Why not make a film called "A Weekend with the Economy?" The economy could be dead, but propped up to make everyone believe it is alive and prosperous. It could be hilarious, if it weren't so true. Maybe, " A Weekend with Alan." Of course Greenspan is still alive, although to be truthful, he does look like an ancient Bernie in the film. Greenspan is alive, and spouts forth reams of sentences, which say absolutely nothing. Is this similar to propping up a dead man, and pretending he has something to say? In his last dirge a week or so ago, one word was changed to indicate a possible increase in the interest rate, and the Dow fell out of bed, and gold and silver dipped. Actually, the economy is dead, and everyone thinks it is wonderful. The stock market is over-priced, over-sold, and due for a severe correction. To give you an indication of how over-done the stock market is, the "day traders" have re-surfaced, and are going strong.
You remember the "day traders," don't you? They appeared at the close of the NASDAQ balloon. Many had quit their day jobs, and were trading stocks in and out all day long, thinking they were geniuses. It's easy to make money "day trading," when all the market does is go up. The day traders being back, is sort of the same idea as seeing clouds forming, being an indication of a storm coming. One of the most popular and reputable stock outfits, sends out letters to its customers. Of about 175 stocks mentioned in the latest newsletter, only one has a P/E ratio of under ten. It is Sears Roebuck. The rest have P/E/ ratios averaging about 20-25, I guess. They recommend buying Starbucks, with a P/E ratio of 39.3, and which stock pays no dividends at all.
This same newsletter, says that the unemployment rate (which no one seems to realize is hideously wrong) is fine, and not to worry. You aren't supposed to worry about a half trillion deficit, either. The true national debt, is about $100,000 for every man, woman, and child in America. They encourage buying numerous stocks, plus a few bonds. The bonds they recommend, have only fair ratings, except of course Freddie Mac, which is triple A. Freddie and Fannie are hideously over-derivatived and have fishy books to match. The newsletter recommended bonds, pay from 4.6% to 6.1% in taxable dollar interest. The buck has lost 25% of value against other currencies of late, but that doesn't bother this newsletter. The Dow at 10,000 is "just a number." I wonder if this newsletter ever told its clients to buy gold or silver, which have gone up 50% and 25% respectively. Probably not.
As far as I am concerned, with Iraq killing dozens of Americans, and hundreds of Iraqis each week, and hundreds of billions being poured down that hole, the economy is not good. As far as I am concerned, with Afghanistan boiling again, and costing even more paper dollars, the economy is not good. As far as I am concerned, with the buck sliding, unemployment figures fake, (because they do not include those who have given up or never applied for welfare), the economy is similar to "A Weekend at Bernie's." It is being propped up, even though it is dead. Bernie had a smile on his face, as he was taken around, appearing to be alive.
Dubya is sending $200 million to Liberia, and maybe more, since it supposedly needs $500 million to re-build after a dozen years of civil war. Were we responsible for their self-destruction? Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, used to export food, and was a wonderful place to live. Now it is a no mans' land and a violent graveyard. How much will we send there? All of sub-Sahara Africa is self-destructing, and guess what? The civilized nations, are self-destructing themselves, by sending their wealth there, where it can be quickly dissipated by more ignorant dictators. In America as well as elsewhere, taxpayers are forced to support the non-taxpayers in their public housing projects, and various handouts. In major cities, the residents of the projects sue the cities because of some mistake by a cop, and further bankrupt the already bankrupt. Which nations in the world, which do not make what they consume, can be considered prosperous? I know of none, and we must be placed in the non-prosperous league.
How long, before the citizens realize that wealth cannot be printed? How long, before the masses realize that paying people not to work, to be sick, to take vacations, and be unemployed, is bad economics? How long, will it take the masses to throw the bums out? It will never happen. This is 1924 Germany, in slow motion. Germany was forced by the Treaty of Versailles, (is it a 'treaty' when the victims do not sign it?) to pay enormous amounts of their "money," as reparations for WW I. They simply printed their "money," by the box car load, to pay what they owed, and after bankrupting an entire nation with unbacked paper money, allowed Hitler to become ruler. America is doing the same thing in slow motion, and we are almost at the end, with the dollar having lost probably 98% of its former value. It has recently lost 25% against other unbacked paper fiat "monies." But Bernie will be propped up, and everyone will think he is alive…for a while.
What happens, when Bernie is discovered to be stone cold dead? What happens, when the world discovers that America isn't producing what it consumes, is being taxed to death, which results in jobs disappearing by the millions, and has been bankrupt for years? What happens, if China ceases tying its currency to the buck? Where do Americans shop, when they can no longer afford even Wal Mart? What happens, when people discover their share of stock is indicative of a hundred millionth ownership of a company that makes no profits, and pays no dividends, as is the case with 46% of them? In 1929, the national debt ratio to the GDP was 200% and the market crashed. Now it is 300%. In 1950 it was 110%. The whole thing is "A Weekend At Bernie's," I am afraid. I am often accused of being so negative, that I can see nothing good in anything. Untrue! I can see a lot of wonderful things, including hundreds of millions of great people, businesses, religions, homes, neighborhoods, soldiers, and scenery. I just am really sad that so many hundred million are being forced into subservience to the Repiblicrats and DC. I am too, as there is no way not to be engulfed. The fault doesn't originate with us. The fault is with the elected politicians, who frankly, have about as much knowledge of economics, as a toad. They vote more handouts, more regulations, and more government on a continual basis, and with each vote, another nail is driven in our coffin. It doesn't matter who you vote for, the result will be the same.
Some say they will leave America for some other nation with a different language, but supposedly more freedom. That will never work. America is still the best place to live in the entire world. I love America, but am appalled at what is happening to it. Now that the non-taxpayers outnumber the taxpayers, the politicos pass legislation to improve the lives of the non-taxpayers, at the expense of the taxpayers. The ultimate result, has to be catastrophic, because handouts, paper money, regulations, 50% taxes, and myriad laws, do not create prosperity, wealth, or even happiness. All one can do is protect ones self.
February 7, 2004
Don Stott has been a precious metals broker since 1977, has written five books, hundreds of columns, and his web site is www.coloradogold.com