Holding Down the Fort

When I was in graduate school, we lived in an old apartment building in Syracuse where the landlord   repaired holes  in the wall with glue, notebook paper, and a thin layer of plaster. The nine year old girl next door pointed it out to us. The kids would accidentally lean on the “patch” and it would crack. What appeared to be a good fix was woefully inadequate and revealed much about the character and skill of that owner. Looked good on the surface!

The practice of Rhetoric is best viewed as a discursive art dealing with power—the power to control people without coercion. The main venues are politics and the consumer based economy –an unholy blending of corporate profits and political influence. In its essence, rhetorical discourse creates a vision of what the future "could be." Rhetorical visions enable people to “see” the future and then act NOW on that version of the future to bring it to pass. When we see something, either with our eyes, or in our mind’s eye, we have thoughts that inspire feelings about those thoughts. Far too many of us react to the feelings with some action we believe will satisfy the demands of the emotion. Too often those emotions are fear and greed, demanding us to get out or dive into the markets. Upon seeing the silver chart diving into the red, we think “Oh no!” then feel fear that we will lose our labor and sweat stored there. Seeing the red bar on the chart starts the whole process. The unrealized loss becomes a perceived reality. And perhaps we act act—either by selling out or walking away in disgust…or both.

The process is not all bad. When I first saw my wife, I quickly developed a rhetorical vision and walked over and introduced myself and began a conversation—one that has continued 27 years now.

The rhetorical vision of the precious metals markets in 2010-2011 brought a distant dream near to us with arguments for silver strength coming from various directions, including a couple of cartoon bears. As Max Kaiser jumped in and repeated “Crash JPM” with a chorus of other hawkers chanting “silver to the moon,” and “parabolic,” we watched the price rise to nearly 50 before illegal actions put a cap on the rally and dashed our visions of future wealth as AG might have shot up into multiple hundreds per ounce. The bullish chart provided the kicker to get us into action—Buy! Borrow money to buy! Our own greed and fear of missing out elicited emotions that put our hands to the task. . In a very real sense, our vision was not wrong—it was just overwhelmed by a multi-headed system that stepped in to oppose a reified trend. They were more powerful than the metal bulls.

I am sure that most of us here watched the events of May 1 2011 in horror. Many regulars of this blog became noticeably upset in the following months and years, venting here on this blog. For a while, when silver was still in the 40s, we all knew that one piece of news, one black swan, could send it right back to 50. But as the months continued to pass, as the high of Feb 2012 of $36 was knocked back, as Turd ate his hat, and as we faced a price in the teens, the visuals of account balances and the clearly down-trending charts pushed many into a space of negative emotions and kept them there.

I had to change my perspective to stay sane and keep my hands strong.

  • I started selling enough metal each year to take the allowable loss on taxes.
  • I began focusing on other ways to earn fiat.
  • I cut way back on my trading
  • I transformed metals from an investment to insurance in my mind.
  • I cost averaged as I could afford to buy back when that teen-handle was just too tempting (like it is with AG today)

And so I have held on to a significant portion of my stack, as have most of you. And there is no shame when one needs to liquidate a holding to keep the family budget intact.

Most of us here see a bigger picture now, a picture that Craig saw from day one and embedded in his motto for the site “The end of the great Keynesian experiment is upon us.” I hope we all see that today and are not here simply to trade and make fiat. But the question in the back of all of our minds now is “When?” when will things change? We have become less fixated on making fiat and more concerned about surviving the transition into a new economy—and hoping to come out ahead in the process. At least I still hope that. Don’t you?

But I am weary of waiting. The stakes of this economic crisis are so overwhelming that I have trouble visualizing them:

  • Societal collapse?
  • Martial law?
  • Greater Depression?
  • Currency reset?
  • World war?
  • An extended recession that becomes a new normal?

Even though our soulless leaders promise it every day, this economy has not and will not “recover.” They broke the economy with their asinine monetary policy and now the same cohort of Keynesophile academics are using their unproven, specious, even absurd, theories to repair it, then declaring it repaired and using bogus statistics and other dirty rhetorical tricks to persuade the generality of citizens that all is well. Even as I type on the morning of August 5th, 20114, I am watching the big metal sellers relentlessly pound away at gold and silver with heavy volume, pushing price down while the news runs headlines of war, economic uncertainty, and wondering if LeBron has lost weight.

But the economy is not well and I am tired. I don’t care about LeBron’s weight. I cannot quite go back to life as normal, though I have decided to dedicate a portion of my earnings to enjoying life while we can.

I am not wealthy enough to support two homes, to buy and hold that bug-out property outright without good cause (like a realtime collapse) that prompts me to sell the stack and actually move in. The wife wants to pay off our current home…not a bad idea. I almost sold the stack to obtain a property two months ago. Several astute members here hit me with ideas that made me reconsider—besides, other buyers got to it first.

My daughter wants to take a European vacation and see the sights. I’d like that too, being an intellectual and all, but it would probably cost quite a few ounces of gold.

So metals are capped, the black swans are shot down as soon as they appear, canaries are quickly removed, governments lie about the economy, the mass media buries any news that does not rhetorically promote the Agenda.  Meanwhile, things are clearly getting increasingly tenuous. The mainstream rhetoric from politicians, news directors (who are directed), and corporations continues to construct a rhetorical vision of recovery, well-being, and promote a self-medicating lifestyle to keep us all happy and nearly satisfied. Most people see that rhetorical vision and act on it—borrowing and spending into the arms of large corporations.

Until we see some form of collapse, or at least a clear and public indicator that we are quickly sliding into deeper poverty, I am stuck, prepping as best as I can, trying to stack a bit more, trying to enjoy life and keep the family sane. It is very tiring and makes me want to throw in the towel, as many have done, and pretend along with the rest of the world that things are looking up!

As prices remain stagnant in the face of societal deterioration, economic malaise, and our own self-imposed impoverishment so that we can own metals, we who see the bigger picture, who see through the sophistry of the media and its masters, we begin to imagine a dismal future where everyone else is enjoying life, while we keep stacking and crying “wolf” about all the potential threats we see.

I am determined to keep holding my stack and keep living. My stack will keep growing while I enjoy life with my family, with one eye on the good life, but the other on real economic indicators.  

I hate this waiting game, but we are stuck with it. And as long as the media and its masters keep the rhetorical vision alive, print money to paper over all the problems

  • Live. Love. Laugh.
  • Enjoy life and be ready for change.
  • Stay at your post
  • Stack ‘n prep

And while we do these things, our own rhetorical vision of increasing metals prices, someday, will continue to bring that future near to us, inspiring us to act with steadfast strong hands. So I’ll contribute to that vision by citing Bill Murphy:

“But, more importantly, for those who read this, it is also leading to an extraordinary investment opportunity … that being an explosion in the gold and silver markets. Because of The Gold Cartel, their prices have been forced down to artificially low levels. If the price of gold had just kept up with inflation, that price would be at least DOUBLE what it is today. The price of silver reached $50 thirty four years ago, and just about that a little over three years ago. It won’t be too long before that level is taken out with $100 an ounce as the next target.”

Even as I read this, I am getting weary of our old rhetorical vision. That all sounds nice, but I stack out of a need for survival. And I have noticed that my friends are more open to conversations about holding onto their hard earned wealth than ever before. I strive for a meeting of the minds with them, knowing I cannot move them to where I am all at once. They need to make that decision on their own. But perhaps that is the rhetorical vision we should build instead of “silver to the moon.”

73 Comments

silver66's picture

First

someone has to do it

Silver66

4 oz's picture

I so wanna go grab a bunch of

I so wanna go grab a bunch of ASE today.  

Sub $20 is killing me

And just need to think out loud here for a minute.

Glad Turdville is a safe place to do just that too!

A few weeks ago decided to -wait-  until after 8/14/14 to add any more Silver with the fix ending and all. Couldn't shake the thought that the TPTB will have found some ways to use the change to bend over Silver holders rather than unchain free markets....This dip to $20 is just calling to me though....dang   I wanna add!  

Feel so torn, yet it's not about feelings....gotta stick with my plan and use the wisdom I can gleen from here and other sources to make the best deciosins.....

Strongsidejedi's picture

Bronze

ahhh no silver for me!

doh!

Kansascrude's picture

Nice thoughts Dr. J

Its not looking any easier today with all the bankster tricks.....good new is Apmex is offering 2014 Eagles at $2.29 over spot ANY QUANTITY..... got mine.  STACK ON!

Dr Jerome's picture

My dry powder is whining!

I hear you Kansas,

My dry powder is whining, calling for me to spend it. My stack says it is lonely and needs new friends. But college tuition for the kids is due in three weeks. What a conundrum!

Kansascrude's picture

Dr. J tuition costs yeah been going there too!

Best news is my son graduated from Med School in May and is now in residency at Barnes Jewish (Washington U) St. Louis. Got to admit I dreaded the next 3 weeks for the last 4 years as it was time to right butt ugly checks (played banker for him on a majority of the expenses, my interest rate was much better than the Feds.)  Now just my daughter who is living with my Dad in KC while she finishes up Nursing School. So just two more counting this one to go.  Got to give her credit she took the cheapo route living with my Dad and saved herself a lot of $$$.  She did 3 years at KState and then decided to go to nursing school.  Got an intern job and loves it she was headed for Elementary Ed but changed her mind.  She hasn't regretted it.

As I am still driving my 2001 Infiniti they ask when are we getting a new car.....LMAO.  When they have their hands out of our pockets...

Good thing about the low premium at Apmex is you can buy 25 as cheap as a Monster.  Well less to spread the shipping over but decent way to hedge your bets.

Good Luck!

ag1969's picture

Ahhh, fun with the family...

I could not agree more.  I have taken a hiatus from buying PM's and have invested all of this summer's extra fiat into a future of fun with the 69's.  We bought a pop up camper and have been spending our summer weekends all over New Hampshire and Maine.  This past weekend, we went to the beach in Rhode Island for a nice long weekend and visited family.  There is so much beauty and happiness around us if we can just learn to unplug and let our minds see it.

I have in no way given up on my firm belief that our government and the banking cabal are criminal psychopaths and that PM's are the best hedge against the ponzi. 

So I am all in with your new philosophy Dr. J.  If we are going to have a painstakingly slow death spiral of the ponzi, we might as well smile and enjoy the ride.  Our kids will be far better for it, and so will we.

abguy4's picture

@ Dr. J and the Troops

Superb~!
You have expressed my thoughts and emotions -- totally.

Safe to say - 90% of us here are in that Boat with you and me,

although some of them no doubt are still in denial .

While we have moved on to capitulation and resolve.

I have a saying for all of us;

"Hasn't it been a hoot, being Right, in a Wrong world?"

Dr Jerome's picture

A chat with a friend

I did chat with a good friend the other day about the economy. He asked where I buy metals. Perhaps he has wandered in and read this post today? wish I could spend more time with good friends.

Turd Ferguson's picture

Excellent stuff, Doc

MODERATOR

Thanks! Am posting a link to twitter right now.

buzlightening's picture

What a beautiful chart for silver in your piece Dr Jerome.

Yes!  The fact just keeping adding up the dead head feds have gone all in on blowing the doors off fiat currency creation: 

Despite Taper, US Fiat Money Quantity Goes Parabolic!

August 5, 2014 By The Doc Leave a Comment

June’s FMQ components have now been released by the St Louis Fed, and it stands at a record $13.132 trillion. As can be seen in the chart above, it is $5.48 trillion more than an extension of the pre-Lehman crisis exponential growth trend.
The chart confirms that tapering seems to be having little or no effect on money markets and therefore the growth rate of fiat currency.
Still believe the Fed is really tapering QE?
[Read more...]   
http://www.silverdoctors.com/despite-taper-us-fiat-money-quantity-goes-parabolic/#more-45607   ....................................................................................................................................

Never believed the jackass feds were doing nothing but lieing to us all the live long day.  Some have said the taper fraud was currency creation according to facts available of 120 billion to 150 billion regardless of any amount the dead head feds said was being tapered.   Didn't Jim Willie just state he thought in in the 200 billion plus monetizing of debt per month?  Regardless of fact or fiction from the dead head fed it's all fiction.  I suppose if we ever get the truth, the monetization the feds are ramping up right now to cover all the debt gone wild,  is well above 200 billion a month and likely will run into the trillions a month soon exponentially soon for each month hereafter.   How long can the buyers of last resort of all the world debt monetize it by fresh hot digi dollars is to be seen but I doubt very much longer.  Giant cracks developing and soon the whnole of the financial cracks will sever into a blackless cavern of faults globally, sucking in every last collateral asset still intact if any haven't been rehypothecated 10 to 100 times over,which is doubtful,  along with it.  Every collateralized,  rehypothecated piece of shit paper will be rejected outright by every nation, financial entity, and individual extremely soon.    A FRANKEN FINANCIAL SYSTEM WHICH GOBBLED UP ALL THE EARTHS REAL WEALTH MANY TIMES OVER AND CAME CRASHING DOWN TO AN EPIC COLOSSAL VAPORIZING.   All mark to fantasy illusion wealth destroyed; in an instant suddenly overnight.  You don't think it can vaporize that fast?  Oh how blind are the blind. 

buzlightening's picture

Dr. Jerome and what a conundrum.

Nice my four children are all beyond that now and college is in the passed.  You'd really have to wonder with college tuitition if it isn't just frns being thrown down the rat hole at this point.  You're a man who makes his own decisions and I just put in my 2 cents.  For all I know the big one; big vaporizing global debt gone wild crash is still out there a a half decade?  Nothing is 100% certain so we make our own beds as you well know. 

ag1969's picture

Pocket Change

Remember the term "Pocket Change?"  It appears that the dollar is going to become the new penny.  Getting rid of the penny and the nickel and replacing 1 dollar bills with coins.  Further signs of the debauching of our "money".

Prohibition on Non-Cost-Effective Coins and Currency

The first provision of the USA Act related to coins is included in Sec. 203 of the bill which would prohibit the non-cost-effective minting and printing of coins and currency. The prohibition would be accomplished by amending certain sections of the United States Code.

With respect to coins, Section 5111 of title 31, United States Code, would be amended by adding the following:

(e) Prohibition on certain minting.-

Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, after the end of the 4-year period following the date of the enactment of this subsection, the Secretary may not mint or issue any circulating coin that costs more to produce than the denomination of the coin (including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, overhead expenses, marketing, and shipping).

With respect to currency, Section 5114(a) of title 31, United States Code, would be amended by adding the following:

(4) Prohibition on certain printing.-

Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, after the end of the 4-year period following the date of the enactment of this paragraph, the Secretary may not engrave or print any United States currency that costs more to produce than the denomination of the currency (including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, overhead expenses, marketing, and shipping).

http://news.coinupdate.com/unified-savings-and-accountability-act-includes-coin-releated-provisions-4408/

tarnished's picture

Exactly what l've been thinking of late!

Its nice to read what l've been thinking of for a long while now, my stack is starting to feel old and tired, bought about 75% of it 7 years ago and felt the up and down excitement on the rises and dips,bought more when l had more fiat to spend, made plans to move back out to the woods and garden and tinker away my time while the rest of the world runs amuck. Now after 7 years and many false hopes gone awry l realize that l'm stuck in this perpetual waiting game, land prices here in Canada have continued to go up like crazy. l live in the booming west where we've seen real estate prices rise 10-20% a year.

My wife has been a great partner all a long but is also tired of my promises that in another 6 months it should start to turn around, she sees our friends living in brand new mansions and piling on dept for new autos, campers and luxury items we hold off on buying.

On the plus side we have really changed our own lifestyles, the kids are grown and the last daughter has just finished nursing school with no dept, we lived in a small town of about 1700 people and have 3 gardens, go camping in our little van as often as possible and visit with friends who already live their back to the land livestyles on acreages and farms. really feel a sense of jealousy there!

So its just turning into a bit of a rant here, frustrated with all the waiting and that is why l decided to leave a comment today, enjoyed the Docs article immensely cause it hit so close to home, Thanks

sierra skier's picture

I too look at what I could do

I too look at what I could do with the stack if I so decided to party it off. Our son's college has been paid and we have debt only by the mortgage and a car payment of which both could be paid off and plenty of other prep shopping to be had if I sold off the stack.

Tempting, yes but reality says be prudent and hold steady. With our home listed for sale in this depressed real estate market and a planned move to friendlier locals I do not wish to kill the stack to pay off the mortgage as it will be done with when we sell. Hopefully the right buyer will be at the door soon and we can move on. I would love to jump at the current prices but have just retired and am watching finances carefully while slowly accumulation additional prep. items for reloading as they become available for reasonable prices.

Patience and perseverance will reward us when the time comes.

erewenguy's picture

Different like children

My oldest stack is interesting and esoteric.

My "middle" stack is substantial and eclectic.

My newest stack is robust and streamlined.

I can keep playing this game. I don't feel poor at all.

Robski's picture

To stack or pay tuition, that is the question.

To stack or pay tuition, that is the question.  

Hello again T-ville.  I've been in lurking mode for the past few months due to having a mid life crisis.  Back in Feburary I was let go from my former employer.  Since then I have moved back home to northern Wisconsin and have decided to go back to University of Wisconsin.

The most difficult decision has been, what major should I pursue.  I have looked at many variables in this equation, such as: time to graduate, demand for the major earned, and future earning potential.  For a 2 year time period to graduate, Economics, Finance, or Mathematics.  If I allow myself 3 years to graduate, then Engineering comes into play.  Decisions, decisions.  

I have decided that a degree in Discrete Applied Mathematics is probably my best bet.  This may change, or it may not.  In this next month before school starts, I must quickly relearn Calculus so that I won't be lost in my advanced math classes.  The reason that I chose this major the flexibility.  I'm not sure what the job market will look like in 2 years, but I do know that math will still be used.

Stack or pay tuition?  These low prices are very tempting.  I have enough fiat to pay for college and not go into debt.  Sure I could get a loan for school and use my fiat to add to my stack.  This probably would make the most sense, but I just can't do that.   Being debt free is one of the best feelings in life, why would I change that now.

Sorry for the above rant, I just need to type it down.

Dr J, Another great post by you.  If I can't stack metal right now, at least I can stack knowledge.

vonburpenstein's picture

You know what?...

Dup

vonburpenstein's picture

You know what?...

Dup

vonburpenstein's picture

You know what?...

......chicken butt!....I don't give a chit...When this next monster shows up, my dca which was in the low 40s previously will finally be under 30! Blood in the streets baby! This ain't some shit stock going to zero and at some point things will turn...until then, either hide your cash under a mattress, gamble in the stock market that is at all time highs or put it in something solid that is on the low end of where it's going....Cmon! Give me some of that beep beep, a huh chiga chiga!

Gold Dog's picture

Dateline- The Lake

It IS insurance. Hope we never need it.

Your friend,

Dog

SS121's picture

Dr J, excellent post, may i suggest one edit?

But I am weary of waiting. The stakes of this economic crisis are so overwhelming that I have trouble visualizing them:

  • Societal collapse?
  • Martial law?
  • Greater Depression?
  • Currency reset?
  • World war?
  • An extended recession that becomes a new normal?

Change to-

It's hard to sleep being so anxious for the collapse of the system.  The system's empty "crisis" threats are fading as we visualize all the great things that will accompany Silver and Gold returning to their monetary role:

  • Collapse of the fake markets!
  • Life under true Monetary Law!
  • Experiencing Victory!
  • Currency values set in free-market Ag/Au terms!
  • Fiat Banker Wars no longer an option!
  • An and of the fiat recession cycles that have come to seem normal!
Dr Jerome's picture

Tuition or stacking

Robski,

If I might comment.

If you are looking at graduate school one day, then taking all the courses you can at the community college makes a lot of sense--cheaper and usually liberal arts courses that simply fill requirements in a math program. Take your math at the big school--the one that will impress graduate programs. Most grad programs only consider who grants your degree, not where you attended CC before that. I had coursework from 3 different CCs in Phoenix, as well as another liberal arts college. I took my final 40 hours at AZ state and was admitted with a full scholarship into Syracuse.

Be sure to estabish residency before you begin to get lowest tuition. The schools themselves often have grant programs.

Student loans? angry

Pell grants can go a long way. I am sure you know about the fafsa.gov website. You have to start about a year in advance. It may not be too late for next spring. I spent half a day yesterday trying to cut through their red tape to release my kids' grants for Fall. Perhaps you knew all that--just food for thought.

SS121,

A true utopia indeed may await us!

  • Silver and Gold returning to their monetary role:
  • Collapse of the fake markets!
  • Life under true Monetary Law!
  • Experiencing Victory!
  • Currency values set in free-market Ag/Au terms!
  • Fiat Banker Wars no longer an option!
  • An and of the fiat recession cycles that have come to seem normal!

Now THAT is a rhetorical vision I can believe in.

buzlightening's picture

tarnished. I know I shouldn't be smikling wildly here with

your predicament.  So it is with precious metals physical stackers.  As David Morgan put it over the weekend at the silver drs. "Silver scares you out or wears you out!"  Hang in their friend.  It is turning!  Sound money physical gold and silver do trump fiat currencies always.  Not a one out there which has won over the millennial timeless monetary metals; GOLD & SILVER.  YOU WON'T NEED WAIT 1000 YEARS.  Maybe 1000 hours longer and we'll be seeing what we've been seeing all along. 
 

ivars's picture

Found a confirmation of my

Found a confirmation of my theory of the role of money supply in the fall of Rome as previous debt cycle expired in USA congress expert report when the fight to keep..or rather remonetize silver was ongoing ( 18 -seventies) while bankers where contracting money supply:

Image

It also mentions the visible already by 15th century new money supply cycle success due to influx of new gold and silver after the discovery of Americas, which , as I have noted , was the sole reason for later industrialization and technological progress unseen in previous money supply growth cycles . 

Image

Of course its akin to alcoholism, but so it is - that is how humans operate in "economy" and following from that in population. In giant swings. Get more and more drunk for 875 years then suffer hangover for 875 years instead of moving up along median all the time. Median obviously does not motivate humans nor they posses knowledge to guide themselves along it patiently. Linear growth ( every year same amount) instead of exponential ( every year the same percentage) seems not to satisfy human emotional buildup- ONCE they taste alcohol.

And with discovery of Americas they tasted plenty of it. Of course usury and taste was already there, but alcohol was scarce. Then to keep intoxication levels , they added fractional banking, and debt debt debt refinancing interest on previous debt etc until the cells of the organism are not any more, able even by adaptation to squeeze out more drunkenness of a molecule of C2H5OH without destroying the whole organism.

Today we live in such maximally optimized alcoholics organism called humanity. There are many specialized cells concerned with max output from molecule of alcohol ( debt) and many overstressed specialized cells concerned with survival of the body as a whole in such a degenerate state. There are very few normal cells left. 

Waiting for hangover to arrive due to lack of alcohol increase above the trigger level of drunkenness extraction cells. Transaction costs are always finite, however small. Inevitable loss of molecules. Hasta la vista, baby.

Dr Jerome's picture

I am so confused

On AU, I cannot decide if this is a FUBM (argument from tradition) or a FUJY (has a nice ring to it). 

And a new low in S&P futures ... I better check the news.

buzlightening's picture

Is it just me folks or are the banksters goin

for a low paper price on silver for the 8/14/2014; 117 year end of the silver fix.  A silver fix which I might add as Bix Weir says has many a maturing silver derivatives coming to fruition thereafter that date.  How convenient those derivatives will be tied to a very low paper price.  I wouldn't expect to see a run up in the paper price of silver until all the silver derivatives maturing after 8/14/2014 are all tied to the closing price of lbma silver fix paper price set on Thursday after next the 14th of this month. Get out of jail card free as Bix has explained and which I agree.  No banksters going to jail except those who would blow the whistle on the cartel;  who are suspiciously suicided.

buzlightening's picture

Last gasp of the USDinker dollar safe haven

propaganda before it's shot in the head:   http://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui?s=%24USD     

sc?s=$USD&p=D&b=5&g=0&i=0&r=140726291583

buzlightening's picture

Sorry for crappy post of USD

Maybe big charts dxy does better:big.chart?nosettings=1&symb=DXY&uf=8&typIf I could be a perfect techno nerd and get all the lines drawn ect as our TF host, I would, but I can't; so I won't.  It tells a very bearish decade wedge which has formed and it wouldn't be going up in value, as it chooses completion with downward death spiraling overtones of panic.  In simple terms your 20 felon yellen bux will not buy you more next year as they have not any year the fed fuds have controlled it's devaluation.  IT'S DEAD!

Occasnltrvlr's picture

@Robski, Sharing Thoughts

I can see only two reasons for pursuing a university degree:

  1. Economic potential
  2. Self-fulfillment

(Okay, three, if you're wanting to, ahem, "mingle".)

With regard to #1, I would encourage anyone to think long and hard about this.  Considering the costs, and the direction of the "developed" economies, I think learning and becoming experienced in a trade is a better idea.  Everyone on Earth wants to crap in a comfortable, clean place, illuminate a dark room by flipping a switch (or just walking in), and walk up and down on sound steps.  That's not going to change, but demand for "esoteric" skills will flightily flip around the planet, and with its whipping around so will change the requisite language skills.  With precious few exceptions, "redundancy" (as British-English speakers like to say) will be lurking around the corner continuously.

With regard to #2, that's a completely different story.  There is fulfillment in mastering an area of knowledge, and being publicly credentialed for it.  But it comes with a high price.  That is not an economic decision, it is personal.

There is no question in my mind whatsoever that the field of higher education is utilized as a prime area for continued inflation of the general fiat-based debt bubble, crafty monetary enslavement of future "workers" (as well as potential impoverishment of the remaining members of the middle-class), and subtle yet terribly effective soft mind control.

I guess my point here, really, is that I am glad I am not facing the decision whether or not to be paying tuition!  Thank you for considering my thoughts, and best wishes with your decision and future.

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