The Ugly Side of Precious Metals

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gcruwitme
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The Ugly Side of Precious Metals

 Preserving your wealth has other costs

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/sep/26/amazon-gold-rush-prices-soar

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TNdancer
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People get killed in inner

People get killed in inner cities for their overpriced tennis shoes or leather jacket.

What's your point ?  That have nots will kill haves ? 

Welcome to the earth, 3rd rock from the sun.

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tictac1
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exactly

There will always be people willing to hurt others to gain what they did not work for.  In our country, most of them wear suits and ties.  Personally, I prefer plain old piracy, at least you can see them coming.

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we cannot close our eyes

gcruwitme, thank you for your post. I caused me to think about what a complex web we weave. While individually we are not directly responsible for the crimes of others, we cannot simply close our eyes to our role in contributing to the conditions that drive them. I was disappointed to see the rather cynical and dismissive replies.

There is no doubt that the pursuit of gold and other precious metals/gems has extremely negative social and environmental consequences. Yet many of us, myself included, own these commodities as a hedge against what we see as an unsustainable monetary system...and we would prefer not to be reminded of any unpleasant consequences. As most humans seem to have the uncanny ability to do, we rationalize whatever we want.

I think that this is a topic that should be seriously discussed and appreciate you sticking your neck out to put in on the table. Based on previous discussions of similar topics, such as investing in so-called "sin" stocks, the camps are pretty predictable. There are those who are struggling with their conscience and attempting to disentangle themselves (to the extent possible within the current culture) from anything that causes harm. Then there are those who justify gaming the system for their own gain since the whole thing is corrupt and doomed, and they can't do anything to change it anyway.

If everyone gives up hope that our actions as individuals matter in the larger world, what's the point of any code of ethics?

I will act as if what I do makes a difference.
~ William James

It’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.
~Upton Sinclair

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heffe
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Have's/have's not = false outdated dichotomy
TNdancer wrote:

People get killed in inner cities for their overpriced tennis shoes or leather jacket.

What's your point ?  That have nots will kill haves ? 

Welcome to the earth, 3rd rock from the sun.

 

This to me, demonstrates the lack of critical thinking within the older generations.  It is a common phrase used as an explanatory excuse for the miserable state of the world.

There is no difference between a have and have not, there are both humans, the only thing seperating them is the lottery of chance and the circumstances of your life, especially in the first 2 decades. 

If you are a 'have' you probably pride yourself in the idea that your wealth has only arisen from your 'hard work', forgetting that the circumstances in which you are born into shape your access to values and understandings.  Im 24, have been in poverty all my life, and have watched my mother work her ass off, just to be broke and unemployed with a MA in business.

I work harder than anyone I know, yet I still find myself sinking into debt quicksand that will never go away. I am a have not compared to many, I am a have compared to more, but overall I recognize that these false dichotomies are nothing but destructive beliefs.

My grandparents, nor my parents knew better, my generation will. My generation will forever look back on the insidious monetary-market religion as 'the most bizarre thought delusion in all human history."

 

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Retha
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'Wealth' is relative

 @Heffe

Whether you want to believe it or not, see it or not...the entire globe is comprised of 'haves' and 'have nots'  - the term is coined relative to how much 'stuff' you have or have not, how much 'money' you have or have not.  In every country on every continent, there are those that have and those that have not.  The structure of governments is one that maintains the class statuses of have and have nots.  That will never change so long as ours & other societies continue along historical paths.  Historical records back to the time before the Bible reflect 'haves' & 'have nots'.  It is the nature of social order for humans.   Not "lack of critical thinking within the older generations"

Wealth on the other hand - is how you live with what you 'have' or 'have not'  

In the article above...the 'have nots' are killing & stealing from the workers.  Possibly to feed their families, possibly to make a buck.  Who knows.  The workers are probably also 'have nots'  working their butts off to provide for their families.  It is not fair, it is not right.  It is the way it is.  With billions of people in the world each with unique experiences, perceptions, beliefs and choices....Desperate people make desperate choices.  

Remember this article in your 'preparations'  There are many who are not preparing...and will have to make tough choices if their family is starving...be prepared to either provide for them or protect yourself from them.  

I applaud your generational thinking, and hope as you do age, you will always remember the errors of the 'era'.  Part of the problems we have today are due to the fact that the current generation has forgotten about the problems that occurred during the last generation.  Remember the phrase...history repeats itself?  This is a repeat.  The difference between now & then?? This time it's global.

 

 

 

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Follow the logic

If we abstain from buying gold because someone, somewhere might kill someone over the price of it, and that reasoning causes my family to go bankrupt, which is the greater evil?  Using the same logic, should I not buy food grown unsustainably, meat produced in unethical conditions, gasoline that surely funds terrorism at some level?  Because of the system I was born into, I cannot survive without these things.

What if I discovered a new element, located only in the jungles of South America, that somehow made fusion economically viable?  Is my discovery evil because some people down there decide to kill each other over it?  Hell, people in Oakland will kill each other over a BEER, should we bring back prohibition?  Oh wait, prohibition caused crime too.

We are all responsible for our OWN actions.  Humans have a severe problem accepting this.  Buying gold is not an INHERENTLY evil act, murder and robbery are.  In fact, it could be argued that using fiat money is inherently evil!  No one here will argue that fiat money, by itself, does not cause enormous damage, especially to the poor.

"There is no difference between a have and have not, there are both humans, the only thing seperating them is the lottery of chance and the circumstances of your life, especially in the first 2 decades."

What you are saying is that free will does not exist, we are merely animals.  If this is truly what you believe, then you have a victim mentality, and cannot expect your life to get any better.

"There is no doubt that the pursuit of gold and other precious metals/gems has extremely negative social and environmental consequences."

The love of money is the root of many evils, there is no doubt about that.  But you can't single out one or two commodities, they can ALL be pursued to the point of destruction.  Remember the housing bubble?  Pursuit of gold did not cause that.  Yet how many bankruptcies, divorces, murders, thefts, etc. could be linked to the economic flop that the pursuit of "things we couldn't afford" caused?

On top of all that, WHO is buying the most gold, and as a result, driving the price increase?  Here's a hint: it ain't CM readers.

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There is no difference

There is no difference between a have and have not, there are both humans, the only thing seperating them is the lottery of chance and the circumstances of your life, especially in the first 2 decades.

This is the statement of someone blaming the world for their lot in life. They may both be humans but that doesn't mean they are equal. When are people going to wake up and realize that we are not all equal  just because we were born on the same planet to the same species? I was born into poverty with coked up, abusive teenage parents in 1970. I was living in my car (a 1970 dodge monaco which I bought with my paper route money) when I was 16. I barely finished high school just so I could get into the army. After three years I got out a learned a trade, then I started a business and employ 11 people now.  It was my choices that defined me not some lottery or circumstances.

 Im 24, have been in poverty all my life, and have watched my mother work her ass off, just to be broke and unemployed with a MA in business.

I work harder than anyone I know, yet I still find myself sinking into debt quicksand that will never go away. I am a have not compared to many, I am a have compared to more, but overall I recognize that these false dichotomies are nothing but destructive beliefs.

Once again blaming the world for your problems. Make a change, make better choices do something different with your life. Just because someone has an MA or PHD or whatever other bunch of letters in front of their name is no guarantee for sucess. In todays world its a guarantee of serfdom just to repay the loans.

I have read many of your posts and I agree with about 75% of what you have to say. We do need a better way to allocate our resources. That doesn't mean everybody should get the same share though. Our choices define who we are and the life we lead. Bemoaning your circumstances is just whining and gets you absolutely nowhere.

Rich

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heffe
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Not supporting the systems your born into....

If we abstain from buying gold because someone, somewhere might kill someone over the price of it, and that reasoning causes my family to go bankrupt, which is the greater evil?  Using the same logic, should I not buy food grown unsustainably, meat produced in unethical conditions, gasoline that surely funds terrorism at some level?  Because of the system I was born into, I cannot survive without these things.

I never said we shouldn't buy gold. My post was a thought on phrases like 'haves' and have nots'.  I see divisionary terminology within people's thinking. We tend to seperate ourselves from others with a governing syntax, unknown to ourselves as we do it.  I do recognize we all support this destructive system whether we want to or not, but making small steps to avoid doing so will add up.  Buy local produce, eliminate unneeded purchases, drive less, etc. 

What if I discovered a new element, located only in the jungles of South America, that somehow made fusion economically viable?  Is my discovery evil because some people down there decide to kill each other over it?  Hell, people in Oakland will kill each other over a BEER, should we bring back prohibition?  Oh wait, prohibition caused crime too.

I dont like the term 'evil', as it doesn't address the issue;  the root cause of these problems.  These people killing each other has its causes, and to generalize a primary cause;  scarcity, or more accurately, horrible mismanagement of scarce resources.  As for the beer example, prohibition is a backwards approach, the real goal is to eliminate the stressful societal conditions that create such despondent individuals. Better education, less demeaning social structures, and ease of access to resources will reduce crime. 

We are all responsible for our OWN actions.  Humans have a severe problem accepting this.  Buying gold is not an INHERENTLY evil act, murder and robbery are.  In fact, it could be argued that using fiat money is inherently evil!  No one here will argue that fiat money, by itself, does not cause enormous damage, especially to the poor.

'We are responsible for our own actions' is an interesting phrase, another governing syntax that people use to establish the certainty of their position.  What few consider is how the framework of responsibility, and actions to engage in are predetermined. Is a Mayan Chief evil for sacrificing a virgin girl to the gods?  What about cannibals?  These are beliefs, conditioned onto them through environment.  The same with fiat currency; it is a belief system, as is the monetary-market system.  We aren't evil for supporting these systems, we are conditioned into unsustainable, destructive systems. The goal for us all is to 'break down the wall' as Pink Floyd would say, and seek truly objective methods of resource managment that don't hurt others, ourselves, or our planet. Evil is meaningless to me, what I seek is root causes, and true solutions of mediation.

What you are saying is that free will does not exist, we are merely animals.  If this is truly what you believe, then you have a victim mentality, and cannot expect your life to get any better.

No I never said that 'free will' does not exist. In fact, 'free will' is yet another governing term used to sway beliefs and confirmations. Just what the hell is 'free will'?  The word FREE means 'of no influence' or 'without control or limitations', both of which are ridiculous considering the realm of human existence. Yes, we have a certain range of variables to chose from that are predetermined through our understandings, cultural value systems, and economic structures, but free will is very limited.  What does a starving individual do when they cant get a job? 

Your free will is nothing more than purchasing power and a small framework of options. As for the claim that I 'have a victim mentality', yet again we see another use of terminology which governs the contemporary belief structures.  I am grateful for what I have, I work harder than anyone I know, yet I still have nothing compared to the 'rich kids' of my class. The 'lottery of chance' I was referring to is an empirically demonstrated characteristic of monetary society. If you are born poor, your chances of escaping poverty are already behind those who are born with well educated, well funded parents. And before you go rushing to throw examples of 'rags to riches' at me, I know it is possible, but likely when evaluated on the large scale of things?  No, not even close, a small percentage of 'lucky winners'.

The love of money is the root of many evils, there is no doubt about that.  But you can't single out one or two commodities, they can ALL be pursued to the point of destruction.  Remember the housing bubble?  Pursuit of gold did not cause that.  Yet how many bankruptcies, divorces, murders, thefts, etc. could be linked to the economic flop that the pursuit of "things we couldn't afford" caused

Yet another phrase that fails to address root causes. Its not money, or the love of money thats the issue. Its how money, and more specifically, market systems are inherently destructive by their modus operandi. There are many angles to assess this self destructiveness from, as you can look at the necessity of scarce currency, the gaming strategies of business and how maintaining cost efficiency means making cuts to either human standards or environment, or how the processes monetary economies affect psychology.

To quote, Bernard Lietier, designer of the Euro Currency system, "Greed and competition are not immutable human temperament; they are in fact, created and maintained by the kind of money we are using. We can produce more than enough food to feed the world, yet there is not enough money to pay for it all. The result is that we have to fight each other to survive."

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Doing the Right Thing

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ao
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it ain't physical
heffe wrote:

This to me, demonstrates the lack of critical thinking within the older generations. 

This statement, to me, demonstrates a lack of critical thinking and an age discrimination bias (or to use more contemporary parlance that you may be more familiar with, elder hate). 

If you're in poverty at age 24 (i.e. beyond age 18), you bear at least SOME responsibility.

You may work harder than anyone you know and you may not but if you have all the free time to post as much as you do, you're definitely not working as hard as some people I know or knew.

Your generation will make many of the same mistakes that your parents' and grandparents' generation did because many mistakes are inherent to the state of being human and not dependent on passage of time, evolution, technology, cognitive learning, or any other factor independent of humanness. 

That's not to say one should not work on change but understand that change starts with changing the internal condition, not the external condition.  Thinking the opposite is like thinking that action precedes intention.

P.S. I wonder if free will allows the evil of governing syntax error of which there seems to be no scarcity?    

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  We can produce more

leelilly - yup. Good point.. it's too fundamental to talk about.. but ethics is the silent 4th E ..

 We can produce more than enough food to feed the world, yet there is not enough money to pay for it all.

 I think it's the other way around.. in the long term. The bernank cannot print wheat... not even a 100g packet of Ramen..

 last temptation of the bernank... turn this monetary calculus (stone) into bread.

  Ron paul: " is wheat food... ?"

 Bernank:. ....... No.

...  it's a nutritional asset..

Paul: why do central bakeries hold bread. ?

 Benny: it's err.. tradition.,. awaiting future paper from BB.  "starvation.,. making sure IT doesn't happen here"

  The morality of PM speculation.. meh! but the idea that the wealthy can outbid the poor for food..... there my libertarian ideals bite the dust.. speculators rush in to corner, where angels fear to tread.

  good vid from J & J

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_VzY6-3R80

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Choices

 Choices....once you can acknowledge the world as it is...the choices available to each and every individial on this planet are the same...

1) Accept (or not)  Most of the population opts for the path of least resistance, accepts the way things are, maintains the status quo. Those that do not accept life 'the way it is'  jump to choice # 3 Change.

2) Adapt  (or not) - go with the flow based on acceptance of ones life's 'facts' - or - spend time filled with resentment and blame their situation on those you believe are unfairly 'given' opportunity or born to a 'better' life.  Those who choose not to adapt are usually those you find in prison. 

3) Change (or not) -  No matter if you accept your given situation or not - change is always a choice each and every individual can make.  Some choose to change, some choose not to change.  Change begins from within your own thoughts, desires and beliefs. Personal situations are variable, consequences are variable, but making a choice to change is, always has been and always will be a choice.

Wrong or right in others choices?  Not for me to judge, I make my own choices based on my life circumstances.  No matter where you live, how much money or stuff you have or don't have, whether your country is a dictatorship, democracy or monarchy, whether you live in a mansion or a hut, whether you're christian or muslim, whether you are black, white, brown or purple, whether you own a big or small business or are an employee...we all have choices.

Each one of us has a story,  I would tell you mine, but I don't have tissue handy.  And while many of our choices may be forced upon us due to other's poor choices (ie fed, politicians)  we are all in this together.  We all still have choices.  

 

 

 

 

 

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For Heffe

Your rebuttal doesn't seem to address the ideas I presented, only the language used.  I won't argue semantics.

I will say, your opinion of "rags to riches" being the exception is completely bogus, based on my experience.  My parents lived in Compton.  I've lived in a couple ghettos.  My mom flipped burgers to pay for our school books, and the IRS confiscated our vehicles.  My father has lived in poverty almost his entire life.  Yet I make more money than I need, as does my brother.  My uncle, who dropped out of high school (and from the same dirt-poor family as my dad) worked his way to being the president of a large corporation.  Yeah, dude, we won the lottery, it had nothing to do with our work ethic.  That's just insulting.  What we DID was work harder AND smarter than the people around us.  And we didn't pay attention to nay-sayers.  We did this WITHOUT screwing people over.

Among my fellow employees, there are MANY people that came from poor families.  Some of the guys have relatives in Appalachia living in plywood shacks.  The difference isn't circumstance or birth right, it's vision, sacrifice, and plain old hard work.

You got rich friends?  Why aren't you building relationships with them?  Find out what makes them tick, what businesses they're in, and then make yourself into someone they want to bring in.  PROVE yourself indespensible, someone they need to help their businesses be successful.  Stop spending time with people that are going no where in life.  That one thing made a huge difference for me, as misery loves company.

Or, be content with your current position in life.  There's no shame in that!  In fact, poverty brings a certain freedom, I know this from personal experience.

But stop saying "I can't".  That is defeatist crap.  Start saying "I WILL".

PS- "Greed and competition are not immutable human temperament; they are in fact, created and maintained by the kind of money we are using...."  This is flat-out wrong.  Greed and competition are evidence of the human condition, and pre-date any sort of money system.

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Rebuttal to tictac and plato

I will say, your opinion of "rags to riches" being the exception is completely bogus, based on my experience.  My parents lived in Compton.  I've lived in a couple ghettos.  My mom flipped burgers to pay for our school books, and the IRS confiscated our vehicles.  My father has lived in poverty almost his entire life.  Yet I make more money than I need, as does my brother.  My uncle, who dropped out of high school (and from the same dirt-poor family as my dad) worked his way to being the president of a large corporation.  Yeah, dude, we won the lottery, it had nothing to do with our work ethic.  That's just insulting.  What we DID was work harder AND smarter than the people around us.  And we didn't pay attention to nay-sayers.  We did this WITHOUT screwing people over.

 

Wow, anything you forget to consider?  Maybe the economic situation?  All these people, including yourself and your brother, got wealthy during economic expansion.  You also havent considered the occurences required for all the success stories you had listed to happen. Im trying, Im trying hard, yet no opportunities have arisen. Your assumptions can be termed as 'blaiming the victim'. 

Among my fellow employees, there are MANY people that came from poor families.  Some of the guys have relatives in Appalachia living in plywood shacks.  The difference isn't circumstance or birth right, it's vision, sacrifice, and plain old hard work.

More self serving rhetoric. Im sure you have a very specified range of choices, ignoring those examples where someone working hard doesn't get anywhere. The last sentence is insulting, what a douche.  [Moderator's note: *ahem*]  I know without a doubt my abilities far exceed 99% of the population, I am far smarter and far more motivated to better this world, yet those opportunities are far and few in between.  All your success stories neglect the era in which they occured, forgetting the ease of economic access of those times.

You got rich friends?  Why aren't you building relationships with them?  Find out what makes them tick, what businesses they're in, and then make yourself into someone they want to bring in.  PROVE yourself indespensible, someone they need to help their businesses be successful.  Stop spending time with people that are going no where in life.  That one thing made a huge difference for me, as misery loves company.

Well, one rich friend about went to jail for intent to sell cocaine, but his momma could afford a lawyer to get him out. Then his momma bought a building, payed for her son to go to school, and then gave that building to her son to run a bike shop. All of these are circumstancial occurences. I am more capable then this rich boy and yet he's got the access I dont.  Im not trying to play the blame game, Im presenting the events as they unfold. And as far as working with them, I'd rather work with the local produce stand.  Rich folk tend to have a snobby disposition of which I cannot stand. 

   In fact, poverty brings a certain freedom, I know this from personal experience.

Oh really?? Try having temporal lobe epilepsy with over $10,000 in medical bills with no help financially. I dont have very much freedom in poverty. I want to see my family, though I dont have the money to do so.  I try to save money to afford a trip, but with no medical insurance and a constant array of medical needs, I have never been able to 'get my head out of water'.  My freedom is very limited due to this monetary economic paradigm.

PS- "Greed and competition are not immutable human temperament; they are in fact, created and maintained by the kind of money we are using...."  This is flat-out wrong.  Greed and competition are evidence of the human condition, and pre-date any sort of money system.

Wow, you have never studied anything regarding archeological evidence, or anthropology, or psychology?  The majority of hominid existence has been in the form of egalitarian, foraging tribes. Its only been in the last 1% of our existence that we developed city-states, monetary exchange, and organized group violence.

Your still ignoring the statement by Lietier.  What he is describing is known as 'artifical scarcity' and this is a reference to plato's uncritical analysis, as well.   Grocery stores throw away millions of pounds of food every year, simply because it spoils from not being purchased. There are approx. 5 million homeless in the US, while we have about 19 million vacant homes. We already have abundance of resources, but our monetary-market systems require scarcity to exist, even if its artifical scarcity.

Lastly, whats most amusing about all this is my expertise in free market economics. I produce a high demand commodity that is a closer approximation of free markets than anyone here. I know about maintaining cost efficiency, managing time and resource allocation, managing distribution and communication, and everything about business fundamentals. I also know what its like to have 'moochers'; non-producers that want what you have even though they contributed nothing. What I have learned is that fighting the non-producers will get you no where.  Locking up your goods and defending them is backwards, it will never work in the long run.

So what worked?  Sharing, open discussion, and motivating them to produce for themselves.  Not hoarding, not being greedy, but sharing, and helping them to realize their wrongs. Being kind and generous, a newly found characteristic of much more intelligent generations.

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Retha
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lol heffe

Sorry, I have to say something...

heffe, you are full of yourself, honey.  Take it down a notch.  Save these posts and look back on them in 25 years...attitude is everything.  Arrogant self-promotion will only keep you down.  You are no better or worse than me or anyone else in this world.  See my post above.  While you try to change the world, remember, you can't do it alone.  And you won't be able to do it with just 20 somethings.  We are all in this together.  Yes, you are smart and obviously well educated.  But, that does not replace life experience, you would be wise to utilitze the wisdom of those around you.   You along with millions of others are suffering from this economic crisis.  Many more will follow.  Step down off your pedestal, knock that chip off your shoulder & build up your community resources - work on your preparations.  The crap in the world is the crap in the world.  Either you will prepare for what's coming or you will be a victim.  You can argue the 'points' all day long, but that won't change the global situation.  Spend time getting prepared instead of posting insulting & combative discussions about subjects you can't do anything about.  

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heffe in the "Big Chair"
heffe wrote:

More self serving rhetoric. Im sure you have a very specified range of choices, ignoring those examples where someone working hard doesn't get anywhere. The last sentence is insulting, what a douche. 

<snip>

And as far as working with them, I'd rather work with the local produce stand.  Rich folk tend to have a snobby disposition of which I cannot stand. 

<snip>

So what worked?  Sharing, open discussion, and motivating them to produce for themselves.  Not hoarding, not being greedy, but sharing, and helping them to realize their wrongs. Being kind and generous, a newly found characteristic of much more intelligent generations.

Why don't you try more of that last approach here?

Interesting?  The approach you take in the first two snips are at odds with what you say in the third.

You come on to the site insulting people right and left, then let on you have a significant personal challenge and apologize for venting your spleen.  Guess what, we all have a cross to bear in some form or fashion.

Then you go back to your original modus operandi, call someone a douche, generalize "rich folk" as being snobby, and basically spare no effort to take swipes at everyone around you???  And wonder why your reception here is frosty?

Dude, are you here to spread heat or light?  You will get nowhere with the former, and you might be shocked at where you can get with the latter.

Two lines from Robert Hunter, interpreted by the late, great San Francisco prophet Jerome John Garcia....

"Talk about your plenty, talk about your ills, one man gathers what another man spills"

"Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right"

 

PS - I forgot to add....I flagged your post.  You don't get to call people like tictac a douche.

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tictac1
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"Not hoarding, not being

"Not hoarding, not being greedy, but sharing, and helping them to realize their wrongs. Being kind and generous, a newly found characteristic of much more intelligent generations."

On this we can agree, except for the part about it being new.  I too am a student of history.

You say your abilities are superior to 99% of us.  If that's true, here's my challenge to you.  Scrape up enough money to come to CA.  I will personally find you a job.  Our plant is going to be hiring, I think the starting pay is about $23/hr, but people make far more than that the first year due to overtime.  I also know a successful business man who is looking for an intelligent person with exclellent reading and diagnostic skills to run a water treatment process and trouble shoot other systems.  You will have to get dirty too.

If you come out here, and are "all that", and still don't get hired, I will pay your airfare back and give you some spending money.  If, however, you are not hireable because of a criminal past, an ego that does not permit you to work with others, or simply aren't smart enough, you are on your own.

This is the deal, will you accept it?

Moderator Jason's picture
Moderator Jason
Status: Moderator (Offline)
Joined: Dec 23 2008
Posts: 98
Hello heffe and tictac

Hello heffe and tictac,

A post was flagged here, causing me to read the whole thread. Let me share my philosophy with both of you:

(1) Keeping a conversation civil and non-confrontational is the responsibility of all users, at all times. Calling another user a "douche" is not likely to help any conversation become more civil. Heffe, you think you know where the line is between civility and incivility? Now, I suggest that you take two steps back from it, firmly into the "safe" zone.  Let me warn you that if you become a user who chronically attracts the moderators' attention with borderline behavior, your tenure here will be short.

(2) At the same time, users should try to interact with each other in a way that will not bring out the other person's weaknesses.  In other words, try not to push each other's buttons.  Tictac, starting off with the sentence "I will say your opinion of rags to riches being the exception is completely bogus," you might as well have written, "Heffe, you're just personally a loser, because success is pretty do-able for everybody else." If I was strapped for money and really felt that I couldn't find the opportunities which I believed I was trying hard to find, I might not have called you a douche, but I might have thought it. A little tact never hurts.

Both of you, thanks for your help in keeping things civil. Feel free to contact me any time, of course.

Jason

P.S. - tictac, that is an extremely generous and kind offer, if you really mean it.

herewego's picture
herewego
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 11 2010
Posts: 150
It's not easy...

to think clearly about "having" and "not having".  We humans have torn up ourselves, our communities, our countries and our planet over this issue for many centuries.  Now, with the financial world we are used to quaking under our feet, it's even harder.  I have not been able to get a grip on the ethics of having for quite some time, especially regarding PMs.  I appreciate that some in the Martenson community are considering and communicating on this topic.

I don't think it's an either/or situation.  Yes, we have some inherent choice within the circumstances we are born into AND yes, our circumstances surely do heavily impact us.  It's not necessary or accurate to deny either our innate capacity for decision or our human vulnerability to hardship.  Both exist.  We make our way through the world grappling with both.

It seems clear to me that many "deserving" people are losing ground doing just what used to make them comfortably middle or working-class folks.  It's also clear that people around the world live in poverty that is explicitly caused by economic behaviors of the affluent.  It's not going to move our understanding forward much to just accuse all the strugglers of  victimhood.  It's more complex than that by far. 

Sometimes I get a fleeting glimpse of a species (mine) that is not afraid to cooperate, fully, until we get the job (A decent life for everyone? An intact biosphere?  "A world worth inheriting."?) done.  That glimpse makes me weep with longing.  I don't see the downside of that way.  We just don't seem to know how to get there yet.  Then it's back to the task of prepping, including what to do about those pesky PMs.

There's a point in here somewhere....  This issue is not personal folks.  Class has been hampering humans for a long time!  We have all been very influenced by our backgrounds and it shows. That's to be expected.  We can explore our reactions to the social/environmental costs of PMs, agree, disagree, have strong feelings etc. in good company with each other.  Maybe we will gain some ground together.  Thanks for trying.

Susan

 

 

 

nickbert's picture
nickbert
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 14 2009
Posts: 1208
Getting back to the original

Getting back to the original subject, here in Mongolia the negative effects of gold mining are felt as well, though more in the environmental sense than violent criminal activity.  And while the large scale gold mining has an impact like any mining operation does, in recent years there has been a huge increase in "ninja miners", small-scale placer miners who use old existing mines or dig their own (often illegally):

http://www.mine.mn/WPJ4_3_Gold_Rush_placer.htm

The increase in gold prices has a large part to be sure, but the biggest factor at work is poverty more than greed.  A great many of the ninja miners are former herdsmen and their families, and a majority of those turned to mining because of severe winter blizzards and/or droughts in the recent years wiped out much (or in some cases all) of their livestock.  The same thing is driving other former herders to the capital city here to look for work, where they set up their gers and have to burn wood, coal, or even tires to stay warm in winter months (not even October yet and already the air pollution here is awful).

At least from what little I know of the situation, it seems much of the damage from the illegal placer mining can be reduced or mitigated with better coordination amongst the ninja miners, the government, and mining companies.  It seems to have the potential to be a net positive for the families and the country as a whole, but as it is now it's a messy and complicated situation. 

- Nickbert

tictac1's picture
tictac1
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 25 2009
Posts: 175
In CA, we have a very

In CA, we have a very similar situation.  There's an illegal gold mine in old gold country, a pretty big one from what I hear.  And yet our state government is completely unable to stop it.  I bet if it were poor people doing it, it would stop before it even broke ground.  Desperate times for some, and "opportunity" for the scavengers.

For heffe and Jason, I apologize, i should have simply said "I disagree".  Still figuring out that whole "tact" thing.

heffe, if you are interested in my offer, PM me, and we will get to work on making it happen.

Bananacarrot's picture
Bananacarrot
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 20 2011
Posts: 13
Voting

TicTac: "If we abstain from buying gold because someone, somewhere might kill someone over the price of it, and that reasoning causes my family to go bankrupt, which is the greater evil?  Using the same logic, should I not buy food grown unsustainably, meat produced in unethical conditions, gasoline that surely funds terrorism at some level?  Because of the system I was born into, I cannot survive without these things." 

It is overwhelming how many negative consequences there seem to be for all of our daily choices, but I like to think of every dollar I spend as my "vote" for what I want to support. I try to put in more votes for things like sustainably grown food & humanely treated animals than I do for the things I know have extremely negative effects.  It definitely is possible to find these things, and to survive on sustainably grown food - you just have to spend more money on them.

On the issue of gold, like other choices - I do think it is worth at least considering the negative ramifications of investing in it, and seeing if there are any alternate investments we could "vote" for that do not have such effects. However, there may not be any good alternatives for this...

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