Nothing, absolutely nothing, has raised more people out of abject poverty than free market capitalism. And I don’t mean a mixed system with some socialism and somewhat free markets here and there. I am talking about the real deal, where prices are free to move, free market CAPITALISM. This stands in direct conflict with what many of us have been taught of course.
If one wants to learn how to become a top notch crony capitalist, one could do worse than mentoring under Al Gore. In 2000 Al Gore was “worth” (I hate the term) $1.7 million dollars. Now, 12 years later, after parlaying his name and connections in the name of environmental responsibility, he is worth $200 million.
We are seeing a slow motion run on the Federal Reserve. Around the world faith in the dollar is on the wain and sovereign governments are becoming more concerned with the whereabouts of their ultimate store of wealth, gold.
Gold is transportable wealth. History is full of examples where, in the face of advancing armies or other calamitous events, people sewed their nest eggs into the hemlines of their clothing or just slung it around their necks. This guy took it a step further.
It can’t be very comfortable and I can’t say that it is a particularly good look.
Earlier today I posted an article by James Rickards about how the very wealthy preserve their wealth through the generations. There are some European families which have been wealthy for half a millennia, if not longer. But most of us are not from families like this and so must build any wealth we “enjoy.”
Is monetary wealth the be all and end all? By no means. Just ask Mr. Buffett this as he looks ahead to his cancer treatments. But I think it can be fairly said that having some money versus having very little is a good thing. Wealth can give one some freedom.
So, many of us venture out into the world in search of fortune. Sometimes we are successful and sometimes we are not. Some of us go bust. Some of us achieve monetary success beyond what we thought possible. In recent years I have come to see this human struggle for wealth as very similar to a poker tournament. It’s not a perfect analogy but it’s pretty good.
Let me say from the outset that I am only 36 years old and that perhaps life appears more like chess or rummy or backgammon or something else when one has a few more years under one’s belt. The below observations are those of a relatively young man with a relatively short chip stack.