Well, autumn, anyway. If you’re somewhere that has a solid four seasons, now is not a bad time to double-check your GHB/BoB contents. Check for anything that’s expired, and replace it. Make sure you’re rigged for cold weather/winter–is there a jacket? Hat? Gloves? Heavy socks? Do you have stuff in your car for warmth, should you get stranded in your car in a snowstorm? While we’re probably still a few weeks away from the first one, better to get ready now…
So, I’ve been watching a conversation on an intranet blog at work. The topic–generally “doom” and “survival” related–turned to the gold/silver standard. I’d say things got heated, but really only one side of it seemed to; the guy arguing against the gold/silver standard kept calm. (And he wasn’t really “arguing against it,” so much as explaining why it’s maybe not such a great thing.) I was following along until the pro-gold guy came out with the following line:
Have you ever looked at how much a million dollars of gold is worth in today’s money, versus a million dollars in U.S. currency? It really makes you wonder…
Well… At a rough approximation, I’d say they’re both worth… Erm. About a million dollars? Until the price of gold changes, anyway. (And that’s really not much gold: at last night’s prices [16 September], it’s about 55 1/2 pounds, or 25kg and change, which would be about 2 of the “standard” big bars you always see in movies.)
I really still don’t understand the fascination with gold. Sure, if the financial system absolutely collapses, to where paper money isn’t tradeable for anything, any of the “precious metals” (or gems, jewelry, etc.) will still probably be tradeable. But then, barter will probably be up & running well before then. (I’d imagine that local communities will develop some sort of scrip in relatively short order, too…) And, in fact, if the paper money should “go away”, barter–particularly of services–is one of the most secure ways to go. (They can’t exactly take away your knowledge and hard-won skills, now, can they?)
And that assumes that the entire financial system collapses overnight–which I’m of the opinion it’s not likely to do. (I’ve been wrong before, and the fates take a perverse delight in doing just that sort of thing…) Sovereign debt issues? China owns tons of our debt? Well, not really–Japan owns about as much as China, and more of it is in the hands of U.S. citizens than a lot of people realize. And an interesting thing about them having so much of our debt–it’s in their interest (literally–interest payments) to see the U.S. economy do well. Us failing costs them, as well…
Now, I’m far from an expert on any of this. And anybody who tells you that they understand economics–particularly if they’re an economist–probably has something they’re trying to sell you. But on that count, I think we’re okay. (Will there be bumps in the road? Yes. Bubbles that rise, and burst? Yes. But all of that is part of the nature of economies, I think…)
(And let’s not get me started on the whole Jade Helm thing. I may have to rant about that at a later date… The dumb–it burns!!!)
No, I’m keeping a weather eye on things in Syria. ISIL/ISIS/whatever their acronym is this month are an interesting group (in the same way E. Coli is, under a microscope), and they’re very dangerous. So is the Syrian regime–they’ve apparently still got chemical weapons, and are apparently not afraid to use them. And they’ve got close friends in the Russians. And lots of enemies. That whole area scares me, and I fear that things there might get much worse before they get better.
In the meantime, all we can really do is try to maintain “normal” at home, and do things one day at a time–with an eye to the future.
All of my readers in the SouthWest U.S.: How are things in your part of the woods? We’ve been watching the stories of flash floods and the like; hope you’re doing well, and keeping dry!