Culturalism · investing · Personal Finance

Does Gold Really Have “Intrinsic” Value?

Hanging around investing circles results in the brain being peppered by a plethora of loaded talking points. These might include specimens such as “Value Investing,” or “Contrarian Growth,” themselves miniature tribes to help organize the sphere of economic debate. An especially lovable variety is the claim summarized as, “Gold is better because it has intrinsic value.”

Yet does this argument stand up in the real world? The term “intrinsic” is defined as “belonging to the essential nature or constitution of a thing” by our frat bros at Merriam-Webster. Applied to gold, the concept becomes a little bit dicey, to say the least. To be clear, Burl Ives’ beautiful metal can be employed to build a variety of modern technologies, so in that realm its naturalistic state may hold value, providing of course that no replacement substance is found. Other metals such as silver enjoy similar advantages, although they do not necessarily track the same price levels as those bright yellow blocks.

That being said, as a firm medium of exchange versus the mocked “fiat currency,” gold’s worth should be called into question. Currencies or assets are ultimately worth something based upon how individuals (or large groups) value them. In the United States, our government has long since adopted a policy of monopoly money inflation, but this doesn’t mean people ignore a $20.00 bill lying on the sidewalk. The piece of paper holds value due to perceptions of the institution behind it. Because America remains a major world player with powerful military resources, we have not been relegated to the status of the Zimbabwean Dollar or Argentine Peso, even against eternal criticisms by Austrian-leaning economists. Inflation is of course real in the United States, but our country’s position prevents it from becoming as  visibly horrible and destructive as it might otherwise be. Were the nation to lose its international standing, or if large swaths of the population suddenly reject paper money, this would of course change.

Gold on the other hand appears safe because there is a limited known supply on earth, and it cannot be printed by central banks. True, but technology exists allowing scientists to create the metal in a lab, and while it is presently cost-prohibitive for businesses, could a powerful government with the ability to print endless sums of a (valued) currency not pursue the endeavor, and succeed in flooding the market? There is also the possibility of more sophisticated approaches being developed to reduce the expensive nature of the process, which would radically disrupt the metals bazaar.

Placing all else aside, gold like any paper currency retains value largely due to how people perceive its worth. If we take the extreme scenario of inflationary and societal collapse peddled by libertarians, the glistening doubloons will only matter for those who wish to have them, or folks seeking to construct things from the metal. Most people are liable to be interested in bartering for guns and food, two resources less popular in the Wonderful World of Mike Maloney. Not to mention the influence of private armies who could well issue their own currency, enforced as always by the barrel of a gun.

With all this I seek not to dismiss the importance of precious metals in an investment portfolio. My own includes them (but more so silver), and concentrating your resources into one asset alone is risky. It is however crucial to not drink deeply of the popular swill pushed by gold marketers. Last time I checked, most (if not all) are taking payments in that crisp-smelling green paper doomed to make our bank accounts absolutely worthless.  

Stay safe and take the Gold Pill.   

Culturalism · Federal Government

Signs of Escalation

Years ago I had a brief gig working security on an overnight basis. The company in question required forty hours of training paid at minimum wage, an upgrade from the unpaid scam they had attempted to run earlier. Perhaps the most memorable part of the experience was the absolutely dogmatic obsession of instructors with telling students to escalate if things got complicated. Not simply for emergency situations, but also minor interactions with non-security employees in the vicinity. Failing to comply meant serious repercussions, which in the security business includes termination or transfer to another spot.

While a dead-end job may not appear to reflect much about the social state, this concept of escalation outlines broader problems in modern culture. The simplest way to explain it would be using the “CYA” moniker, itself a cynical display of the prevailing issue. People in Western realms are expected to always find someone else who will take responsibility in order to protect their own plot. In other words, don’t make a decision, refuse all ownership, and let the “chain of command” find a solution. If you happen to be in the uniformed services, the latter idea is especially crucial. Neglecting to ask permission before making a minor decision as an enlisted feller during peacetime can easily lead to NJP territory, if not something worse.

As matters “escalate,” the process creates spheres of feckless actors more than willing to support what is in their interests – while evading all accountability for the outcome. We see this manifested brilliantly in calls for “universal” healthcare. Republicans advocate “free market” healthcare, pretending it will attain the same outcomes as government-run alternatives. Democrats shill instead for the state-run option, whilst dodging questions about who will pay. In the case of Vermont, the lovingly-labeled “Green Mountain Care” program folded once questions of tax funding came to the fore, leaving moralized arguments behind.

The obvious next step for the Plural Left (and conservatives on other issues), is to appeal for federal promulgation of what the state or municipality has failed to achieve. Why? Because the federal government is a faraway money monolith which can make decisions with impunity, print extra dollars as needed, and enforce laws by the barrel of a gun. Localites and Staties are thus able to wash their hands and plead powerlessness by softly proclaiming, “It’s beyond my control.”

Therein rests the price of CYA and escalation culture: the launching of accountability so high and out of reach to where no one must face the trumpets, or shell out money for what they so tenaciously demand. Obviously such a system requires excessive bureaucracy, and the steadily-encroaching tendrils of top-down power into the lives of everyday souls. You may not wish to take ownership, so instead they will simply take ownership of you.     

Culturalism · Federal Government · Relations and Dating

The Predictable Illness

I admit to spending at least a small share of time browsing the Hufflepuff website. My logic holds that doing so provides an idea of the culture — or mental bearing — of those who think differently, making discourse with them more enjoyable. The alternative often devolves into mindless yammering over talking points selected from the political on high, and little eventual headway. At the same time, the process can reveal saddening truths about the roots of their ideas, and the addictions which fuel them. In the case of leftists, there seems to be a correlation between those perspectives and the swirling domination that drugs create.

Our journey of exposition will focus on Laura Cathcart Robbins, a prominent “Black Voices” columnist who has unleashed the following array of suspect. To start, we have the obligatory “I felt out of place” piece:

Seems to be a wholesome leftist wife:

With a healthy sense of intimacy:

Definitely not hung up at all about her choice of a dating partner:

She’s very comfortable with her decisions:

Not a shred of animosity towards the racial group she prefers:

And the final whammy:

Yes indeed, the empowered writer who layers her work with racist undertones is an admitted recovering alcohol and pills addict. I do not write this to salivate or rejoice over her struggles, but it reveals some difficult truths nonetheless. One would imagine the liberal mind with all of its opulence is capable of bypassing the trivial problems affecting the poor and downtrodden, yet in many cases there is no difference. This majestic “WOC” is brought to her knees by sheer dependency on the most basic of drugs.

On a broader level, Robbins’ story is disconcerting because of the already-established faithlessness of the Plural Left. Imagine if the California Comrade takes office in January, bringing like-minded throngs to the halls of power…will we be ruled by souls enslaved to the bottle, meds, or grass?

Time to drink on it.

Uncategorized

OBEY

Long before the rise of Donaldo, the Plural Left decided to use appeals to dictatorship and oppression as a means of destroying their opponents. Their favorite method is comparisons between modern America and Nazi Germany, except that the GOP somehow replaces those spooky German steppers atop a cruel big business regime bent on crushing the rights of minorities through force and propaganda.  The last word has an interesting ring because it causes us to invoke the old newsreels of the 1930s, plus elaborate posters meant to sway public minds. Get in line and obey appears to be the thumping order, given by some totalitarian leader or leading general.

I agree wholeheartedly with their conclusions, albeit in the realm of caveats. There certainly does exist an empowered propaganda arm driving social opinions, but it hardly can be seen as conservative or even Republican in nature. Rather, organizations have closed ranks to promote their interests in a manner at this junction indistinguishable from the brush-washed images of times past.

Let’s start with access to information. The other day I happened to be visiting a relative’s house when I noticed the following messages on their Windows 10 login screen:

Indeed, people merely attempting to use a workstation now have live updates telling them what to read, always from approved sources. To the dumb and youthful, this will strike as a great way to get involved and fight the power, even if they are simply being indoctrinated. One might make a compelling argument that cultural Marxists have finally succeeded in extending pas the flailing universities to enter homes across America, despite supposed right-wing “resistance.”

From the springboard of social brainwashing, obedience-makers can begin to recruit delusional organisms into their political army. Check out the following email from Coursera, describes the Far-Left Rock the Vote group as “non-partisan,” and encourages students to cast their ballots:

Assuming voting is not enough, lemmings also enjoy the possibility of reporting small businesses for real or imaginary racism to the Yelp secret police:

Perhaps companies who fall prey to any negative claims can beg Yelp for forgiveness and provide the financial sacrifice necessary to clear their public name. Alternatively, they might get burned down by the aggressive proponents of social change. Either way, loyalty to the burgeoning mainstream prevails.

The attainment of love is set to require State or corporate approval as well. In no less than two dating apps I have found propagandistic messages promoting domestic terrorist groups and, in the case of Bumble, requiring users to agree. Yes, that’s right. There is no mere acknowledgement; every person using the app is mandated to concur with the owners, or otherwise lose functionality:

Looking at this deluge of brain construction, Upton Sinclair’s quote about Fascism coming to America under the guise of cultural norms deserves some adjustment. Forget about the Cross, as churches can simply be shut down due to a pandemic, and the American Flag is merely a hygienic item for BLM leaders. Whatever arrives upon our shores will be bearing a rainbow pennant with social justice PPV streamed on Netflix.

Culturalism · Federal Government · investing · Personal Finance

Is Economic Decentralization Actually Good?

Among libertarian circles in the United States, there is a stalwart love for the concept of the gig economy model. The late politician Harry Browne openly advocated that employers should sack their workers and rehire everyone as independent contractors, while Gary Johnson was arguing for the Uberization of everything just a few years back. Their logic holds that getting outside government restrictions allows individuals to earn more, and companies to spend less. It sounds almost like a win-win scenario across the board.

Of course things are far more complicated in the applied economic sphere. As much as 1099’s and “zero hours contracts” are streamlined to begin with, the State has not cooperated with matters going forward. Contractors are thus left having to put aside money throughout the year in anticipation of a tax charge that would otherwise be taken out from the regular employee paycheck.  The result is people (especially the more youthful) getting shafted when they forget or fail to accumulate enough in savings to meet the annual tax bill. In theory the model is more efficient, but also dangerous to the average person’s financial picture.

Being off the hook for standard deductions can also increase the chances of having to purchase health insurance directly as a consumer, without any employer subsidies. Again, the model sounds great, though participants need to be careful about the type they buy. Cheaper health insurance plans and health sharing programs can elect for special rules to delimit their liability for conditions otherwise insured by federal mandate. An example of the shortcoming centers on the story of a diagnosed cancer tumor being deemed a preexisting condition, allowing the Medi-Share plan to deny financial support for medical services. The patient managed to successfully appeal, but at the cost of stress from a five-figure treatment bill.

High personal costs are often accompanied by unimpressive pay for gig workers. Although a top-performing delivery or rideshare driver can theoretically bring in over $1,000 per week, this is liable to demand long hours and no off days due to the nature of the market. Of course none of the money totals are guaranteed like a regular worker’s paycheck, so the pressure level can be astronomically higher, leading to mental health issues. Tie everything to the need to maintain one’s own car, and the picture becomes solidly grimmer.

The other issue with gig mania is the propensity for the leading firms to suppress individual freedoms. While Uber and Lyft have long been heralded as a way for the market to beat back the corrupt taxi union cartels and their big government supporters, they also permit a few silicone nerds to control service access. Uber itself recently admitted to banning 1,250 riders from the app for not observing corona mask restrictions. That’s over a thousand people who can no longer use the taxi service because their name and info has been blacklisted, and doesn’t include the political figures banned from their cars as well. A traditional cab would allow you to pay in cash, hence even those marked for derision would have the option to ride.  

So yes, decentralization has granted us enhanced freedoms, but in a twisted, cynical way. No longer must we tangle with the machinations of payroll; instead, one can simply stress and struggle to conserve money before STILL filing taxes amidst those April flowers. Hours are flexible, but so is the ability to even make a living. The greasy, unkempt medallion taxis have been replaced by loyal contract vehicles, but watch what you think, or they’ll pass on by.  

Ahh, the taste of liberty!

Culturalism · Personal Finance · Self-Improvement

The Internet Entitlement Mentality

A visible phenomenon I’ve witnessed over years as an online personality is the general peevishness shown by younger people towards any information on the internet with a price tag. They have no problem adding stuff to the cart on mom’s Prime subscription, but once outside the safe zone of parental compensation, everything seems too expensive. Not only that, but the very act of placing an item for sale is responded to with derision and outrage, as if the seller has some nefarious or insincere motivation behind their storefront.

It’s worth chasing an explanation of just why this behavior occurs. To start, we must recognize that few present partakers had any role in the creation of the internet machine, and even less possessed the intellectual capacity to even conceptualize it before Internet Explorer was the bomb. Those higher IQ folks who did join the party managed to create a fairly-accessible model, bound up in their idealism and general libertarian philosophy. They obviously monetized the juggernaut with advertisements, but as far as regular browsing and access, one doesn’t pay per page, or per download, save through subscription to a service provider.

Consequently, young people have been brought up with the idea that all content is free, unless of course they wish to donate to a pair of yoga pants on OnlyFans. Millions of hours on YouTube, an open access encyclopedia, and free educational services make youthful souls believe only their own mindset is a limitation, not money or credit. So naturally the moment a person attempts (even if they didn’t) to generate some return on their offerings, the digital liberty peepers are back to screech about “grifting,” or “taking advantage of us.”

The former claim strikes as rather odd, because such behavior seems more attune with a person asking for donations which are unneeded, or using corruption in government to profit. On the flip side, presenting some products for purchase at low price tags, with the option to return digital options within a week for refund, hardly falls into the same category.  If anything, it simply displays a reality containing the sacrifices of life, particularly when hours are poured into a single work. Gaining a modest (and often negligible) return from that effort is the principle, one that many of course reject outright. As for the secondary possibility, no one is forced to buy, yet they still grumble.

Part of the issue might relate to differences between creatives and consumers. The first squad understands the struggles of late nights, edits, curriculum-building, research, and design. They have lived the casualty time now lying as distant memory, and wish to recuperate a sliver of what’s lost, more in honor of those hours spent than for financial reasons. Our latter friends simply view the finalized piece and hide behind their glistened frustration that someone might make money, or is simply daring to do so. “It should be free,” becomes their long-standing cry, as castigation for merchants with the gall to become better rise upon lips.  

At the end of the day, the entitlement mentality will only worsen if jobs become scarce in the future. Deprived of money – or at least more than a pittance – the Zoomer-tier Moolenials shall rain spiritual anger down upon the independent content creator, banishing him to parts unknown, where attention is little and peace of mind abundant. Then the angry freedom fellow will mozy on to Amazon, and add some more items to his mom’s cart, perhaps now funded by that seductive Freedom Dividend.  

Culturalism · Relations and Dating

Strange Idols

The empowered blogosphere has been alight recently over the negative reaction to a miscarriage picture posted by John Legend’s wife. While it all appears to be a case of much ado about cucking, the fury got me thinking about the bizarre and morally degenerate folks who are uplifted, largely due to celebrity status or the relative quality of their body. In that latter grouping falls the insufferable Milana Vayntrub,  a girl next door type who has somehow managed to capture the hearts of the commercial-consuming world, though for what reasons I cannot rightly know. She also had the following to say after Trump’s COVID diagnosis:

To be fair, the president isn’t the nicest person in the world, but focus on the messenger for a moment. Vayntrub is a public figure with substantial clout both on-screen and online. Is such a sentiment responsible from the standpoint of a person pretending to endorse positivity and respect, particularly given her own gripes with negativity on the internet? Leftists do get the social pass on hatred, but even on an individual level she has the capacity to rise above this mayhem.

Milana’s mischief is not isolated to Trump, however. In response to the #YouKnowMe hashtag being used to popularize abortion, she tweeted this:

Joke or not, it showcases great imperfections of the soul. Here is a person whose fame is largely based on their unchosen physical appearance, making light of the unborn child’s death. Why, exactly? Not because it gets in the way of humanitarian outreach or self-sacrifice, but rather sex.  

Therein is the vile truth about our decrepit nature. Lust seizes and commandeers the spirit, manhandling her purpose towards the subjugation of all value in exchange for that brief utterance, the ejection of fleeting happiness which soon turns to grim depression. We follow such creatures because they reflect our basest selves, the living desire to be mortal gods with a large enough digital soapbox and bank account to where any sense of guilt is swept cleanly away, leaving material grimace in the wake.

So freely virtue dies, bleating ecstatic moans to the lingered end.

Culturalism · Federal Government · Uncategorized

The Wrath of Undecideds

MSNBC recently interviewed an Ohio voter to gauge his opinion of the Trump-Biden debate. The chap, who is undecided, gave a prototypical spiel about both candidates being negative, and asked them to provide more specifics. I had to stifle a laugh, because his line is so grimly predictable for an “independent moderate.” Such folks are trotted out every election, almost as if to maintain the fantastic faith people place in democracy, and the notion that votes somehow matter. The race becomes all about those swing ballots, with politicians desperately courting the enlightened few in hopes of seizing that magical 50.1 percent ticket so their legacy is protected. Democracy lives another glorious day.

But does it really? This sycophantic obsession with undecideds may warm individual hearts, yet in truth it simply masks the great scam which is civic duty in the United States. Headstrong souls march about feeling self-important in front of the reporter’s microphone, when in fact they reveal the bitter shallows of their own brain, and those of the comrade travelers nearby.

Fly back to 2012 for a moment. Obama and Romney were battling it out for the sainted executive office, and CNN began its custom of assembling a car of simpletons identified by their unwillingness to pick red or blue ahead of the election. Easily the most infuriating to hear blabber was our friend Joe:

The picture is everything here. Despite claiming to be the former owner of a flooring company, which probably required him to manage employees and make tough decisions, Stoltz remained dreamy-eyed until the very end, also demanding “more specifics” from Diversity Corporate Guy and Magic Underwear Corporate Guy.  Perhaps I expect too much of people, but how difficult is it to predict what a president will do based on history? Republicans like to spend on the military and cut taxes for the rich, while Democrats increase trans-revenue and expand welfare. Overlap exists, but namely on the Carebearland question.

 For a grown man who has lived through different elections to be still playing footsie with both parties right before the balloting day indicates either a lazy mind or pure ignorance, but not the foundations for brilliance and the sanctity of the vote. Joey would ultimately cast his paper for Obama after the president “was forceful” when responding to Romney, and because Billy Boy Clinton endorsed him. Furthermore, Obama’s mention of education in the debate really sealed the deal:

“That third debate sunk it all the way in for me — since I am in school and Obama was focused on education.”

That’s right, he voted for a politician who dropped the “education” word in a televised debate, because he is also in school. These are the creatures holding out to the end, my friends. Child-like minds agitating over trigger words and the prospect of being given something. Here are a couple more photos for good measure:

Is this the Try Guys convention?
Who’s writing this blog again?
The undecided “Radical for Jesus”

Ahh, is democracy not happiness?          

Culturalism · investing · Personal Finance · Self-Improvement

How Long Will The Simple Yet Be Mocked?

Sometime back I produced a video concerning the problems entailed by our dalliance with modernity and technological progress. My penultimate suggestion was for people to re-embrace nature, opting for smaller communities with solid values over the cosmopolitan sprawl, or farms instead of NYC apartments. In response, lurid and sarcastic replies bubbled up from the happy Ethernet cords wrapped around the electric maze of the world. They smugly advised, “Practice what you preach,” the comfortable retort that allows irritated lumps to quickly resettle into the brain-destroying digital resort without feeling a call to change.

For the record, I have already made leaps and bounds in the “less-grid” direction. I own a decent plot of land with two well systems, a garden, and a large walnut tree. Composting is a regular practice, and I am gradually shedding processed foods from the dietary plane, in many cases creating consumables from scratch. My skills with crafting clothes by hand are not immaculate, but they improve on the regular.

None of those disclaimers should matter insofar as the thrust of history is concerned, however. Recent reports, which are only surprising to the uninformed and socialist, suggest Wall Street is now delving into futures contracts involving water. The development has tickled many concerned senses because of projected water shortages, with two-thirds of the planet’s population expected to face supply issues by 2025, with many already experiencing the unpleasantness.

Enlightened folks have seen this coming for years. The incessant push for growth, for globalization and free movement of peoples, all in the name of economic profit, can lead but in one direction. As basic natural resources shrink and the gluttonous thirst to build more continues unabated, there will be further attempts to buy up valuable land and lord it over the poorest of creatures. Even the homeless squatter in the woods may find himself litigated out of existence so some sycophantic corporation can expand its quarterly earnings report. The dreaded sludge seeps on.

What can any lone man do? Resist with lifestyle choices. Take your wallet and carefully consider where to settle, hopefully escaping the pollution and scum-populated urban areas for distant peace. If funds are not available for a house, buy the land itself, preferably with access to fresh water. Get a camper or a van to start with. Look into solar and gravity-powered technologies. Learn to cook. Respect natural systems and work to preserve them. Read so you understand the problem.

As for investment options, look into Xylem and PIO as starting points, along with others. The former has experienced a decent run, and I’ve witnessed its penetration on a local basis too. PIO thus far hasn’t wowed anyone, but that could change. Watch out for that pricey expense ratio, which currently clocks in around 0.75%.

More than anything, be prepared to swim, even if you dance amid the sands of a dry wasteland.