Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Gold Market

I've been seeing a lot of commercials for gold, as an investment lately. They're really stupid. "Gold is worth so much money, it'll probably go up even more! Buy some, it has never been worth zero!"
Okay, what they're saying is technically true. Gold's price has climbed to over $800/oz due to psychotic libertarians and republicans buying the crap out of it to outmaneuver what they see as the imminent collapse of the federal banking system. If I believed them, this would be one of the less stupid currency exchanges to go for.
However, gold's price isn't guaranteed to go up, and the commercials always neglect to mention that sometimes gold prices go down. Especially if the supply increases (due to finding more reserves, or more people selling), or if interest decreases (who would want gold if they could collect, say, 14% interest on a sweet, sweet bank cd?). And that "it never has been worth zero" will be of little comfort to the investor who buys it at $900 per ounce and then has to sell it at $20 per ounce because they needed groceries.
No, I think now is the time to be SELLING gold. Anything golden that you have and don't want anymore, sell it. You'll get ludicrous amounts of money for a metal whose primary selling points are that it's shiny, noncorrosive, and conducts electricity well.
This situation is, of course, made worse by "gold is money" libertarians who slobber over the idea of paying for their necessities with solid gold coins that they mint themselves. The federally backed dollar annoys the living crap out of them on the grounds that it would be valueless without the government, which they hate.
For the sake of national sanity, I think somebody has to crash the gold market. You can do that by introducing huge amounts of gold into circulation. How? Let's say you've already sold all your unwanted stuff.
There are flakes of gold in seawater. Boil away the water, sort away the other minerals (mostly sodium) by chemical means, and collect the gold. This would work well with previously described desalinization machines. There is gold in some soils, extracted by complicated cyanide chemistry. Much of this is in California. The 1860 gold rush only removed half of California's gold, and now the other half is being extracted now that it's worthwhile. And there's gold in space.
According to NASA, our solar system is rich in gold. The four terrestrial planets should have gold at around the same rate as earth, as should the solid moons of the gas planets. NASA should get a good geologist, and start harvesting Martian gold. It'd pay the year's budget, a definite cause to rub it in Congress's face.
There's gold in the deep crust, but that's kind of hard to work with. Shift through volcanic lava? No thanks.
All the gold ever produced by humankind would, if melted and cast together, be a 14 foot cube. It would fit in the average American living room, but be so heavy as to shatter the concrete slab, or, if there is a basement, rip through the floor and fall through. It's about time that a 15th foot be added. Not because gold is wonderful, but to end the insanity.

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