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.”