education, and even cell phones.

But let's get back to reality for one second.

Who provides "food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, and cell phones?"

If you are a liberal (and I'm not mocking you here) you believe in a philosophy or political ideology of the "Great Liberal Economic Oort Cloud."  The reason you believe in this is because (and admit it please) you have been too lazy to bother with studying economics, how economies work, let alone - thinking it through.  Therefore, you just throw up your hands into the air and think the government/business/industrial complex "figures it out" for you.  There's this "highly complex" economic-political-social-governmental-god-like entity that is WAY too complicated for you to understand that just farts out jobs and only truly intelligent people like Barack Hussein Obama can understand.

But in reality, just like money, there is no government.

You TRULY fail to realize that the "government" is nothing more than you and me because we are all in this boat together, and we simply voted our neighbors, colleagues and friends into office.  "We" are "the government."  Therefore the solution to our current day economic problems....nay....EVERY SINGLE ONE OF OUR PROBLEMS resides within THE PEOPLE.  The "government" cannot do anything just like "the corporations" cannot do anything because both are merely composed and controlled by us - the people.

So who provides the "food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, cell phones" and general "stuff" humans wage war over?

We do.

Not the government.

Technically not the "corporations."

It all boils down to people, because there is no other "entity" or "creature" on the planet to provide these things

By this time, I hope we're all still on the same page.  We have thus far covered that it isn't money that matters, it's the actually goods or services MONEY CAN BUY that matters.  STUFF matters.  AND EQUALLY IMPORTANT we have dispelled the delusion that "government" or "corporations" are entities to themselves able to create "magically" jobs, employment, wealth and income.  There are "technically" no such things as "governments" or "corporations" as they are nothing more than amalgamations of people.

People - you and me - your brother and your sister - your neighbor and your enemy - are ULTIMATELY responsible for this nation, for this country and for our economic success and future.

So since it is on the people, let's talk about two distinctly different types of people in our modern day America.

I like to be simple so I categorize the many groups of Americans into two simple categories:

Producers

and

Parasites.

Since there is no GLEOC and the success of this nation and all others depends on the individuals, you either carry your weight and support yourself or you don't.

"Parasite" is not meant to be a pejorative or mocking term.  It is meant to be an ACCURATE term.

Take emotion, political bias, or whatever you want to use to excuse your erroneous thinking out of it, the definition of a parasite is some thing that lives off of others.  And there's a ton in these here United States.

Anybody who collects a government check (bar social security, though, some will argue) is a parasite.

I don't mean that to be insulting, I don't mean that to be derogatory - it's simply the truth.  If you collect a government check you are NOT supporting yourself and therefore living off the slave labor of others and are a BONAFIED PARASITE.  You DO live off of others.  If "others" didn't exist, you WOULD NOT exist, end of story, no discussion, take your bleeding liberal heart emotional-therefore-irrelevant arguments elsewhere. 

However, that does not so much irk me as I am willing to accept as much as the next man that people get down on their luck.

What irks me is when 50% of the population collects a government check AND HAS THE AUDACITY TO DEMAND MORE,  AND CRIMINALIZE THE HOST OF WHICH IT'S PARASITING OFF OF.

There is no end to the "rich doesn't pay their fair share" or the opposite side of the coin - woeismeism.  
So a short message to all of you who think "the rich should pay more" to compensate you for;

YOU majoring in a stupid degree and taking on $100,000 in debt to pay for it
YOU breeding children you couldn't afford and never bothered to think about
YOU being too lazy to put down the booze/drugs to find reliable employment
YOU for choosing a cushy government job and daring to demand people who actually produce something of wealth to pay for your bloated government salary and pension
YOU for just be a pathetic, lazy, moronic parasite who expects other people to pay for you

"YOU" cannot live without "US."

WE produce the STUFF.  WE are the people who actually produce the goods and services that have value and people want and need.  YOU need US more than WE need YOU!

We're the ones that produce the groceries to keep your "WIC Accepted Here" BS grocery isle full of the food you need.

We're the ones that go to school for 10 years to become the doctors to provide you "free health care" when you decide to get knocked up for the 5th time before your 25th birthday.

We are the ones who engineer the buses and cars you ride to enjoy the roads WE designed with OUR MONEY you used for bus fare.

We are the only reason you live and exist today.  Without us, you would not exist.

That's not an opinion.

It's not a "wish."

That's not political bias.

It's a fact you have been shielded from by liberal politicians and an ignorant voting population that votes to take our money to pay for your parasitic (again, not insulting - just true) lives.

You're not "independent."  You're not "cool."  And you're certainly not "oppressed" or "tyrannized" over.  You're just parasites enslaving other people who actually produce STUFF and things of value.

Now, you can get all pissed off at all those rich people, and never spend a calorie of energy looking at how much they pay in taxes to pay for your parasitic existence, but here's another shocking bit of fact-

Hate us as much as you want, we're taking you with us.

You can vote to tax us to death.  You can vote to make it illegal to be successful.  You can villainize "profit" and "wealth" all you want. However, in the end, you WILL realize that we are your life line.

We are the ones producing the food, the clothing, the shelter and the STUFF you NEED TO LIVE.

We are the ones that are producing the doctors, the surgeons the nurses and the RA's to take care of you. The food that goes in your mouths and the 4 illegitimate childrens' mouths you have.  We are the ones producing EVERYTHING you need to live.  And you produce NOTHING in return (maybe more illegitimate children, who the hell knows).

But you DARE want to piss us off, or tax us to the point it is no longer in our best interest to play host to your parasitic lives? OR you DARE to attack us because you are envious, bigoted, and hate filled?

Go ahead.

Because if we go down, we're taking you with us.

And what's funny, is we don't have to try because we're the ones producing all the stuff.

So I dare suggest for those of you who think you're "oppressed" or "disadvantaged" as you snort coke, knock up girl #14, get knocked up by guy #15, major in philosophy or some other obvious galactically stupid decision, to take your complaints and the consequences of your stupid decisions, shove them, and have a strong belt of STFU and be THANKFUL we're paying the taxes to shield you from the full costs, consequences and catastrophes of your inconceivable stupidity.

59 comments:

Marv said...

I'm just wondering where you would put me. I'm a student on financial aide but work 30 hours a week. Parasite or producer? This isn't some kind of loaded question, I'm actually wondering.

Anonymous said...

bingo

Captain Capitalism said...

Marv,

Depends.

What are you majoring in and what job are you working for 30 hours per week?

Cpt.

Anonymous said...

Hear hear! Holy Crap you just said more succintly than I could've exactly what i've been thinking and telling idiots for Years!Thank you.

CBMTTek said...

Once again Cappy, a spot on article.

Well done, and explained in terms even the most liberally handicapped can understand.

Of course, there is one flaw that you do not acknowledge in your analysis. Not that it changes the conclusion, of course.

What you miss is that the parasites refuse to acknowledge that they producers might actually consider shaking off the parasites. Does the thought "perhaps I should stop sucking this host dry, and learn to feed myself for once" ever cross their mind? Nope, not happening.

Producers, in their myopic vision, will never stop producing at the same rate, EVER. Regardless of how many parasites attach to them.

tspoon said...

I think that the taxonomy of foreign organisms needs to be fleshed out a little, as it is a very instructive analogy.
For instance, within the human body reside a variety of foreign organisms, some of which which form a symbiotic relationship with their host, meaning that the two organisms exist and act to the mutual benefit of both parties. Some government workers could actually fall into this category. Other organisms are more classically thought of as parasitic, in that their existence is of little or no benefit to the host, and in some cases these organisms, in addition to consuming resources, actually prevent the smooth working of the system, which usually results in health issues for the host. A third group of organisms, called cancerous organisms, are characterised by their unchecked growth and resistance to any effort by the host to rid itself of such organisms. The presence of cancerous organisms often results in the death of the host organism.

Amy Haines said...

Love it, Cap. It's going on my list of retorts to liberal arguments.

Anonymous said...

Very nice summation of John Galt's speech.

Anonymous said...

"STUFF MONEY CAN BUY that is WEALTH."....Bang On

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

I'm an engineer and have been saying this for years and years. I minored in micro-econ and I could never understand how policy makers could not see the fundamental truth of the situation.

Moreover, I believe our current macro-economic situation is irreversible until and unless we shed a lot of parasites and bring production of tangible wealth back on-shore. We cannot continue to run such a huge trade and budget deficit without effectively selling off our economy.

Events in Greece now fully prove our (yours and my) perspective to be correct. What I find interesting is that the true depth of the Greek end-game is no longer being reported in the US press. Once one starts reading the Greek domestic press (thanks to Google Translate doing a passable translation), we see that the parasites are, indeed, going down with the producers.

Josh K. said...

Is it wrong that I now want to have your baby.

JayTucc said...

I feel as though no truer words have been spoken in this modern time.

This I think would also be the winning submission for the Cappy Cap Logic Challenge.

Yrro said...

@Marv,

Really doesn't matter what job or degree specifically - it matters whether you can find someone who considers your degree and your effort valuable enough to pay you more than you take in. If you're a net producer of value, you're not a parasite.

Lots of people are parasites for periods of time in their lives. All children are for the first 18 years (or more, if they go to college).

The important thing is whether you are on track to grow past the parasite stage and become a producer.

James Wolfe said...

A local talk show host and "economist" Clark Howard once made a good argument that a trade deficit is not inherently a bad thing. When we buy things from China or Asia we are trading paper money, which has no tangible value, for products which do have value. We are basically trading paper for resources pulled out of the ground and for the human labor required to turn them into products. 

Those countries then may choose to do nothing but keep piles of our paper around but eventually they will have to turn around and buy goods and services from us. And if we are mostly a service economy then by purchasing our services we have again traded an intangible thing like Google or Facebook for that tangible iPod or flat panel TV. It is a double win for us because the exchange cost us none of our actual resources. 

Parasites are however a drain on our economy. And by passing legislation to punish success and taxing producers to the extent that they have no choice but to relocate or outsource then we are creating a nation of parasites out of people capable and willing to work but unable to find work. The nations of the world will not willingly carry a nation of parasites. Our dollars will be of no use to them if we do not even have services to provide them. And that is the problem when we the people choose to be we the parasites. Pretty soon we run out of hosts to feed us. And then we all go down together. Enjoy the decline!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely spot on. If I were gay, I would want to do naughty things to you, right now. But I am not, so I will simply shake your hand virtually, and ask you to please not ever die.

leBolide said...

Except that gold actually does have intrinsic value because it is a sparse commodity, requires much labor to find, extract, and refine, and is useful for many purposes besides as a medium of exchange.

SewerDweller said...

Here's an interesting question. As a disabled vet, when I was functional, I 'produced' a not terribly tangible good, arguably called 'safety'. does that count as being a producer?

And, as a disabled vet, am I a parasite, and if so, how?

Anonymous said...

Spot on and true.A must read for ANYBODY,but especially the voters and the politicos. I am so PO'd with parasites who view us producers as a effin money tree.

Michael Egan said...

Marv;

Parasite. The financial aide aside, most universities are heavily subsidized, even the private ones.

But as the previous commentator said, don't worry about it because there is a time and place to be a parasite. Right now, you're an investment in progress.

Unless of course you are majoring in Ethno Gay Lesbian Theoretical Studies.

Then, you'll pretty much be a parasite forever.

Captain Capitalism said...

Vets did provide a service, (safety, defense) and for obvious reasons vets on disability are not parasites.

John Henry said...

Good post .... I think the same way every since I read Ayn Rand about forty years ago.

Regarding stuff and wealth ... sadly most of the 'stuff' people buy that you assign a wealth quotient to is not really wealth it is transitory junk ... Amusement, frivolity, waste of time stuff.

An economy based on buying and selling each other shit, junk and coffee, it not an economy that has a future.

I have no suggestions, just observations.

steve l said...

Sorry Cap'n, but vets on disability are by your (correct) definition parasites, ditto those on social security. There was a service provided and/or a contribution of effort in the past but current viability is dependent on the host.
This is not a moral accusation, it is a honest appraisal needed to deal with the accounting reality.

Cogitans Iuvenis said...

Great post Captain, distills the very essence of what economics is to its truest self. Moreover your statement about parasites and producers is an accurate one. There are nunerous historical examples of 'parasites' consuming the nation from within. My favorite is Rome. It wasn't the barbarains that destroyed Rome, it was ever growing taxatation and related goverment apparati that resulted in more and more parasites feeding off of the Imperial teet.

Anonymous said...

Waitaminnut! Aren't you a teacher? (I am.) That probably means you collect a government cheque(1). And yet, I don't think a teacher is a parasite(2). Teachers allow students to learn information and ideas faster than they otherwise would. That has value.

You need to fine-tune that definition of a parasite before you get too much further in your analysis.

(1)If you work at a private institution, your cheque is only subsidized but your salary and production is the same so this is a distinction without a difference.

(2)Teachers may be overcompensated, but that's a more complicated question.

Pete EE

Anonymous said...

I also agree that by definition, our old, our disabled are parasites, but they are the ones the system was set up for originally. They may be parasites, but it is a symbiotic relationship with them. I gladly produce more than what I need personally to support them. In return I get back the feeling of pride that the old, the disabled have food and housing. Or that was the way it was before the parasites took over.

Anonymous said...

Related:
If the founding fathers were writing a constitution today, they should take these categories into account. Legislation should be divided between matters of the public purse and matters of general interest.


Control of the public purse should rest with the House of Representatives (for example). Voting for the house of representatives should be limited to people who contribute more to the public purse than they take.

Sadly Cappy, that would exclude you and me.

Pete EE

Anonymous said...

I once watched a nature special where a young giraffe died due to a massive tick infestation. I wasn't able to find that video but I was able to find a giraffe calf on a farm that dies due to ticks, and a Canadian moose that died due to ticks just before it could be shot.

Baby giraffe
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncUmc2HZJ0Y

Adult moose
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLmcMqJBNyU

FSK said...

"Are disabled veterans heroes?" is a tough question.

(1) If they were injured protecting me, then they deserve their disability payments.

(2) If they were injured so that Halliburton and Exxon could make more money, then they don't deserve it.

Unfortunately, most modern wars fall under (2) rather than (1). Most soldiers believe they are doing (1).

War is one big scam. However, I'm sympathetic to veterans who were tricked.

Adam said...

FSK,

So the morality or correctness in a veteran receiving disability is dependent on decisions exercised outside of their own control?

Go fuck yourself.

Captain Capitalism said...

Not to get bogged down in semantics, but the wounded or disabled veteran is not a parasite in that part of his/her contractwith the military is disability benefits should he/she get injured. That (though a public good) is priced into the cost of the military. It's not like he didn't do anything and just got a check. He did something (and more) and is paid for his services.

Mutnodjmet said...

Bravo, sir!

SewerDweller said...

@cpt cap -

That was my feelings. That my benefits are based on a contractual obligation. I agreed to provide a willing body for the defense of the nation, and if crippled in that defense, the nation agrees to provide for me, as I am no longer able to provide for myself.

FSK- Soldiers do not get to pick and choose where they go, or who they fight. It's part and parcel of the military being subordinate to the people, and rightly so. If you do not approve of the actions of the military currently, Perhaps you might want to look at the people who give the orders, not the poor bastards who are bound by law and oath to obey them.

Amy Haines said...

Regarding disabled vets, or any benefits veterans receive, you have to calibrate your judgment against your perception of the legitimate functions of government. Namely, does government have a legitimate responsibility to defend its citizens from foreign threats (not just to enrich Halliburton and Exxon - I understand those arguments, but does the average 19 year old person enlisting in the military have that level of cynicism yet?).

If gov't does have that responsibility, then citizens who work towards such ends contractually obligate themselves to service in order to garner wages for their services as well as benefits contracted for either after enlistment has ended or injury ends the term of service.

I don't begrudge veterans their benefits.

James Wolfe said...

Claiming that any war fought in the middle east is about oil and evil corporations is a tiresome argument. If that were the case then you could say the Revolutionary War was over the price of tea or the Civil War over the price of cotton.

The fundamental reasons for war go far beyond basic economics. If we let fascist dictators control vital and limited resources then we all become slaves to them. And you can feel all smug in your cozy big city loft and enjoy your books and your classical music and feel good about your narrow view of the world until the lights go out and there's no one to bring you your organic free range vegetables because there's no more of that evil oil to power the tractors.

The surest way to let evil win is by doing nothing and criticizing those who do good. That makes you the worst kind of parasite. One who has no care or concern for those who provide you with your very life. Tis truely a shameful existence.

Anonymous said...

The government is adept at changing producers into partial parasites, so we all think that being a parasite is normal. Stuff like state education and medicare for example.

William said...

I am an engineer working in industrial construction for the mining industry. Raised five kids. In my spare time I build wooden boats.

I watched those kids in Montreal play hooky this spring over tuition fees, and I descended into the red rage vision tunnel for a few moments. I got over that without a burst blood vessel, but I fear it was a near thing.

Folks can quibble with the Cap's semantics, but the edge cases do not invalidate the general case, nor does the emotional impact of his language invalidate the correctness of his position.

I have occasionally toyed with the idea of idleness at others expense. It is such a breath-takingly perverted idea. How did such madness pervade our society?

Marv said...

Econ & entrepreneurship, working at UPS.

C_Miner said...

SD - yes, the contract that you entered into covers you. In the most honourable fashion. The service provided by police and (unionized city) firefighters similarly is a service that is contracted for. Deputy administrative assistants to bylaw enforcement produce nothing but don't actively attack the producers or what they produce, they just siphon off a portion of the work (life force?) from the producers. The Montreal riots or occupod-people are classic parasites of the cancerous type.

leBolide - if gold were priced based upon its electronics and dental uses then it would be comparable in value to copper (which is also shiny and makes nice jewelry). The only reason it's priced as high as it is is because of it's long agreed upon value as a unit of work-exchange.

Seerak said...

leBolide - if gold were priced based upon its electronics and dental uses then it would be comparable in value to copper (which is also shiny and makes nice jewelry). The only reason it's priced as high as it is is because of it's long agreed upon value as a unit of work-exchange.

It is true that the commodity designated as "money" does gain value from that fact and from its basic utility for that purpose (fungible, divisible, durable etc.), but doesn't gold's scarcity (the "supply" in "supply and demand") have at least *something* to do with it?

Dan said...

Cappy

You lost more than half the populace right at the beginning
when you said "money isn't real"

Because deep down inside they know that money is real...they can see it, feel it, carry it around in their wallets....therefore it is real.

You must make them realize that while money is real, it's tangible
and it exists it has no inherent value....it merely is a representation of value.

And by the way.....you ain't an "us", you is a "them"...because
like so many "economists" don't produce anything other than verbage.

Unless you grow, build or manufacture something you don't produce. And the world has fewer
and fewer producers every day.

Josh K. said...

C_Miner -

Supply & Demand determine price not tradition.

Numbers don't mean siht.

I could buy a really nice suit, in the 1900's, with a $20 gold piece (1once). I can take that same once of gold to day and buy guess what... a really nice suite. (I stole this example from I don't remember who.)

The buying power of gold has stayed relatively flat with some variation do to supply and demand.

What confuses people are number 20 dollar gold piece=(1 once of gold) in 1900's & in 2012 $1,400=(1 once of gold) and both will buy you a really nice suite. In one of those the number got bigger giving an illusion of added wealth win in actuality the buying power is the same for the gold and deminished for the dollar?

Coper is plentiful. Gold is rarer. Coper has a higher resistance to electricity than gold. Gold has more uses that make demands on the gold supply.

Captain Capitalism said...

Dan,

I agree, but I no longer care to be a charitable economist here to hand hold the genuine retards of America to the epiphany of economic light.

I hate most of America and have resorted to mocking and ridiculing them. Most Americans are spoiled brat assholes who don't know their head from their ass. from the spoiled brat suburbanite preppy to the inner city "flash mob" degenerates, why do I care to try to "convince" them?

I'm stocking up, working as little as I can. minimalizing assets. And just waiting for the day the Chinese and Arabs say

"We're not buying any more American bonds."

And what I cannot do (which is what you're suggesting - taking a kinder tone and somehow educating the ignorant retards of America to epiphany) will be done by a harsh and truly grueling economic recession.

They won't listen to me (because I'm just a "dumb white boy" or "privilaged male" or "economist" etc.),

but they WILL listen when there's no food and their stomach is empty.

And they WILL listen when there is no doctor around to cure their appendicitis.

And they WILL listen when they have a child and there's no hospital, let alone, electricity to deliver it at 4AM.

In short, Im' done trying to play "Mr. Nice Convincing Understanding guy"

Screw them and screw society.

I am sitting here, cigar lit, scotch pour, chair open, watching a game I predicted a long time ago.

And I'm laughing my ass off at all the socialist retards that refused to listen to the simplest ounce of logic.

They are my entertainment.

Captain Capitalism said...

SewerDweller,

You don't have to worry about rationalizing or explaining yourself here on this blog.

We (and by "we" I mean the real adults that aren't delusional or idioitic) would never criticize a wounded vet. You gave up more than I and everybody else here ever did, so you sleep soundly knowing we are MORE than happy to pay the taxes to make your life easy as possible. Not because of charity, but because you god damned well earned it.

And that's the facts jack.

Cpt.

C_Miner said...

Josh - The earlier comment that I had responded to was that gold got its value from its scarcity and from the other uses it could do. Being in the same "family", copper and silver can do most of the same things as gold. So, if you're looking to use something for electrical contacts, gold works better but costs about 1000x as much. That value difference tells me that the price isn't because of it's superior capability for electrical contacts. You actually agreed with the main point I was trying to make, that demand was fueled by desire for gold as an aknowledged medium of exchange, but you made me curious about the scarcity aspect. Let's compare with some nearby elements with similar percentages in the crust and see if we can estimate how much of gold's price is due to common acceptance.
Platinum exists in the earth's crust at about 1/4 the percentage of gold. Current platinum selling price? Around $1450 USD/oz. Irridium is present at about 1/40 the percentage of gold. Current selling price? Around $1050 USD/oz. How about Rhodium? Rarer than any of the above, but "only" $1240/oz.

Other metals in the family are far cheaper. Other, rarer metals are cheaper. The common association of gold to a unit of exchange is where it gets its value from, not from any intrinsic property (including scarcity) of the metal. That said, how is gold different from any other accepted standard of exchange that can be warped by political fiat (e.g. dollars from a nation or notes from a bank with a history of economic sanity)?

Josh K. said...

C_Minor -

Perception.

I got a pile of cow poop. What will you give me for it?

Josh K. said...

C_Miner -

I think we are dancing around the same concept.

You see people flocking to gold, because it is the excepted thing to do, wich is driving up the demand and price.

Why arn't people flocking to other comdities at the same time? I call it a lack of imagination, a failure of percetion, and group think.

You can use anything store wealth as long as there is someone who wants it.

If it wasn't for property taxes (US) I would prefer land.

James Wolfe said...

This article has really provoked a great deal of discussion on a variety of subjects. When I listen to the moronic things people say about the economy, about politics, and race, it makes me lose faith in humanity. Are people really that stupid? Do they really believe that we can survive as a country when half or more of the people produce nothing? When the primary goal of politicians is to get as many people hooked on government assistance as possible so they can then turn around and say that if you vote for the other guy he will take away your benefits? Anyone who wants smaller less intrusive government is vilified as a racist. Men and women in a never ending psychological war with each other. Religious fanatics killing each other by the hundreds in the name of their merciful God.

Every day I care less and less what happens to the rest of the world. I look forward to the end of every work day so I can get as far away from the educated idiots in the city as I possibly can. I stopped watching the news years ago, got rid of cable, and I read fewer and fewer so called "news" sites every day. This will be the last election I participate in. Both sides are filled with idiots so it almost doesn't matter who wins. Things will either get worse now or worse later. And unfortunately things will have to get a lot worse before the idiots will ever learn anything. Pain is a powerful motivator for change. People are far too comfortable sitting on their fat asses doing nothing. It's time to get out the pointed sticks. Meanwhile I'll be sitting on my porch with a nice adult beverage enjoying the ride.

Take The Red Pill said...

"Who is John Galt?"

Amy Haines said...
"I don't begrudge veterans their benefits."

Thank you from a retired vet (20 year Navy PO1).

C_Miner said...

Josh - yes, it's a po-TAY-toe, po-TAH-toe type thing. It's more valuable because people agree it's more valuable.

And the supply/production should be spread around enough that it should be safe from the debasement that a single governmental currency can suffer.

Mycroft said...

To quote Thornton Melon:
"Oh, you left out a bunch of stuff."
Sure, you list the obvious parasites, but not the government mandated parasites:
most lawyers, accountants, lobbyists, and compliance employees (EEOC, OSHA, EPA, FDA, NHTSA, USDA, etc).
How many people are employed just to fill out the paperwork that government requires?

Ecclesiastes said...

Frankly, I stopped reading where you addressed 'money', as opposed to currency. Well, I didn't read where you drew that distinction, but I assume you must have.

Captain, I am shocked.

All this is common knowledge in Capitalist America, isn't it? Is it really possible to get beyond the 10th grade ( or age 16 which ever comes first ) and NOT know all this?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! You're now a classical Marxist.

Money does not exist. Capital does not exist in it's believed form. The only WEALTH is in the sweat of labor.

Paraphrased all to hell, but that's the essence of pure communism. So happy day; libs and cons are now on the same page. Now maybe we can get back to work fixing our problems.....

Josh K. said...

Anon 10:02 -

But, Who is in titled to your labor. Your leaving out a key point.

Marxist - From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

Capitalist - You reap what you sow.

FC1(SW) said...

Confused about one point:

As an active-duty military member (as opposed to disabled Vet, which I saw addressed in previous comments), who, of course, draws a paycheck from the government, would that classify me as a "parasite"? From a technical standpoint, I recognize that I don't produce anything, and therefore in one sense I might be; at the same time, using the body biology analogy from above, my white blood cells don't produce anything either, yet I would hardly want to go without them.
On a similar note, what about police and fire-fighters? They also receive government checks, albiet usually local-government ones.

Sorry if I'm muddying the issue, but "getting a government check" seems to create a very overly-broad category with a lot of gray areas.

Captain Capitalism said...

FC1,

yes, I'm ruing saying "government check" where I thought it would be implied that it was a welfare, medicaid, or WIC check.

ALL military personnel, whether they are active or disabled, who are receiving a government check (be it active duty, pension, or disability) are NOT parasites. The reason being it was an implied contract and known risk that you could be injured or disabled and if you knocked out 20 years you got a pension. A certain percentage of people will get injured and thusly get compensation for it. Not a parasite.

Cpt.

LauraB said...

I think you left off a final, brief, paragraph.

"For now."

WV: teryHo - no, gentleman, it's TALLYHO. As in, "that's your ass, boy-o"

Anonymous said...

I'll leave this here: https://phoenixandolivebranch.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/open-letter-from-a-millennial-quit-telling-us-were-not-special/

Anonymous said...

Hi, haven't we overlooked morality. From an economic standpoint, discounting our moral view the seriously wounded would be disposed of on the battlefield and "retirement" would be very shortlived.

Not the world I want to live in!

mike

Josh K. said...

Mike plan for and provide for your own f'n retirement.

How many times does Cpt. have to say as part of the social & military contract is an implied and explicit understanfing that if wounded we will take care of you.