retirement

Gold is Old: Why I’m a Rhodium Bug

William Hyde Wollaston, the original rhodium bug.

William Hyde Wollaston, the original rhodium bug.

Everyone knows a true conservative’s investment portfolio should look about like this:

  • 10% long term CDs
  • 50% gold coins bought from reputable cable news advertisers
  • 20% cash stuffed under a Smith & Wesson-protected mattress
  • 10% firearms, antique swords and other Pawn Star-grade investment vehicles
  • 10% patriotic, Christian and/or Elvis-themed display plates and similar collectibles

Fewer people, however, know that gold, popular though it may be, is no longer the fairest maiden in the land of precious metals. Sure, it’s had a good run. But as much as it pains me to say it, gold is old. It will probably provide some good returns for the time being, but do you want good returns, or do you want great returns? Do you want to be somewhat prepared for the coming economic collapse, or do you want an impenetrable financial fortress to rival your actual impenetrable fortress in rural Montana?

That’s what I thought. So what is this miraculous metal poised to give investors historic, unprecedented, Biblically-proportioned returns in the comings years? Is it platinum? Gold-pressed latinum? Unobtainium? No, no and no. As you’ve no doubt cleverly deduced from the title of this article, it’s a well-known but little-discussed precious metal called rhodium.

Rhodium, or as savvy investors often refer to it: the cobalt of kings, is the most valuable investment grade metal in the world. In fact, so valuable is rhodium that scientists actually refer to it as a “noble” metal, presumably because in times past only nobles could hope to invest in something so precious. During the first wave of America’s entitlement-fueled economic apocalypse beginning after the “election” of “president” Obama in 2008, the price of rhodium soared to over $10,000 per oz. To put that in perspective, gold, the investment choice of kings since time immemorial and probably the original noble metal, barely made it past $1,900 per oz during that same period. With rhodium now back down to below $2,000 per oz—and, more importantly, with the fat cats on Wall Street and those clowns in Washington thinking our economic problems have blown over—the time has never been more ripe for filling up your coffers with precious rhodium.

What kind of returns can investors expect? That’s a good question. No one can know for certain, of course, but odds are it’s going up…way up. During the inevitable second wave of economic collapse, some experts predict rhodium will reach prices exceeding $20,000 per oz. If you bought in now, that could mean a return on your investment of more than 1,000%! Good luck getting that kind of a return gambling your hard-earned savings in a rigged casino game like the stock market.

So how the heck did rhodium get so valuable in the first place? That’s a smart question, so I’m going to give you the smart answer. But hold on. It gets a little complicated, and I’m going to use a couple terms of art. Don’t be intimidated, though. If you weren’t smart enough to do  this, you wouldn’t have read this far.

See, the beauty of rhodium is that it possesses something savvy investment professionals and financial gurus call “intrinsic value.” That’s just a fancy way of saying that besides being rare, precious and highly sought after, rhodium also has real life, practical uses. Consider your prized AR-15 or replica medieval battle hammer. They’re not just works of art you keep over the mantle and could sell for a lot of cash. They’re also tools that can be used to defend your land. That’s intrinsic value.

What are these practical uses for rhodium, you ask? Well, do you have a catalytic converter in your car? If so, chances are it’s made with rhodium. Now think about this for a second: when most of the world is living in a post-apocalyptic, Mad Max-style wasteland the lie-beral agenda bought us, people are still going to need cars, right? And if there are cars, there are going to be catalytic converters, aren’t there? You know what else that means? Yup. It means there’s going to be high demand for good, old-fashioned rhodium, which will be even rarer since mines will probably be out of  business or converted to producing nothing but overpriced, “green” light bulbs. That’s why you can count on rhodium.

Compare this to the so-called “money” that printing press we call the Federal Reserve puts out. Unless there’s a toilet paper shortage, that stuff has no intrinsic value. Like Monopoly money, it’s only valuable because our government says that’s a part of the game and people blindly follow. It’s what economists called a “fiat currency,” which is the opposite of one that has intrinsic value. You may have heard the term fiat before. No, not the car. I’m talking about ruling by fiat. It’s kind of order made by dictators like Benito Mussolini, his pal Adolf Hitler and our current president/emperor. Yeah, scary as it sounds, America’s whole financial system is based on the techniques of Mussolini and Hitler. Nice, huh?

Okay, okay. So you’re convinced. The question still remains: how much rhodium should you buy? Well, that’s somewhat a matter of personal preference, of course. Really, the question is how rich you want to get. Personally, I would put 100% of my investments into rhodium. However, I recognize that would be a big change and maybe you don’t have the guts for the huge profits that come from America’s safest, most reliable, most intrinsically valuable investment. If that’s the case, might I recommend this: switch out half your current portfolio with rhodium, just to give a shot. Give it a year. Once you realize it’s safe, then maybe switch out the rest of your portfolio, or at least sell the rest of your gold and replace it with good, ol’ rhodium. Sound reasonable?

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Smoking and Lung Cancer: the Backbone of America’s Retirement System

640px-Van_Gogh_-_Skull_with_a_burning_cigaretteBy Franklin Herbert Washington, MD, PhD, CPA, Science and Health Editor

In case you just woke up from long term cryogenic sleep and don’t know, tobacco companies get a bad rap in America these days. From multi-billion dollar payouts to users of their products, to the self-righteous scold brigades behind our nation’s multi-billion dollar anti-smoking propaganda industry, never has it been cooler to be anti-smoking. The thing is, why? Most media reports and health professionals tend to focus on the cancer-causing aspects of smoking like it’s a bad thing, all the while ignoring the many benefits smoking provides our society.

Sure, it sucks to have cancer, but for non-smokers lung cancer can be a boon. Every day we’re inundated with news stories about how the massive influx of retiring baby boomers is making Social Security less sustainable than ever. And it’s not even like Social Security covers all the expenses the elderly poor place upon the system in the first place.

All that could be worse if not for those unsung heroes the tobacco companies. Tobacco products have prematurely killed off millions upon millions of useless, working class Americans who did not save for retirement and would have otherwise spent decades out of the workforce in unproductivity. Rather than getting rewarded for this behavior by our government’s many socialist teats, they will instead get their just desserts: death.

The name “working class” is itself one of the biggest misnomers of the modern age, as they are probably the least industrious among us. Even when they do manage to hose themselves off and get some form of employment outside meth manufacturing and distribution, it is typically working pay day loan to pay day loan at some minimum wage burger flip that barely affords them a spot on the couch in their cousin’s double-wide after they blow most of their pay on beer, ammo and tickets to monster truck rallies.

With the decline of defined-benefit plans and benefits for the working class in general, many poors are struggling to fill the void using defined-contribution plans, which typically require a level of planning and self-control beyond the meager abilities of their Maury-soaked minds and McDonald’s-forged bodies.

This is not news, of course. Everyone knows poors do a terrible job saving for retirement. I mean, for God’s sake, our tax code gives the financially challenged, slack-jawed masses a $1,000 tax credit just for contributing to a retirement account. This is essentially Congress handing poors a sack with a dollar sign on it every year just for opening up a goddamn retirement account, and yet they can’t even accomplish that. Normal people like you and me would think all the povers would be firing up their El Caminos and F-150s to go see their financial planners at Check Into Cash, but we would be wrong. You have to remember this is also a group who likely has not filed a tax return in years, one for whom the notion of getting past ChexSystems and opening a simple savings account seems like a major life accomplishment, reminiscent of the time their father wore a tie.

All this leads to one inevitable conclusion: getting poors to provide for their own retirement is a hopeless cause. Worse, their frequent bouts of unemployment and long periods spent in part-time, minimum wage work mean whatever Social Security they do qualify for won’t even be enough to pay the rent on the mobile hovel they towed into a KOA campground 10 years ago.

This leaves us with two options. One, what I call “the ol’ fashioned way” is to cut all sorts of entitlement and succor in old age and simply let them starve to death or get taken in by the Church. This is, of course, the natural way, the moral way, the way God intended. It is also impossible in America today.

The second way is to let the government tax and spend its way to providing a basic standard of living for all legal residents over a certain age, regardless of their “ability” to pay. Thankfully, this too is politically infeasible, not to mention the unethical burden it places on those who actually earn their money.

So are we doomed?

Not completely. See, we can in fact accomplish the first way, just not explicitly through legislation. Instead, we must facilitate a sort of “voluntary extermination” of the poors through smoking, culling their swelling numbers to something more economically feasible.

Like I said before, this is the way of Nature, the most optimal free market capitalist system the world has ever known. When an ecosystem can no longer support the herd, what does Nature do? Does it provide extra plants for the herbivores? Increase the game animals for the predators? No, it kills, starting with the weakest and working its way up. This is good for the herd. It makes it stronger, both in the sense that those who remain are the most competitive, and in the sense that the herd itself requires fewer resources to survive.

The beauty of this plan is that we really don’t have to do anything but preserve smoker’s rights. Everyone knows poors smoke at a much higher rate than their social betters, so typically they will be the ones getting that cancer and dying young, often before they even reach an age to start draining what little money they put into Social Security from its trust fund or to put a burden on other social services for non-working poor. No doubt smoking has already saved billions for what few defined-benefit plans remain in the private sector, and no doubt in the future it will continue to mitigate the costs of the greatest defined-benefit demon of them all: Social Security.

Now wait. I already know what you’re going to say next. “But what about all the added healthcare costs smoking adds to the system?” Sure. I’ll give you that. It does add some extra money up front, but the long term costs are almost certainly lower. It’s kind of like paying off a loan with a big lump sum rather than slowing bleeding interest payments over the years. But in any case, most of the medical costs of lung cancer are overstated because they only account for the cost of care for treating the lung cancer patient without considering the savings resulting from their premature death.

Think about it. Everyone is going to die at some point, and smokers hardly have a monopoly on spending their last months or years getting expensive treatments. Think about not having to pay for the decades worth of doctor visits and prescriptions for the multitude of age-related ailments almost all seniors deal with. That alone could probably cancel out the lung cancer costs. But what if they also had a couple strokes before kicking it, and were hospitalized several times? What if they had some heart problems and needed a couple surgeries? For all we know, smokers actually save the medical system money even before we account for the money these people would have drained in food stamps, Social Security payments, welfare, senior discounts and so on.

So next time you tell your kids that smokers are jokers and get ready the check the yes box for a public smoking ban in your community, think of not just the societal costs of smoking, but also the many benefits lighting up provides. As the burgeoning ranks of our nation’s elderly continue to put a greater and greater strain on our nation’s economy and the wallets of productive citizens, something is going to have to be done. Like capital punishment does with our nation’s criminals, smoking can do with our leeching elderly, reducing the size of the people our government is forced to foot the bill for and providing more wealth, opportunity and happiness for the rest of us. So the next time some guy wearing a WWE Raw t-shirt blows smoke rings in your path as you walk past the bus station to the covered garage, don’t complain. Tell him, “Thank you for smoking.”