News with Views

By: Rob Kirby | Wed, Sep 21, 2005
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Picking through the rubble of last week's news headlines, there was one particular newsy piece that, while I've seen it before, it struck me in a particularly odd manner this past week.

The piece in question was a reference drawn by a much celebrated and well known pundit who repeatedly attempts to label "gold bugs," or as I prefer - advocates of sound money, as haters of government.

While this well known writer shall remain nameless, so as not to personalize, I would like everyone to stop for just one moment and consider this: is the pursuit of sound money; or for that matter the advocacy of a gold standard - synonymous with hating government? Speaking for myself, I would like to be on the record that I am an advocate of sound money and I am also proud of being identified as a "gold bug."

As to the assertion that gold bugs hate government - on a personal note, I would like to offer this: I am wary of absolute power since history has shown its propensity to corrupt and I tend to differentiate between unbridled and responsible government.

In that vein, I am of the belief that perhaps the most essential and solemn task that responsible government is charged with - is the carrying out of the minting and preservation of sound money.

The Forgotten Golden Rules

Empirically, we are living in a period where all vestiges of sound money have been abandoned - globally. History has shown and is a constant reminder that such actions always produce, shall we say, less than desirable outcomes - like social upheaval or war. For the record, I'm no big fan of the former or the latter either!

I also find it noteworthy that the same pundit referenced above, while making disparaging remarks about gold bugs out of one side of his mouth, likes to revel in self adulation regarding his gold trading prowess - all the while being 'loathsome' of the resulting profits [derived from a rising price of gold] out of the other side of his mouth. Now that's a perplexing yet profitable conundrum, no?

What strikes me as being odder yet, said profits would never have been possible without irresponsible profligacy [reckless money and or debt creation] on the part of government or monetary authorities. Does this mean that said pundit favors irresponsible spend thrift government or does it mean he only ascribes to such governance when financial benefits accrue to himself personally?

You see, what bothers me more than anything is when someone intuitively knows that something is wrong, but either applauds or encourages the action so as to personally benefit from it - all the while wrapping themselves in the flag or attempting to lay claim to the moral high ground.

Hurricane Haste?

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast the U.S. Dollar has strengthened and stock markets have rallied - all in the face of the most costly natural disaster to ever afflict the U.S. of A? Current guesstimates on the rebuilding costs are pegged in the 200 billion dollar range with USA Today estimating that daily rescue/recovery/rebuilding efforts in the range of 2 billion per day.

Given that the U.S. - as a country - has no savings of her own and pre Katrina deficit spending already required the importation of approximately 2 billion in foreign capital [representing about 80% of the world's savings] - these are numbers that are widely reported, which basically no one refutes. So, lest I be accused of ill thought toward government once again - can anyone tell me where this additional 2 billion per day in new disaster relief money now being spent is truly coming from?

So many questions and so few straight answers!


 

Rob Kirby

Author: Rob Kirby

Rob Kirby
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