8/17/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…
Almost nothing of consequence happened today in the markets. Just what one would expect on a quiet August day. Silver and other commodities are poised to go higher, but our guess is that it will wait a month to really hit its stride. At that point, inflation could really be a problem.
August is a time for reflection and relaxation. Casting off the cares of the past 11 months and charging the batteries for another run. At The Mint, we are pondering a great many things. Our dear German friend who has been with us here in Portland the past nine months left for Frankfurt today. She will be missed dearly by all. It seems that Oregon had a special impact upon her as well and she commented that this season has been one of the most pleasant of her life.
Yes, Oregon is a special place.
“There is so much nature here!” she commented upon returning from a trip to Montana. Apparently in Germany every square mile is spoken for, leaving wild animals little room to roam. One of her chief concerns on these excursions was the bears. Who can blame her, with the news coming out of Yellowstone at the time?
She is heading to Barcelona to start a ministry and we wish her well, for she is now one of the family. Hospitality blesses one in ways they cannot imagine.
August thoughts in the US are being rudely interrupted by the presidential campaigns that are warming up in Iowa and are heading to New Hampshire to continue the race in which the winner will declare themselves King of the Americans.
As Bloom County fans may recall, when the Meadow party nominated Bill the Cat and Opus for the job, they concluded that only a complete idiot would apply after careful consideration of the job description which in there estimation included “being blamed for every problem on the planet.”
The complete idiot label came to mind after we heard a comment in a video shared with us by a friend in which Bill Hybels, the Pastor of Willow Creek, a large church in Illinois, noted that the tendency in American dialogue today is to “throw stones first” and ask questions later. He explained that people grab onto comments and statements made by others and publicly villianize them without bothering to consider the context or verify the validity of said statements.
His remarks were made at the Willow Global Leadership Summit while addressing the interesting situation in which Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, backed out of his contract to appear at the summit after receiving threats of a boycott from a group who claimed that Willow Creek was anti-gay.
He went on to say that this phenomenon is making America “ungovernable.”
Mr. Hybels did not go into detail as to how this phenomenon would make the country ungovernable, but the idea got us thinking. What makes a country governable in the first place? Do people naturally need government in order to survive?
In the sense that people need to feel protected and able to care for themselves and their loved ones, people may need the concept of government. People, knowing their weak state on this planet, need to believe that someone is looking out for them. This need leads them to subject themselves to the idea of government.
Inevitably, those who are entrusted with embodying the idea of government find that they are given quite a bit of power over the lives of others and quickly learn to abuse it.
This leads the subjects to seek freedom from the government while at the same time looking for someone of something else to fulfill the basic needs of protection and material well-being. Seen this way, when a people become “ungovernable” they are rejecting the government under which they are because of a perceived or actual abuse.
It is important to note that, for people to reach this state, they must feel that they are out of options under the current government. Economic hardship has a lot to do with how people perceive their options. It should come as no surprise then that economic hardship is a result of policies which restrictive freedom.
Free men are infinitely more productive than slaves. A policy change in either direction will express itself in economic results. The results in America prove that we are a people becoming enslaved.
When things go well, no one cares who is governing. When things go badly, they become unnaturally preoccupied with the political process. America circa 2011 is moving towards this unnatural preoccupation.
Ironically, the more one concentrates on the government and its political processes, the more it becomes evident that the very existence of a government organized by men may be more a threat to than a protector of the basic needs of protection and material well-being.
We have stated before that in practice the governments of the world today operate like competing defense agencies. It may be, then, that Americans are tired of the current contractor and are searching for another one; one that is less intrusive and has fewer overhead costs to cover.
Will they find it before they are completely enslaved by the current one?
Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.
Key Indicators for August 17, 2011
Copper Price per Lb: $4.03
Oil Price per Barrel: $87.43
Corn Price per Bushel: $7.11
10 Yr US Treasury Bond: 2.16%
FED Target Rate: 0.10% TIGHTENING? NOT!
Gold Price Per Ounce: $1,789 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*: 2.00%
Unemployment Rate: 9.1%
Inflation Rate (CPI): -0.2%!!! PULL OUT THE HELICOPTERS!!!
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 11,410 TO THE MOON!!!
M1 Monetary Base: $2,140,300,000,000 RED ALERT!!!
M2 Monetary Base: $9,404,000,000,000 YIKES!!!!!!!