I recently broke down just how much things have increased in price thanks to inflation in the last thirty years.
Those bananas my mother bought at a run-down Marc’s in Westlake, Ohio twenty-five years ago now cost four times as much.
One thing that hasn’t kept pace, however, is the average salary. From the Land of the Free to much of Europe, those lucky enough to actually have a job haven’t seen their salaries rise much.
In some industries, salaries have only kept up with a mere 20% of the higher cost of living. It’s not evil capitalists that are creating a new poverty class of Americans and Europeans.
It’s horrible fiscal mismanagement spurred by bankrupt politicians, their bread and circus routines, and their endless wars.
These are the same politicians that treat gold like some kind of antiquated relic. The same politicians that don’t consider gold “money”.
US states such as Arizona have tried in the past to make gold and silver legal tender so that they may be used for payment of taxes and other obligations.
But such measures rarely get through. As a hat tip to the idea that “conservatives” are no better than the liberals in your country, so-called sound money advocates are often the ones pulling the plug on such proposals.
Basically, politicians are fiddling as much as they can while Rome burns. Rather than solving the problem of their disastrous money, they’ll knowingly keep their citizens poor rather than solve the problem.
And then they’ll blame you, the capitalist, for the rising levels of poverty. It’s a vicious circle designed to extract more money from you and prop up political power.
If you had been paid in gold back in 1984, you could have used what you need to pay your (much smaller) bills, then saved whatever discretionary income was left in precious metals.
The store of value would have meant that saved income would be worth nearly four times its value back then. Enough to keep up with the worst of the inflation on things like fruits and vegetables.
The fact that that being paid in gold likely sounds crazy to most of your friends and neighbors suggests something is seriously wrong with the western economy you live in.
But down in Singapore, one company is doing just that.
My friend Torgny Persson at Bullionstar now offers his employees the chance to be paid directly in gold, whether that means conveniently stored in their high-security vault or taking physical possession.
Bullionstar is the first company in Singapore – the world’s second freest economy – to pay its workers in gold, and the idea seems to be catching on.
It’s good news for gold lovers and for the future of emerging continents like Asia. And it’s great to see one of my favorite places to store your gold offshore doing something innovative.
Workers get to choose how much of their salary they receive in gold, with the rest paid in Singapore dollars. This pragmatic balance allows Bullionstar staff to meet their high rent or mortgage payments in fiat currency, while rewarding them for spending efficiency by paying their personal savings in precious metals.
It’s like “Pay Yourself First”, but with the added realization that government currencies are a disaster.
While I do hold a long position on the Singapore dollar, it is a bit unsettling to know that the dollar is tied to a basket of currencies that includes the shaky US dollar.
Being paid in gold should be the dream of any advocate of sound money, even at a time when the much-ballyhooed end of Easy Money has sent gold to recent lows.
We all know that western governments’ latest attempt at fiscal prudence won’t last. And we know that great damage has already been done.
I suspect that if a factory in Des Moines or Ottawa or Slough offered gold as payment, few if any workers would take the boss up on it. Most western workers have been well indoctrinated to believe their government will take care of peace, prosperity, and happiness.
The challenge in countries like the United States is that more and more families couldn’t even afford to accept gold as payment. Since all but one state forbids using “evil” precious metals as legal tender, those families would have to convert their gold into fiat currency to pay their bills.
And seeing that bills is about all most US persons have these days, there would be nothing left to save in gold. Despite a short-term increase in the savings rate after the stock market collapse in 2008, many US persons are back to their free-spending ways even as much of the country remains mired under high unemployment rates.
As I always say, this is a culture game. You have an entire culture of western countries that have been taught that only paper money has any value, and that precious metals are the tools of conspiracy theorists and those wearing top hots made of kitchen foil.
Near here in Singapore, one company believes otherwise. From what I’ve heard, people there like the idea. It’s catching on. A country that built itself up from nothing on the premise of free market capitalism realizes that gold is among the only hopes against dictatorial western money printers.
Even the government agrees that gold should be a priority.
If your government, friends, and neighbors don’t believe gold should be a priority, what does that say about them? What does it say about your ability to live there in peace and prosperity?
You know that I believe physical possession of gold is burdensome and unnecessary. All it takes is another gold confiscation for it all to go up in smoke.
You don’t have to live in a freer country. But as Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary often says, you must respect the cash. Give your money the best chance to succeed and grow.
The people carrying out their jobs and lives dealing in gold have the right idea. Send your money there. Keep it safe. Watch is blossom when it’s treated better.