Beads and Washers For Barter
Beads and washers for barter; a ruling class behaviour for wealth and power.
Listen to what I say, don't look at what I do!
I think that the above phrase could be a quote come from the mouth of any ruler of a country, corporate owner, religious leader, or industrial magnate. But they would say that to their inferiors, their subjects and employees, those who represent their personal means of production, not what they would say to their sons and daughters who will one day inherit "the throne" whatever form it happens to be.
It could also be the business plan for a conman.
Let's go back in history 400 years or more. The explorers from Europe bartered, or traded, glass beads which the Native Americans valued highly, in exchange for real goods which were shipped back home can sold for cash. The Native Americans had beads for a long time before, but the manufacture and colours of the glass beads from the traders were from a different technology. You see in Venice, bead making went back thousands of years, and they were very good at it. Also, glass can be used to make a greater variety of shapes and colours than, for instance, bone, antler, wood, copper, or stone. History shows that the Vikings, Christopher Columbus, Spanish explorers, Jesuit priests traded glass beads for commodities in various times and places.
I think that with hindsight we can say which society got the greater wealth out of the deal.
The natives in these places valued what they could not get locally and liked to have. It was scarce and desirable. They traded what they had in abundance in exchange for it. The explorer traders arbitraged for value what they could get cheaply and was desired by "the other side". They ended up with money in staggering amounts, and they got it with cheap glass made from sand.
Who funded those exploration and trading voyages? They were joint ventures, between the ruler and the sea captain, and the proceeds were split 90:10 to the crown, or similar. These were massively profitable ventures, and they lead to the creation of The Hudson Bay Trading Co for one.
Fast forward to today.
I go to the shop, and take cash out of my pocket to buy stuff with. I had to work hard for that cash, and somebody got my intellectual ability and my limited man hours in exchange for their paper. It has writing printed on it, and the paper is manufactured in a special way that I and my friends can not manufacture locally, or at least we could not make them so well. The ruler of my country (Ireland) prints the notes out with happy ease, at the permission of the ECB which is the agent of the ruler of another country or federation of countries depending on your perspective.
So I am in the shop and I buy my newspaper, groceries, and items and I hand over my hard earned paper cash in exchange, and the sales clerk gives me my change. My change is paper, and coins. The small coins are not copper, but copper coloured steel alloy, the larger one and two euro coins are bimetallic. Basically a washer made of nickel-copper with the centre hole filled in with a different alloy of nickel-brass. In other words, a washer nicer in appearance than either I or my friends can make locally.
Though I would make the observation that the new washers down at the hardware store, in boxes of 1000, are shinier, and do have a hole in the middle. If I hold a magnet over my legal tender coins, they stick to magnets the same as the hardware washers. My gold and silver coins don't stick to my magnet, no steel there.
I feel like I'm being paid the same as 16th century Native American/Polynesian-African by the rulers of society - with coloured paper and washers instead of coloured beads though. Not much change!
So the people who trade these paper and steel coins often have their logo on the back. So I checked it out on the internet which is handy for looking up stuff like that.
Here's a nice picture of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth in her Bank of England vault:
Those shelves might be made of steel.
Let me just try that search again .....
No steel or paper there ..... President Putin's got gold .... the guy behind looks pleased .....
I tried to find a nice US picture ... all I found was news reports about President Roosevelt taking the gold off the people and giving them ... legal tender which was as good as gold. I found a story about President Nixon ending the gold exchange window at a later date. I guess that US Presidents like to keep their gold away from their people too, I'm impressed that their own congressmen can't even look at it. No idea why. It's a strange thing. Mind you - most people see a strange thing and move on. I see a strange thing and my trading experience has thought me to stop right there and look into it, because I have learned that unfixed "strange things" often seem to have a habit of being somehow involved when something goes wrong later.
I notice that the President of France took his gold out of the US, and Nixon didn't like that much. He closed that gold window a little after. So these people don't like giving it out all that much. Come to think of it, Germany didn't get theirs when they wanted it.
I looked up the price of gold in 1913, 100 years ago. It was $18.92. Today it costs $1328 in non-gold dollars. This clarifies a lot. Gold goes up in the long term. The conman says: Listen to what I say, don't look at what I do! But my father used to say it different to me. He said "Watch what I do and how I do it!" I guess my Dad was looking out for my best interests and giving me good advice.
These washer-coins and coloured paper legal tender money .... I accept them and pass them on as quick as I can to someone who values them, and I trade them for real stuff, just like those 16th century traders did. If a dollar went from 1333.23 to 18.92 against gold in 100 years, that's ....1.4% left, a decrease of 98.6% in it's value at buying real stuff.
If gold is good enough for Queen Elizabeth, and President Putin, and President Roosevelt, and they all give legal tender paper and washer-coins out and take gold in just like their ancestors did 400 years before them, then I think that should be good advice for me too. You have to study what the top people do, not what they say.