Monday, 5 December 2011

The Moral of the Story

Yin and Yang

In every person's life there is a brief time of stories. Regaled by tales of fantasy by our parents, setting our imagination alight and oft lulling us to sleep. These are formative years, and these stories have purpose. At the end of the story one is asked, what is the moral of this story do you think, or at times it is explicitly stated.

This cultural habit has many purposes. The primary one is to teach children morals. That which a society accepts as right and wrong. Good and Evil. Yin and Yang. The way one is supposed to act in a certain circumstance. It also teaches our children to distill lessons from vast sets of information and incorporate that distilled wisdom, and then using those principles to guide their actions.

In our stories the main persona, signifying ourselves, is either rewarded or punished by his actions. Our stories are created to teach morals, and so when one is rewarded it is done because a good action was performed, and when one is punished it is because a bad action was performed.

Of course, every culture has different stories. As we circle the globe the stories and morals taught to our young is dependent on the culture, but there is, thankfully, the overall theme of that which is good and that which is evil.

We developed this skill at a young age and then simply expand our worlds from which to draw our lessons. In our younger years our parents form the basis from which we draw our morals. Thereafter we begin to be shaped by broader society, prominent individuals, institutions we are taught to respect, and even men long departed from this earth.

Today I must ask, looking at our society, what are the lessons to be learned? What actions are being rewarded, what actions are good?What is rewarded? What is punished? What is the moral? What is incentivized? What type of people and society are we creating?

The Stories

Social grants for unemployment – You will be rewarded if you do not work.

Social grants for children – You will be rewarded if you procreate.

Tax – You will be punished for production. The more you produce the more you will be punished. Implied moral – working is bad.

Nationalization (of land/mines/business) - Your production does not belong to you. It can be taken on a whim by someone with the power of force. Implied moral – saving and production is pointless.

Corruption (going unpunished) – Theft is rewarded. Lying is rewarded.

Crime (going unpunished) – Crime pays.

Inflation policy (sanctioned theft) – Saving money is punished.

These are not the only stories. The world is full of them, I only share some to broaden your vision.

What is the moral of this story?

Stop wondering why our world is going to ruin. Stop asking why. You are the reason. This is your story, your morality, your choice.

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” - Walt Kelly

We are each of us responsible. Shrugging your shoulders and saying there is nothing you can do about it is a lie we tell ourselves. For every small action or inaction you take there is a consequence. What has resulted is mostly from inaction.

"The world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil but because of those who look on and do nothing -- Albert Einstein

What we can do to fix it, is start by questioning ourselves. Think on what you see as right and good in the world. Look upon the world and act in support of good and in opposition of evil, in your own small way.

Changing the world starts with changing yourself.

"Be the change you want to see in this world" -- Gandhi

The opposite course of action remains open to you. You can continue to do nothing. Know this though, you cannot absolve yourself of blame by saying you didn't do it. You cannot wash your hands. Through inaction we allow evil to take root and thrive.

You can no longer claim innocence.

Make the choice you can live with.

The Fool

Friday, 2 December 2011


This post was written in response to Unambiguous Wealth, and quotes were taken from there. The intent is to elicit some conversation tangential to that post.

“Remember from Moneyness that the people's money throughout history has been credit denominated in something.”

Real Bills theory shows that there were two types of credit historically. One was credit based on consumption and the production cycle for consumption, for which Real Bills were issued. The other was credit granted for things not clear-able in a season. Things like houses whose credit was granted only from the pool of savings.

Conceptually we could still divide credit this way, even though the method of funding for the types of credit has become intermingled due to governmental borrowing requirements.

We do not consider credit of the first kind to be wealth, it is rather called consumables. (Of course a business of consumables could be used to generate wealth.)

Wealth could be said to be unconsumables. Things we produce that are not consumed forthwith.

An item's wealthy-ness is determined by it's durability and rarity and state of possession, or stated otherwise, the ability to preserve value over time.

Things like the Mona Lisa do well, a cheap copy doesn't. Gold is eternal and unconsumable and as the other type of wealth it's relative abundance makes it the ideal store.

“But today we use that credit, that debt or liability asset as our savings, not just for trade. “

The fact that the first type of credit is cleared by consumables is what will give relative stability to a currency under FreeGold. The stock of the flow of goods remains relatively stable.

Being that wealth will no longer be stored in inferior mediums, except at the margin, items that are currently used as stores of wealth in addition to their primary utility will lose the wealth storing function. A good example here is a house, which will thereafter only be priced according to it's utility and not have an additional component of wealth storage.

(This is also true of silver which is currently priced as perhaps $10 utility and $20 store of wealth)

All of this extra unnatural storage in the current system will flow from these things into gold.

The cash in that system ( base money) will be the float required to clear trade on credit issued on consumption, which will the include houses.


Ps. For a quick intro on Real Bills for those unfamiliar with the topic and interested you can try 1 , 2 , 3 , 4. My intended audience should just take note that this was written before I came across the concept of FreeGold. 

Thursday, 1 December 2011

America's Greatness

It is a generally accepted fact that the United States of America was a great country.

Some would argue that it still is; they are wrong. If you think about it honestly for a moment you will agree it is no longer the case. It remains true that there are still many things that are impressive about America, such as their military and the amount of debt they have. Overall, however, America has lost its greatness, that quality of being untouchable regardless of the circumstances. The OWS movement is indicative of this.

It is important to understand why America was great, because it allows them to reclaim it and others to follow in their footsteps.

It is widely misunderstood . This lack of understanding meant that the critical component of it has been lost without their realization.

What is generally focused upon is men who achieved a measure of greatness. Men such as J.D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

This half-measure still remains, but it does not complete the picture.

We recognize these men because they achieved tremendous wealth in their lifetime.

Men are still allowed to succeed, though they are sorely hampered, but are men still allowed to fail?

The answer is quite obviously no. From regulations protecting the wealthy right up to Too Big To Fail, in the USA today the wealthy are not allowed to fail. They are allowed to influence law and regulation to protect their wealth and industry, not by their ability, but by law, i.e. the rule of force.

This same advantage is not afforded to their would be competitors, the entrepreneurs that would like to challenge their command of industry. In fact small businesses are deliberately hampered by the laws and taxation regulation that big industry lobbies for - for the precise reason of safeguarding their wealth and position.

If one looks at history there is the critical difference that set America apart in it's young days. It set them apart from the rest of the world, and is the reason for their greatness, whether acknowledged or not.

From tribalistic Africa to medieval Europe , those in control of wealth have always been able to keep their position with the use of force. It is true today again in the USA.

Perhaps the OWS crowd senses the problem, even if they are unable to articulate what is lacking.

If one has to distill in a single sentence why America was great, it would be this :

Men were allowed to fail, despite their wishes to the contrary.

This one attribute of a young America above all others is the reason. It is why they prospered and were able to build so much wealth in such a short period.

When wealth and position is protected by law, those in power become complacent, they no longer strive for efficiency, they become lethargic and dull. The possibility of failure, the sharp edge of the cliff, the battle...that is what keeps man in his best form, using his best ability, producing the most he is able. When younger sharper competitors are able to slice away at an old weary opponent, and use those resources more efficiently, then wealth is created and society thrives.

Today America is a sad imitation of its former glorious self. This loss is a tragedy.


The Fool

Help a Fool

Thank you for your interest in supporting a fool.

Why support a Fool?

Two reasons come to mind.

The first is the matter of value. I believe in exchanging value for value. If you find value in my work, then you may consider repaying it in kind, in measure of your judgment of the value to you.

The second is simpler. I do this in my spare time. In order to keep food on the table I work full time. I also study essentially full time. This means I have very little spare time to direct towards thought on these matters. As such I do not produce a lot of posts.

If it became possible for me to do I would like to write much more often and in much more depth. The quality and volume of my writings would obviously benefit from this.

Time is money though and I simply don't have enough to do everything I would like to do.

More about The Fool

For those that are interested, I decided to share some of the realities of my life, as perceived by me.
I do so not to win your sympathy, but to give you perspective, and to have you reflect on whether my views gave any value to you, in the hope that you will exchange value for value.

I was born in South Africa to a middle class family in 1983. I was 7 years old when Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and 11 years old when we had our first democratic elections.

My parents were non-racist and voted in favour of democratic elections in the referendum in 1989. I don't recall my parents ever speaking in derogatory terms of suppressed black people. You may keep in mind however that such things were quite far from my mind at such an age.

Those were kinder years, and the conservatism of my inherited culture shielded me from growing up too fast. There was no internet, no mobile phones, no easy availability of drugs, no exposure to sexual advertising in every media form and being in a middle class family trying to make ends meet, no easy available money for getting into trouble with.

None of us have a choice as to the circumstances we are born into, nor the country or culture for that matter.

As I grew older, beyond what we were taught in school about our new reality in our young new democracy, the reality of living it also seeded in me a curiosity about the history of our country and our people.

I learned of the blatant hateful discrimination which included, but was not limited to : people not being allowed in certain areas, not being allowed the use of some public facilities, not being allowed to apply for certain jobs, not being able to travel without permission, etc.

A sad history of repression and oppression of a people based on race.

While not politically minded at a younger age, by 1998, at the age of 15, with the Rainbow nation speech of Nelson Mandela, I shared the feeling of hope for our new country, felt by my countrymen.

It is said that history rhymes, sadly this seems to be true.

Our bright new hope has spluttered like a candle in the night. Our dreams of a united nation killed by years of suppressed outrage and hate, fermented by those in newfound power for what was done to them. It would seem our mutual icon, Mandela, spoke in vain of forgiveness and reconciliation.

I understand why this is happening to our nation, but that does not mean I can condone it. The wisdom of elders is supposed to guide a nation from repeated folly. Or rather this is what I believed at a younger more idealistic age, and it did seem to be true in the figure of Mandela.

As I grow older however it seems that this projection of wisdom that is embodied by my elders is nothing but an illusion. A vestige of power worn self righteously and 'earned' by the passing of years.

As the years have passed I have seen the hatred between my countrymen grow again, sparked and encouraged by governmental policies seemingly designed specifically to create class and racial conflict, born of a lack of understanding and a desire for revenge.

This has led to policies such as BEE( Black Economic Empowerment) whereby there is preference(prejudice) for black candidates in applying for jobs, and transformation goals whereby a certain percentage of all businesses must be black, and ownership must be black for a significant percentage.

Our country is unique in that the empowerment legislation is to the detriment of a minority of the population, 5% or so, and for the benefit of about 90%.

This is in effect for all whites, a kind of reverse apartheid, with just the colours switched around. This will likely be in effect for the foreseeable future. It is truly sad for those whites who were born after 1994, the year of our first democratic elections, that will be entering the workforce next year.

It is very much harder to get a job if you are white and young than black, it is almost impossible if you are white and middle aged.

My middle class parents were chewed up and spit out by the machine of the state, and are now fast approaching poverty themselves, something that has happened for broad swathes of whites since 1994.

I have noted that the ideology of socialism is to be found in most countries today, and in that regard my country is not unique, though we do have our own unique history that amplifies the suffering, anger and lack of morality this system creates, by, for the most part, splitting it along racial lines.

The end results of this ideology is fast approaching, as it has done many times before in history. This time it will be a worldwide event, as opposed to the isolated historic incidents.

My current daily reality is this. I am thankful to have a job, a roof over my head and food on my table. In addition I am very thankful to have the opportunity to have Internet as it allows me a world of information.

I earn R4000 a month at present, which is about $500. From this I fund my costs of living, studies at university, Internet, and try and augment my preparations for the coming transition. As you may imagine it is a incredibly difficult task to do so on this income.

Luckily I have no debts, I believe in paying for what I use and have done so my whole life.

I am working on improving my position, hence the studies. However I doubt I will even be done with my studies before the transition.

There isn't really anything left over for me to save as wealth. Sadly I am unable to add more gold to my own savings, unable to follow my own advice and benefit from the coming transition, beyond my current small gold position, which was very hard won. This is very frustrating as you can imagine.

My previous blog can be found here :

What I would use the donations for

This could augment my income and perhaps even replace it, in which case I would be able to blog full time.

I would like to be able to afford a plane ticket out of this country if circumstances force me to do so.

Studying is a costly endeavor, and extremely hard to finance on my current income, I would use some towards this purpose.

I would of course love to own some more gold, so that in the holding of it through knowledge I will be able to use that at the right time to create opportunities to improve my life and implement some of my business ideas.