Episode-1382- Listener Feedback for 7-7-14 — 59 Comments

  1. Jack-

    You got a typo in the main title. It may cause some confusion for some folks.

    Just FYI, bro. Look forward to listening to the podcast.

      • Maybe it’s Jack from the future. If so he should give us some stock prices from 7/17/14. 😉 JK

        • Man the wife has been gone for what 6 hours and everything is shot to heck already! I’m doomed!

  2. I can tell that you’re in a good mood going into bachelor week.
    Acting a bit goofier than usual…

    Good show, brother.

  3. On a side note with the legalization of Pot in Washington state and Colorado a reporter recently asked NFL commissioner Goodell about the NFL rules that suspend players testing positive for pot even though it’s now legal in 2 states and medical use in legal in many more states and I found it interesting he didn’t rule out changes to policy in the future.
    I have also wondered how companies that drug test for pot on per-employment drug screens can continue to test for pot, I understand in some states it is still illegal but wouldn’t it open up a whole can of worms to say it’s ok to smoke pot and work for us in these states but in all the other states you can’t, just something I haven’t heard brought.
    I would also be curious to see how many people actually move to these states just because pot is now legal.

    • As always it depends.

      First I don’t think a company should have to let you work for them if you smoke pot and they have an issue with it. Pot does inhibit some types of performance. Of course I think a company should be free to fire an employee for virtually any reason they want as long as it is a private employer and doesn’t violate the employment contract.

      Frankly though MANY companies don’t care. I know quite a few that do “drug testing” and simply don’t test for pot. When I was in the cable business and the topic came up we always said this in the end, if we test for pot and fire over it we will loose half or more of our best people, and it was flat out true. There are many such blue collar industries that feel the same way.

      Second, many things are legal but prohibit you from employment. Alcohol isn’t allowed in your system in most jobs though it is legal. Technically THC and other markers are in your system for about thirty days after smoking pot. If you are obese you may not qualify for some jobs, etc.

      It is interesting isn’t it?

      See to me it comes down to this, so many people equate illegal with immoral. Just like my bro in law, in the end he could not make the case that pot was worse then alcohol so he just dropped to “but its illegal”.

      At one time slavery was legal but I consider it eternally immoral. If they made it legal I would refuse to hire a slave owner or do business with the same.

      Right now it is illegal to grow a front yard garden in many places, does that make it immoral to do so? In many places RAW MILK is illegal, does that make it immoral? In New York and Colorado some magazines over a certain number of rounds are now illegal, so does that make me immoral in Texas for owning one according to those in NY and CO?

      Today it is totally legal for me to spray round up on my farm with no concern for my organic farming neighbor and damage their crops, totally legal. Is it moral?

      From 1920 – 1933 Alcohol was illegal in the US, today it is considered a social vice by some but not immoral. Were people moral as a drinker in 1919 and 1934 but not from 20-33?

      See to me the reason this even is a can of worms is that too many people just consider it “wrong” to do anything that is “illegal”, the same people likely though speed on a daily basis don’t they?

      Again many companies test for pot and many test for drugs but not for pot and frankly a shit ton never test at all. There are also TONS of companies that test when you get hired but never again. If you choose to smoke pot well, you choose who you qualify to work for at the same time, at least for now.

      I don’t know how it is now but when I was in the Army in the 90s I knew guys that smoked pot on occasion, not a lot but a few times a month. These guys had to be getting pinged in drug tests but never heard a peep. There were some others that burned like daily, sooner or later they all would get caught. So I figure even the army at the time must of had a certain tolerance for occasional use.

      • I don’t smoke pot so it’s no biggy to me but I haven’t heard a lot about new drug testing rules and I’m kinda surprised that ACLU or other groups aren’t crying from the rooftops that it’s not fair some states can smoke pot and not have to worry about testing positive while in other states people can get fired over it, maybe since it’s such a new thing they just haven’t picked up that torch yet, I’m with you though if a private company wants to test it’s their right

      • People confuse morality and the law because their religion is stateism and their moral code is the law.

        The strangest thing I have discovered growing up is that most “normal” people as in not on the so called spectrum, actually enjoy being told what to do. When you suggest that a law might be wrong it messes with their heads.

        And they say WE are the ones with a mental health problem….

      • My stance is that pot should be decriminalized but not legalized. I think the penalty is too strict. I also say this because for me to be in favor of legalizing it, I would need to have some kind of passion for why that should be the case in order to go out and argue with the people who think it should stay illegal. I just don’t have any such passion for that. I can easily see however that the penalties are too severe.

        With regards to alcohol, there are many problems with drinkers as well, though alcohol does not stay in the body as long. Alcoholism has many negative aspects and produces alot of pain and suffering for many people.

        In some sense things like gambling, alcohol, drugs, prostitution, porn, junk food, etc, etc .. all these play on people’s weaknesses and we allow these people to go around and try to trap people into these things. Everyone has weaknesses and trying to pretend otherwise may not work either. I am not sure where to draw the line as far as laws. Laws are never perfect ..

        • Decriminalization is legalization. They are different words but mean the same thing.

  4. Conflicted Monday: Since I am a collector (my wife says hoarder) of tools, supplies, how to books, and skills, I think my best contribution to a new society would be as the fix-it-guy. I’ve been taking things apart and repairing them since I was old enough to hold a screwdriver. I have worked as a radio repair tech, t-shirt printer, computer IT, website programmer, database administrator, sign painter, janitor, and home repairman. I do all my own vehicle and home repairs and upgrades. So, I think that “Local Tinkerer” would be the perfect job for me personally, whether we have a full or partial collapse. It’s what I would do now if enough people would see the value in not running out to the local Big Box store to replace something as soon as the one they have now breaks. As money gets tighter and prices get higher, they will start to come around to my way of thinking.

  5. Not to get into the weeds about or even to debate the Hobby Lobby case here on the comments, but just a couple of notes from that segment of today’s show. First, you mentioned plan B as the abortion piece they were banning but that’s not the only pill/device. One possibly more controversial contraceptive they successfully get to opt out of is the IUD. For medical reason this is the only contraceptive device my wife can use (she doesn’t work for HL so it doesn’t affect us and only affects an increasingly smaller population). And secondly the number of closely held companies this affects are large and many. Some of those companies that COULD choose this opt out include Cargill, Bass Pro Shop, Academy Sports, Quicken Loan, Bose (speakers), Mars candy, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and Publix just to name a few.

    • Okay the IUD I didn’t know about, what is their beef with that? I guess that since it doesn’t prevent fertilization it is still an “abortion”?

      In any event see my stance is Hobby Lobby should have the freedom to provide the benefits it chooses and employees should choose to work for them or NOT work for them based on that. The government should not be telling any company exactly what to provide any employee.

      All in all there are perhaps a couple hundred “closely held companies” in America that are big enough for Obamacare to effect them. That is a lot to some but to me it is a tiny drop in the bucket.

      Again though I don’t think people get this, health insurance companies WANT TO PROVIDE BIRTH CONTROL and Plan B as well, it is CHEAPER for them then paying for babies. Most companies want to pay LESS not MORE for health insurance and don’t get to use your term “down in the weeds” about this. Trust me when every single major heath plan in the US now includes Plan B Hobby Lobby isn’t doing this to save money.

      Again this is a NON STORY, period, the total number of women really effected here will be tiny, tiny enough that if they don’t like it that much, they should find an employer that gives them what they are looking for.

    • Jack kept calling The Morning After Pill an abortion pill. Plan B, aka The Morning After Pill is not an abortion pill any more than “the pill” is an abortion pill. It’s the same thing, just a higher dose and a single pill as opposed to a daily pill. RU486 is the abortion pill.

      • Given that it works AFTER an egg is fertilized, you can call it what you wish, it is still aborting a fertilized egg. Do I consider that an “abortion”, nope! Do people that feel life begins at conception feel it is? Yep. Do I think they should be able to pass laws to enforce this view? No. Do I think such people have a right after building a business to no be forced to violate their religious beliefs based on a government mandate even though I do not share those beliefs? Yes I do.

        Our country is so damn warped in the mind that we think we have a “right” to just about anything we want.

        • That’s why I said “any more than ‘the pill’ is an abortion pill.” You’re right, both The Morning After Pill and “the pill” prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. What that means is subjective.

  6. When I installed Satellite TV I would regularly go into homes where kids were being Home schooled and was always amazed how Little Johnny was 10 years old and a senior in High School and next year he would start College Online and have a Masters before he was 16…It makes much more since really and I can’t see why Governments wouldn’t push for it to get more people into the work force at an earlier age….I’m not sure how things are now but 25 years ago I had a friend from England living here in Texas and he told me they graduated at 16, he said they went to school all year round and if you weren’t going to prep school they offered a way to graduate at 15 to enter the workforce sooner …Well I know why the Governments will go kicking and screaming to not do away with Public schools..Control and indoctrination, but at this point and with our mountains of debt I think it’s inevitable

    • @Shannon back in those days in England it really was a good program. I don’t like the government spending my money but this program was pretty good if the money was to be spend anyway on say something else like spying on us.

      Here is how it worked, young guy got out of school and not going to college or say tech school but wanted to work. The government would pay minimum wage for this kid for 6 months based on 40 hours a week. The kid would first apply basically for an internship in a pool of thousands of employers.

      When an employer picked him he’d work there as an intern. He’d also have to use their phrase his “ballocks busted daily” and be worked like a dog. Given every shit task from sorting mail, getting coffee or cleaning bathrooms. You name it, if it needed doing the intern did it. Companies would get about twice as many interns as they had projected hiring needs. The government paid the bill for those six months.

      At the end, assuming the kid didn’t quit the company might make him/her an offer. If not he did have valid experience now.

      Neil my former partner said this was a very good program. It got companies a chance to see young folks in action. You didn’t care if they sucked because you didn’t pay for it. You just worked them like mad and they’d shape up or quit. If they quit you just had to wait a few weeks and “get a new one”. Unless you had an unusually high percentage of quitters (the average was like 60%) there was no questions asked.

      He said this gave young folks a start. Most companies either would hire the good ones or if they simply didn’t have budget (say they got 4 interns but only could hire 2 but all were really good) they would give them great letters of recommendation. Many managers would tie into their networks for good kids that they couldn’t use due to pure head count limits.

      Again I don’t like my money stolen and spent but this program would be better than a lot of this they currently do with my money.

  7. Just want a currency that is backed by a commodity not issued by a central bank. Bitcoin is a fiat currency as well.

    • Well, bitcoin is NOT a fiat currency and only not knowing what a fiat currency is would make someone claim that it is. The problem here Robert is YOU DON’T KNOW what a fiat currency is, do you?

      Let me help you out. Fiat is as in “by fiat” or by declaration. The US Dollar isn’t really a fiat currency, it is more a debt backed fiat hybrid. It is backed by debt instruments but it is sort of fiat because it is valuable solely because the US government says so. In other words the government declared the current dollar valid and said to the people, thou shall use and value this piece of paper. Got it, by fiat.

      A true fiat was for instance the “green back” under Lincoln. In that case the government did just print and declare the money valid, in the Colonial Days the “continental” was the same, it was neither commodity or debt backed, it was given value by fiat, the government said so and such as that it was money. BY FIAT, get it.

      In all such examples GOVERNMENT used FORCE to FORCE VALUE into the currency and REQUIRED that the money be used and accepted due to their FIAT of “declared value”.

      Bitcoin is exactly the opposite of fiat, it is market based. Who used what force to take bitcoin from a fraction of a dollar per coin to over 600 per coin right now? What fiat was issued by what authority? The answer is there was no fiat because there is no one with the power of force in charge of bitcoin.

      Again don’t feel bad you just don’t understand money, most people don’t. One day if you really want to and try to and study it and think about it and open your mind it will click, until then you just don’t get it. This fact is what is used by those that do understand money to control those that don’t! I would bet only in modern times would a person like me at my station in life really understand money. It is only in the last 20 years that enough information has been widely available for those that care to learn to have access to it.

      Let me give you this quote,

      “The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it. The process by which banks create money is so simple the mind is repelled. With something so important, a deeper mystery seems only decent.” John Kenneth Galbraith (1908- ), former professor of economics at Harvard, writing in ‘Money: Whence it came, where it went’ (1975)

      Now he may have written that in 75 but real hard core explanation capable of breaking though the brain washing didn’t really show up until about the dawn of Youtube.

      Simple though “fiat” means by decree, an entity must have the power of force to issue a decree such as this, no one connected to bitcoin has such power, hence it can’t be fiat, because there is no authority capable of issuing a decree to give it value. So BTC must be deriving its value from the market, so BTC is a MARKET BACKED CURRENCY.

      Here is the mind bender, so are all currencies at the end of the day, that is the black magic voodoo. Even if I issue Spirko Bucks backed by say GOLD, in the end the value only comes from the market, the acceptance by the market, the confidence of the market and the value of the economy traded by the market.

      • “Market Backed Currencey” I like that Jack, it’s a good way to describe it. Personaly I am VERY excited about that fact, coupled with the fact that it is Cap and fractionalize currency.

        In my thinking this should result in a kind of a negative inflation. I am not talking about deflation here, even though prices would go down over time, I am talking about everyone who saves, wealth increasing year by year. Let me explain this with an example.

        Let’s say the entire economy for simplification sake was 100 BTC. Which represented production of 100 widgets. (Market Backed)

        Year one the economy produces 100 widgets and there are 100 BTC, one BTC reperesents one widget in production.

        Year two the economy produces 120 widgets, but there are still only 100 BTC so now each widget represents .84 BTC. Now everyone’s BTC can suddenly buy more widgets, and nobody had to go to their boss for a raise. Everyone benifits from a more productive economy.

        Year 3 the economy produces 125 widgets, year 4, 130, and so on. Each year everyones BTC buys more and more and everyone gets wealthier and wealthier, because everything gets cheaper and cheaper.

        This should end the need for a min wage.

        The only down side I can see is increasing labor costs for business, (it would be tuff to talk people into taking a pay cut every year because their money is worth more) but that really should be taken care of by the extra production every year. and because people can buy more and more every year, they will and the market will produce more and more, until finally things are so affordable that everyone can afford the things they want and need.

        What are your thoughts on this Jack?

      • Jack, I hear it thrown around that bitcoin is the common man’s SDR. I don’t think that analogy fits. They actually seem almost opposite to me.

  8. I’m sorry I missed (spaced out) during last weeks Conflicted Monday’
    The one single thin which will put this once great nation back on track, is to repeal the 17th amendment! This would reduce the reach ov the federal (feral) government. It would return the power to the states.
    I spent months on this question after a radio money guy Jon Sanchez asked the same question.

  9. “is that the right words?? Put that in the teleprompter so that I don’t forget.”
    That made me laugh out loud hard. So awesome. Thanks Jack

  10. Great show. So I couldn’t care less about any one smoking pot, doesn’t hurt me, since its legal in Colorado now, do they let anyone that is serving time for marijuana related crimes? That would save some money…

    • You know they won’t here is why. What they will say is that it is still illegal to grow or sell pot without a license.

      Truth is though very few people do any real time for pot possession. It is always selling or “intent to distribute” that does that. Or parole/probation violations that involve it.

      Though there is another can of worms! Now I am on parole in Colorado. Can you still revoke it for a completely legal behavior?

      Perhaps? I mean many things that are legal are not allowed on parole. You can’t carry a knife on parole but it is legal for everyone else. Can’t buy a gun, etc.

      This one is going to be a problem down the road if they don’t clear it up right away.

  11. In re firing the teacher who was too good:

    Been in that situation, too. I taught in Houston ISD at the fourth grade (at one time). Like the teacher in the story, my kids’ test scores were phenomenal (averaging 3-4 years of “growth” over the previous year) and all their gains fell apart the following year due to lazy coworkers. Unlike the teacher in the story, MY principal supported my efforts, even backing me up when parents claimed I was working their kids “too hard” by expecting the little darlings to actually work to their intellectual capacity and master the material presented. I agree with you that school doesn’t deserve this person, but the kids NEED her as an advocate. Until the collapse of the school system actually occurs, dedicated and talented teachers are the only lights in the darkness.

  12. I had my 3 older kids in the Michigan Virtual Charter Acadamy Last year which is ver similar to the one you described in Florida. It was certainly an improvement over both the public school and the private school that our kids attended previously.

    It is funded just like a regular public school with count days and all that stuff. So they do provide one computer to use per low income family that would normally qualify for free or reduced price lunches.

    It is a great program, but not perfect. The kids are under a lot of pressure to pass testing, because the school REALLY needs to prove itself because it is so controversial. Because of that I was extremely annoyed by the amount of test prep they had to do.

    We decided to go full on home school and choose our own curriculum this upcoming school year.

    But, I would encourage anyone who is thinking about home schooling and don’t feel qualified to do it, to go ahead and do the public online school thing, that way your not on your own, your kids have a teacher, and you are the learning coach. You will soon discover though that it’s really not that hard to teach your kids at home and you really can do it yourself, even if you don’t know how to do the stuff you are teaching.

    The funny thing is that the teachers would often refer the kids to a khan academy video when they got stuck.

  13. Jerry Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy

    In every organization there are two kinds of people: those committed to the mission of the organization, and those committed to the organization itself. While the mission-committed people pursue the mission, the organization-committed people take over the organization. Then the mission-committed people tend to become discouraged and leave.

  14. Hi Jack,
    Here is some crypto coin knowledge for you… SURPRISE!!


    …it already exists… Trading on a few exchanges for about 1000 satoshi’s per coin.
    (Approximately .00001 bitcoin ea.)


    And yes, some new crypto coins do pay a “dividend” for holding them longer term.


    Love the show, keep talking about the crypto currency (if you can ????) or being prepared for a bad economy.


    (Fyi – sorry, I also sent to eMail first)

  15. Conflicted Monday. I would continue in ceramics but would focus on teaching early to build a workforce to sell regionally.

  16. While listening to the crypto currency portion, it made me think that the ultimate monetary power of the government is that it can force you to use ‘its’ currency to pay your taxes.

    The question is how long they could successfully control the exchange rate between it and alternative currencies.

    If they print.. the value of their currency falls. If they peg, speculators will destroy them with currency swaps.

    So, it seems like, if people just swapped from using the dollar, to using any other form of currency, the dollar hegemony would end, even with the requirement to pay your taxes in dollars.

    In other words, its only utility, and its only power, lies in its acceptance on a DAILY BASIS as the ‘preferred’ currency for a majority of users. If even a significant minority of persons began using an alternative, they would immediately create an alternative economy, and rob the FED of its power over them.

    • First big old FING BINGO on the first line! This is in fact how the fiat is enforced.

      They have a plan for the exchange rates though! They tax your ass on the gains! With a true currency recognized as such you can shelter this quite a bit but the IRS ruled bitcoin as property not currency. This means I am not only supposed to pay a tax on BTC gains when I convert it to cash, I am also supposed to report a gain if I spend it. Currently this is all but impossible by the way.

      • I think the key here is ‘supposed to’. There are many things our beloved bureaucrats would like us to do.

        In CA for instance, they would like you to record EVERY purchase (down to that pack of gum) you make outside of the state, and then send them a check for SALES TAX on those purchases at the end of the year.

        But the real difference is the percentage of your wealth that’s subject to money supply inflation, and WHEN it’s exposed.

        So instead of 100% of your ‘cash’ being continually exposed to inflation.. 30% of it (taxes) is subject four times a year for your quarterly tax payments.

        Your money in fiat is 100% exposed to inflation loss.. all the time. And your taxes on gains (capital in this case) aren’t 100%.

        So I’d happily have them take a percentage of the capital gain on the small portion of my ‘real money’ that I convert to pay their taxes.. rather than take the ‘inflation tax’ on all of my cash AND pay their taxes.

        (that is of course RELATIVE happiness..a black eye, instead of a broken arm and a black eye) 😉

  17. Regarding Conflicted Monday scenario, I think I would supply people with fuel and energy.

    I would probably be able to produce ethanol, and I believe there would be a market for it. It’d probably be to expensive to pour in the fuel tank in a truck, but cheap enough to make using power tools like chainsaw reasonable. It could also be used for medicinal purposes (cleaning wounds, disinfecting tools, making herbal extracts), and for human consumption.

    I also think I would be able to recharge people’s AA/AAA batteries, or maybe even car batteries with the solar system I almost have installed.

    • The two things I’d want to do are open up a clinic in a building far enough away that if something nasty rolls through, it won’t hit my house- I can do a fair amount of practical nursing, and my best friend is a doctor. Second thing I’d do is make ethanol, and brew other things as well. Historically, in hard times people want a hard drink, it’s a fantastic trade item. Being able to keep motors running as well is also a good thing- I’ve got a motorcycle I’m currently learning to fix up, and I’m going to make it a flex fuel so I can have a gas-sipping vehicle that I can make my own fuel for. It’s got a decent set up for saddle bags, and I’m probably going to make some larger ones, so I should be able to haul a fair amount of stuff on the bike, too. If gas is unavailable, and ethanol is dear, I want to make sure I can still get around if I need to.

  18. On the online school, you could go even cheaper and teach a valuable politics lesson at the same time. When you look at computers, everyone thinks you only have two choices: Mac or Windows. Put any Linux flavor on your computer, and its cheaper if you can find a tower or laptop without an operating system on it. Show them Linux and wait for the questions.
    “But Dad, everyone says you have to use Mac or Windows!”
    Me: “Really? Well, this Ubuntu OS looks like Windows, does the same thing as Windows, and has the security of UNIX like Mac. What do Windows people say about Mac?
    ” That Mac is for elitist snobs who think they are better than everyone else, and is overpriced.”
    Me: “OK. What do Mac users say about Windows users?”
    ‘That they are uncreative sludges that only choose it because everyone else does.”
    Me: “Do both camps like Linux?”
    “NO! They think Linux is weird and only for geeks. ”
    Me: “Think they are afraid of losing some of their followers to Linux, and thus their influence?”
    “Dad, is this another political talk?”

    I would make the online school web based, compatible with any browser. Everyone looks decent enough in a off the rack suit, but if everyone had access to a tailor, think how good we could all look.

  19. TPS report! HaHaHa!

    Conflicted Monday… I really like keeping places neat, organized, running smoothly. I could so do household chores for those needed elsewhere. Or inventory control. Know little to nothing about chickens but my ears perked up over tracking those chickens. Do it by individual? Do it by lot? I can get into that. I was an accountant in a past life. Loved budget and expense but they made me do taxes, ugh. Like your recent experience with sales tax in Texas, I had to figure out where insurance premiums came from for thousands of small taxing units like towns and even Municipal utility districts that all wanted their piece. Left accounting because of it. So let me keep track of something tangible and useful.

  20. On the chickens and wanting to keep track of which ones are older banding may not be necessary. As hens get older their legs tend to lose the rich yellow color. 3 or 4 year old hens legs appear more pale. It’s not an exact like bands but we can tell the difference between hens of the same breed from different years.

  21. Our school district opened an online homeschool recently, they provide the material, you provide the computer, internet, printer/scanner. If you live close and eligible for free lunch they’ll even loan you a laptop, etc. Anyone living in Texas who was in a public school the previous year can attend.

    As with anything, you need to be aware of what your kids are being taught.
    I still remember 25+ years ago listening to my 4 year old watching Mr. Rogers, his TV quit working, no money to buy a new one, what do we do? Like it was a horrible tragedy, how will we survive the day without a TV? Oh, I know, we can buy it with this credit card. No where was there a discussion of could it be fixed? that you’d still have to pay the credit card plus interest.

    One big concern was if he had no money at all, it would mean no money for food, emergencies, etc yet they needed to rush out and buy a new TV on credit asap. Not let’s save up for a TV, find ways to make money, etc.

    I’ve also seen various political views promoted on various “educational” shows.

  22. Gold does have uses other than money or jewelry. Gold conducts electricity, does not tarnish, is very easy to work, can be drawn into wire, can be hammered into thin sheets, alloys with many other metals, can be melted and cast into highly detailed shapes. While none of these properties are unique, gold has a combination of properties that make it useful even with it’s high cost. Minute quantities of gold are used in the connections in your cell phone and computers due to the conductivity and resistance to tarnish. While I agree with you that the value of gold is 99% a factor of value for jewelry and money along with scarcity, if no one wanted it for jewelry or money, it would still be valuable to industry.

    • None of those uses really make gold worth as much as even silver honestly. Yes it can do some things silver can’t (due to tarnish) but if the few limited uses for gold were the only demands on it, it likely would not be worth the trouble to mine it. Based on industrial uses only, gold would likely trade right now for 10-12 bucks an ounce if you were lucky. More likely 5-10 dollars.

      The value of gold is honestly an illusion, and a very effective one at that. Based on your 1% factor gold is worth about $13.19 an ounce right now. The reality though is gold is inflated still at over 1300 dollars. If big profit taking ever happens gold will see 7-800 bucks fast. So we are looking more at like 7-8 dollars.

      The only real reason it is used as you point out is that it does work well, it is freely available and for those uses it is CHEAP because so little is needed. Again if those were the only uses for gold it would not be worth taking out of the ground.

    • The fact that gold has no intrinsic value (from an industrial perspective) is actually the one intrinsic value that gold makes it a great from the monetary standpoint. Gold makes great money because it’s useless for everything else. What people don’t understand is that when you take an industrial commodity like silver, there is an inherent competition between using silver as money (coinage) and silver as a commodity that makes the supply (and price) unstable. The fact that gold is so useless as a commodity ensures it’s supply for coinage is very stable (you aren’t melting down coins to make electronic gadgets).

      • @Jason for once I completely disagree with you. Not for the statement that gold being mostly useless for industry makes it better for money, I GUESS you can sort of make that case. However the fact is that neither gold nor silver are money, both are commodities. The truth is silver is used a great deal by industry and has what it is called an “inelastic demand”. What this means is if you quaddrupled the cost of silver, apple is still going to pay for it and put it in an Ipad. There is a guaranteed demand on silver that doesn’t exist on gold.

        Now sure a bit is used in electronics (gold I mean) but the amount is tiny and frankly a number of alloys can take its place. Gold is used simply because it is so readily available and needed in such tiny quantities that it is considered not worth worrying about the cost by industry.

        To me this makes silver more stable as an investment long term.

        • When I mean “stable” I don’t mean good/bad as in asset value appreciation, but simply less volatile. If the supply utilized for coinage is stable, known and constant, that makes it ideal from an accounting perspective. However in the case of silver, if Apple were to comes out with some new gadget that requires a lot of silver to produce and everyone on the planet is buying this new gadget, then that’s going to inflate the price of silver. That throws everything out of whack from the accounting/pricing world IF you were using silver as the unit of account (money, as you said). My point was more about how gold was used historically (not presently) as money and why (imo) it’s the best physical element to fill the need.

        • Following up on that, technology has allowed us to transcend the need for a physical unit of account and if you remember I’m a huge bitcoin advocate.

  23. I’m a former vocational school teacher, but now homeschool my youngest child. Take it from an insider: Bricks and mortar schools are harmful to most students. A one-size-fits-all curriculum on-line may not be your child’s best solution, either. Cherry pick the best programs and tailor a homeschool curriculum specifically for your unique child. Don’t spend any money beyond the laptop and Internet connection. I’ve listed some free and cheap resources here to help you start:

  24. Concerning computers for education, a Raspberry Pi, which is less that US$50, can plug into any HDTV using HDMI. A Pi only needs a TV, keyboard, and mouse to perform as a functional computer.

    It’s not Windows, but with Office 365, Google Docs, etc., available online, there’s really no need to have them installed locally if you have internet access.

    • Now putting all that together can be a learning experience by itself. Not sure it’d be compatible with the various videos, learning sites, etc.

      My oldest son brought his pi and arduino boards over so his youngest sister could experiment. She is ordering robotic parts tomorrow. Lots of hands on learning.

      She left her laptop on her bed. Another brother visiting decided to wrestle with her sister and knocked it off the bed, cracking the screen. He immediately went online, found a new screen and installation directions. Checked to make sure laptop was working first. She is excited to fix her computer following the directions herself.

      Talked to a guy whose kids are home schooled. His son (around 8) helped him build their house. Lots of hands on learning and cool stuff his son figured out by himself. His son has a good eye and keeping things level and was supervising grown men before they were through.

  25. Conflicted Monday: This is one that I’ve thought about a lot.
    I’d focus on getting my mill up and running. It would take a good bit of scavenging but once that rotational energy gets going, rebuilding everything gets a lot easier.

  26. I guess I have 2 more years of playing my playstation, then you’ll poo poo me Jack.
    Har har har.

    I actually enjoy the occasional evening that the wife and I play video games together. Granted, this is after working 16-18 hour days, 5+ days a week every week.

    • @Mike what you are talking about doesn’t quality for my wrath! You know the people I am talking about.

  27. Bitcoin seems like a way to get the population interested in electronic currency and towards a cashless society

  28. Hi Jack. I’ve been listening to your podcast for about 6 months now, though rather slowly. Just finished episodes 1127 and 1128 today. In answer to your “conflicted Monday” question…. I’d love to do exactly what I’ve been trying to do for the last 12 years…. Serve my small town as a librarian.

    I started at the local library (a 7 minute walk from my house during the summer, 15 in the winter) as a page, schlepping books and doing check-in/check-out for 14 hours a week. This after being a SAHM for 4-1/2 years. I’ve been trying to work my way up the ladder for the 12 years since I started that position.

    It’s become obvious that I’m not going to be able to do so from within the public library system due to union rules regarding allowable tasks, bosses who rewrite job requirements to lock out interested – but untrained – candidates at a whim, and a lack of education due to an act of being young and stupid and winding up a teen mom. (Due to that act, it’s hard as hell now to afford the college classes, were they even available through our local University, without incurring huge student loans, which I refuse to settle upon my family. Will have to do it all out of pocket, but that $ won’t be there until -if ever- my daughter graduates HS in 3 more years.)

    Anyway, point I’m trying to make is that I’ve known for 12 years that I want to be a librarian at our small local branch of the public library system here. (I now work at the larger of the two branches, doing the same work I started with, but 30 hours a week and with benefits.)

    Some day, I’ll have my chance, and maybe it’ll take a collapse of the system to knock out of the way those who either will keep me from doing the job I love -sharing my love of books and information with my town- because of my lack of formal education or training, or it will keep some of those who currently work at the library from being able to GET to work (at least 2 of them live at least 16 miles away from the building), thereby making it easier for an “uneducated” but driven ME to get the job because I can BE there by foot-power, even at the coldest of temperatures.

    (Have done before when I started there, due to not having a drivers license, will do again if needed.) That’s my dream for after the “zombie apocalypse.” Though I’m not waiting for that societal collapse to happen to go about other methods (moving to a school library if needed) to obtain the “required” experience, either. Come hell or high water, someday I’ll be a librarian at “my” little library.

    Thanks for sharing such thought provoking daily podcasts with us. I don’t always agree with you (hell, who does?) but you always give me something to think about.

  29. A bit late to the party, but I’m trying to catch up.

    On the chicken culling question: I band at each molt, that way there is never a fear of the zip ties being too tight. It does however mean that you end up having a bigger job when they all go into molt.

    In general, that means that anything with two, or more, bands is open to culling. I’ve kept some around longer just because I like their personality, but this way there is very little to keep track of, and when you need a stewing hen it’s easy to send the kids out to catch one with two bands.