The Illusion of Capital
By Dan Amoss
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11/11/11 Jacobus, Pennsylvania – The world’s “faith-based” monetary system is breaking down before our eyes. Don’t be caught off guard.
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A few weeks ago, as I was rolling up the tracks from Baltimore to New York, my gaze landed on an oil refinery. A little while later, I spotted a casino. Then I started to think about these two very different forms of capitalism — one that relies on an intensive investment of physical capital and one that relies almost entirely on paper money.
Is one of these forms of capitalism inherently better than the other? Does one of them produce a more enduring prosperity?
Yes, to both questions.
Passing by Sunoco’s Marcus Hook Refinery, you can’t help but admire this feat of engineering. Situated on the Delaware/Pennsylvania border, this 800-acre campus covered in miles of steel pipe has the capacity to crack 175,000 barrels of crude oil into refined products in a single day.
Harrah’s Chester Casino & Racetrack does not produce gasoline. It does not produce anything…except a transfer of wealth. It stands in stark contrast to the refinery. The only similarity between the two is that you wouldn’t want either in your backyard.
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Contrary to popular opinion, paper money is not wealth. Paper money is a claim on wealth. It only has value to the extent that it can be exchanged for things — a bushel of corn, a gallon of gasoline, a dental cleaning, or an Intel microprocessor.
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Investors who hold gold will be very reluctant to sell it when dollar-holders around the world anticipate the endgame of paper monetary systems. For its holders, gold will serve as a solid bridge on the journey from this monetary system to the next.
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For some reason, this seemed to clearly present the difference between wealth, capital, and money.
I’ve driven by that refinery and played in that casino. That’s a striking difference.
One produces wealth; the other merely some entertainment.
We’ve been deluded into thinking that a bunch of “dollars” are wealth. That refinery and the gas it produces is “wealth”.
I like the expression “faith-based monetary system”! It really sums up what this game of musical chairs is all about.
We’ve had some real world examples of what happens when the music stops — hyperinflation — the pre-WW2 Weimar Germany (that I heard first hand from survivors), circa ‘82 Argentina, or ‘98 Zimbabwe.
The tin foil hats prepare for many types of disasters. Hyperinflation is one of them. First thing to recognize that you have to think in terms of “wealth”; not a “faith based” money. “Beans, bullets, and bandaids” is on the first list; “junk silver” on the second.
Some day, maybe I’ll write the “fat old white guy injineer’s intro to ekkynomics” with stories from a mythical “Robinson Crusoe’s” island. When it’s really simplified. Distilled down to a few facts in a fairy tale, it’s easier to see.
That refinery! The Gooferment can’t print more of them. If a “dollar”, whatever that is, (don’t tell me what it was), is a claim on wealth, then it has to have a value. When the Gooferment, through it’s chief counterfeiter the FED, aka “Federal Reserve Bank” or the “Federal Reserve System”, prints extra “claims”, it’s stealing. Pure and simple.
If “We, The Sheeple” had half credit hour of economics or history, then they’d understand the Ponzi-like scam thatR