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Energy, Careers and Gold:

By       Message Mike Folkerth     Permalink
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U.S. News: I’ve read recently that during his eight years in office, and even with control of Congress, George Bush has not increased the production of oil in the U.S. Some believe that there is a conspiracy for holding the price of oil up to benefit Mr. Bush’s “Big Oil” friends. Now there is a conspiracy that has legs…about two inches long.

The current Bush presidency didn’t increase domestic production for the same reason that the administrations of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and William Jefferson Clinton didn’t increase production….WE REACHED PEAK OIL IN 1970!!!

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Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want a little thing like the truth to get in the way of a perfectly good conspiracy; otherwise we would have to take some sort of action to prevent total chaos. And that would go completely against our current form of planning which is best described as “crisis management.”

I also read a statement recently that said ethanol could solve all of our energy problems and make us totally energy independent for ever and ever. Another said that maybe when we start drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, we might find enough oil to last us hundreds of years.

To these folks I say this, “Do the people at the asylum know that you’re out?”

If all of the corn in the United States were used to produce ethanol, it would provide approximately 7% of the fuel consumed in autos alone. NO FOOD JUST FUEL!

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Is ethanol a new concept? Nah, those old boys down in Tennessee have known how to make corn burn with a blue flame for some time now, it’s not a new concept, just a ridiculous concept that is creating massive subsidies for the anointed few. You now get to pay for fuel at the pump and at the grocery checkout .

We have known about peak oil since 1949 when M. King Hubbert said, “The fossil fuel era will be of a very short duration.” Yet suddenly, it has become the news that can’t be so. I have friends in nearly every sector of the oil biz, and not one of them believes this nonsense about huge new finds and cheap oil coming back.

So what’s a body to do? Certainly waiting for the fecal matter to come into contact with the whirling apparatus does not seem a wise choice.

On the subject of where we go from here, I promised to say something about gold. I’m not a “buy gold and hold,” guy. I’m also not an expert on the subject, but Mikeronomics leads me to this belief; gold is not a standard for currency or anything else and therefore has no set redemption value. The value of gold is simply based on old beliefs, or perceived value if you would.

I have over the years found that belief standards are subject to change. Antiques quickly come to mind. During periods of economic prosperity, disposable or discretionary income is plentiful and antiques become precious heirlooms of extrordinary value. During periods of economic decline, a person’s perceived value wanes and antiques become old junk.

Gold has very little industrial value and is primarily hoarded. I have said many times that a hungry man would trade a pound of gold for a sack of potatoes.

As far as the world going back on the gold standard? It would virtually impossible.

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The American dollar is certainly in trouble and likely to get worse, as our leaders continue the promise of growth and the expansion of the money supply as the all-curing elixir. Nothing could be further from the truth, but like the ethanol example, what does truth have to do with anything?

But that being said, is gold the hedge against the dollar that those who sell gold promote it to be? I remember antique dealers saying that “Antiques are better than money in the bank.” What they really meant was; better for them to have your money than for you to have it in the bank.

On the caeer issue; the U.S. will always have an economy that provides necessities, real goods and vital services. It will be the massive fringe sectors of our economy, the non-essentials, which will continue to fail as we fall deeper into reality and recession.

Consider your current occupation. Is it necessary and somewhat sustainable? If the answer is “Are you kidding?” maybe this is a good time to reconsider your career.

 

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www.kingofsimple.com
Mike Folkerth is the author of "The Biggest Lie Ever Believed" and is not your run-of-the-mill author of finance and economics. The former real estate broker, developer, private real estate fund manager, auctioneer, Alaskan bush pilot, (more...)
 

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