Friday, August 05, 2011

Trying to Get My Funny Back

This wonderful piece over at TheOnion.com made me laugh out loud for the first time in months. It also made me realize that I have completely lost my sense of humor.

clown
[Thanks to Artfire.com for the photo.]

Does anyone else notice the vitriol that is beginning to seep out from under the covers of some very good intentions? Have you, like me, begun to feel a twinge of resentment for one or more of your fellow Americans? Perhaps your neighbor, the nice one who asks you to water her flowers when she's away, recently made a nasty comment about someone or something on your political side of the fence, and for the first time ever you thought to yourself, "What an idiot"? (You can assuage your bad conscience with the likelihood that she feels the same way about you.)

Maybe you were playing tennis with the usual crowd, and someone who used to be lighthearted pipes up, all irritated, about how stupid the "socialist Democrats" are, or how scary "those crazy Tea Party Republicans" can be? Does this sound familiar, my friend?

Are you, like me, wondering why bands of youths are beginning to create havoc in public gatherings, seemingly just for the fun of it?

Well, I've noticed these changes; so I've stopped to ponder and I've found that it's no wonder that we've all gone sour:

-- Our Congress just proved to us once more that it is composed of complete nitwits (with a few exceptions) who are ready to sneak around important issues rather than face them head-on and deal with them. How did this happen? Or more appropriately, why did we entrust these professional politicians with such serious issues? The answer lies beyond my comprehension.

-- Our savings account interest is plunging lower than ever. Jokingly, I say to myself, "Maybe soon our banks will start asking fees just for stocking our cash...." Wait! They already have!

-- The stock market is crashing again, most likely due to poor economic growth and bad employment figures mixed in with serious European banking woes. It looks like we're headed for a double-dip, just like in 1933. And we thought things were bad already.

-- We've got another whole year to go before we find out who will run the country, what our tax structure will be, what the debt situation will look like, whether the euro will still exist--heck, even whether the dollar will still exist!--and whether businesses can start investing again or not.

-- News is seeping out that S&P just might downgrade the US after all. (Correction: It just did.)


This country has never been so divided since the Civil War. I have lost my sense of humor because there is little to laugh about these days. Our federal and state governments have managed to ensconce themselves into every facet of our lives and, in the process, have split this country right down the middle. Are they dividing us, the better to conquer us?

But, remember: They are only doing what comes naturally. We are the true guilty party. Politicians crave power, and somehow we let them have it. Now we must reverse this process, and it is going to be very, very painful--not a laughing matter at all.

Over the past six years, I have written thousands of words about the value of gold as a measure of the value of currencies, and I am convinced more than ever of the soundness of my analysis. Gold, at well over $1,650 an ounce, is proving to be the best thermometer of monetary mischief, even better than "the Almighty Rational Market" (the stock market, that is) that tends to be about as rational as a Las Vegas gambler.

[Aside: Oh all right, perhaps it's rational over a period of 200 years, but who lives that long? In the end, the success of the theory in any particular case depends on the prices at which you got in, and whether or not you actually reinvested those dividends like you were supposed to.]

In my book, the current gold rush has been the only rational part of today's crisis. And it was predictable (and in fact predicted) since the 1990s when the Federal Reserve began manipulating the interest rates downward and trying to tinker with the U.S. economy (again).

Even as long ago as the 1970s, a few common-sense economists warned us about the approach of the problems through which we are living today (example: Edward C. Harwood in The Money Mirage and elsewhere). Why so few people heeded them, and why even fewer are turning to their research today, is a mystery that's--well, it would be funny if it weren't so tragic.

(If you didn't click on TheOnion.com link, do so now. The chuckles'll do your sad heart some good.)

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