Face
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Face
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April 15th, 2011 at 4:06:49 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Oh, it went further than that. You need salt in order not to die. Today the problem is too much salt rather than too little, but both are dangerous.



Indeed you do, but can't the required amount of sodium be aquired in a normal diet? Or were the old times rife with salt's version of scurvy? In a dietary sense, I always though of it as a luxury, not so much that you needed a supplement of salt to live.


Quote: Nareed

Because they are highly desired and rare.



Highly desired, yes, but WHY? That is what I don't get. What is it about this ridiculously heavy, soft, yellow metal that makes it $1,000-an-ounce desirable? The uses you described almost fit. Due to its conductiveness, its durability and its maleability, it ALMOST is the best thing since sliced bread. But unfortunately, it's too heavy, and as we know, too rare to find widespread usage. If there were some very important use for it that ONLY it could do, then I could probably understand. But there isn't. You might find the tiniest speck of it in high end electronics, a sheet or two used for an old school motif on a motorcycle, or a couple chunks that Hardcore Pawn customers use to chew with, but what else? And how necessary is it?

What if we just started over. Gold is now worth 0. What would government pay for stores of it? What would businesses pay to use it in their goods? What would the common man pay to display it? I get that due to its characteristics it DOES have value. But $1,200 an ounce? Really? Why? It just seems absurd.
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Nareed
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April 15th, 2011 at 5:41:18 PM permalink
Quote: Face

Indeed you do, but can't the required amount of sodium be aquired in a normal diet? Or were the old times rife with salt's version of scurvy? In a dietary sense, I always though of it as a luxury, not so much that you needed a supplement of salt to live.



Today you can. I haven't added any salt to any dish I've eaten in over 25 years and my sodium seems ok, my blood pressure sure is. In ancient times, who knows? But if nothing else salt was used as a spice then, too, and there were less spices available. In any case when eating foods preserved with salt, like salted fish, you'd eat a lot of the salt, too.

Quote:

Highly desired, yes, but WHY?



Because it's soft, shiny, beautiful, easy to work and lasts forever untarnished.

Why is good art highly desired and rare? But you can't use art as currency as easily as gold. How much do you think works like Leonardo's "La Gioconda" or Michelangelo's "David" sell for?

Quote:

What is it about this ridiculously heavy, soft, yellow metal that makes it $1,000-an-ounce desirable?



Turn it around. What makes 10 $100 bills desirable? They're money only because people believe they are. Ok, it's actually more complicated than that, because US currency is backed by the goods and services produced by the US economy. But essentially US bank notes are used as currency because people accept them as such. There's no other reason.

BTW gold as currency is also un-inflatable. The government cannot decree more of it into existence.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
Ayecarumba
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April 15th, 2011 at 5:49:11 PM permalink
As it stands today, it has value because someone is willing to pay X amount for it. Regardless of their motive(s), it is the trade value. In a land where the basics of life are easy to come by, we can splurge our resources on excesses like gold for adornment.

But what if we all didn't have potable water, warm clothes, electricity, or a ready supply of food? Would we trade anything for a shiny piece of metal?
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
pacomartin
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April 15th, 2011 at 5:55:05 PM permalink
Quote: Face

Highly desired, yes, but WHY? That is what I don't get. What is it about this ridiculously heavy, soft, yellow metal that makes it $1,000-an-ounce desirable? The uses you described almost fit. Due to its conductiveness, its durability and its maleability, it ALMOST is the best thing since sliced bread. But unfortunately, it's too heavy, and as we know, too rare to find widespread usage.
What if we just started over. Gold is now worth 0. What would government pay for stores of it? What would businesses pay to use it in their goods? What would the common man pay to display it? I get that due to its characteristics it DOES have value. But $1,200 an ounce? Really? Why? It just seems absurd.



Nobel Prize winning economist Friedrich von Hayek put it this way: "History is largely a history of inflation, and usually of inflations engineered by governments and for the gain of governments.'' In recent times, the hyperinflations of Germany in the 1920s and of Bolivia, Argentina, and Brazil in the 1980s are all examples of governments debasing their currencies and engaging in what Mises called "a fraudulent attempt to cheat the public.''

Unfortunately the USA is extremely aware of the dangers of inflation on it's own people. Instead we made a conscious decision roughly 1991 when the Soviet Union to flood the world with our money. It allowed us to consume way beyond our means.

Traditionally gold was money precisely because it was rare, and only partly because it was useful. If the gold is rare, then you can control the wealth. In modern parlance, gold takes the decision of money production away from government.

For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. -Hamlet

The answer to your question is partly tautological. Gold is valuable because people think it is valuable. That is why counterfeiting is so dangerous. The biggest fear is that people will mistrust currency.
Face
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Face
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April 15th, 2011 at 7:32:40 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Why is good art highly desired and rare? But you can't use art as currency as easily as gold. How much do you think works like Leonardo's "La Gioconda" or Michelangelo's "David" sell for?



'Good art' I can kind of see, because it is a physical creation containing man's creativity and imagination. It's almost like owning a part of one's soul. To say how much it's worth is complicated based on the contents of this thread, and I think that's where my issue lies. If someone where to offer me $1,000,000 for my sons scribble hanging on my refrigerator, I'd take it, right? But money, literally, is simply a cotton blend covered in ink that the WORLD says has value, whereas the scribble is something very, very dear to me that I SAY has value. What would possess a person, in this case me, to give up something that fills their hearts, for something that has nearly no real value? /sigh. I know this isn't very clear, I'm having a hard time expressing my point. It appears something sparked the long inactive, pot smoking, hippy part of my brain and I can't find the words to get it out. ><

Quote: Nareed

Turn it around. What makes 10 $100 bills desirable? They're money only because people believe they are. Ok, it's actually more complicated than that, because US currency is backed by the goods and services produced by the US economy. But essentially US bank notes are used as currency because people accept them as such. There's no other reason.



You kind of asked my question and answered it in one shot. Money has value because people say so. There is no other reason. That's basically what I thought, but it just seemed so...silly, I guess. I may be simply making a mountain out of a mole hill, or I may have begun the plunge into insanity, but does no one else find this to be bizarre? I'll try not to recreate a rant I've gone into elsewhere, but to sum it up in one sentence, it seems our entire world revolves around a concept of value that only has value because we say so. Seems, I dunno, dangerous? That's not the right word, but it's close. This athiest can't help thinking of golden calves.

Quote: pacomartin

Traditionally gold was money precisely because it was rare, and only partly because it was useful. If the gold is rare, then you can control the wealth. In modern parlance, gold takes the decision of money production away from government.



Aha! Very good, paco! This makes sense to my feeble mind and justifies to my satisfaction the use of gold as currency. At the very least it quieted that nagging part of my brain that can't stop asking questions. Thank you, sir. =)

Quote: pacomartin

The biggest fear is that people will mistrust currency.



Methinks this ship has sailed, at least for me. ;)

Thank you all for bearing with me on this topic. I'm not trying to fear-monger nor trying to impart negativity anywhere, this just happened to be something I've thought of previously. Seeing so many in my circle killing themselves to keep up with the Joneses, or just to keep their heads above water, got me to thinking of our whole working society and why so much of our lives are dedicated to The Dollar. It became a topic of interest to me for a while and I thank you for imparting wisdom into my concerns. I still think it's daft, but what can you do?
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Nareed
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April 15th, 2011 at 8:10:41 PM permalink
Quote: Face

'Good art' I can kind of see, because it is a physical creation containing man's creativity and imagination.



yes, but what is it good for? It has no use save decorating walls and spaces, does it? like gold has for personal adornment and such? And so?

Quote:

You kind of asked my question and answered it in one shot. Money has value because people say so. There is no other reason. That's basically what I thought, but it just seemed so...silly, I guess.



Not just because they say so or believe so. After all, there is a price for money: interest rates. Money's bought and sold in open markets. If governments print too much of it, it looses value regardless of what people say or believe. Look up inflation.
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Face
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April 16th, 2011 at 12:46:28 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

yes, but what is it good for? It has no use save decorating walls and spaces, does it? like gold has for personal adornment and such? And so?



What good? Hmm. I'm not an art buff as it pertains to paintings, but to someone who is I imagine them to respond in a similar fashion that I do to music, which is also a creative and imaginary experience. Listening to art changes who I am, affects me personally, adjusts my mood, etc. If I'm feeling blue, too angry, too manic, too happy, too bored, musical art can assist in making me feel the way I want. I imagine visual art must be similar. If you can look at Painting X and be inspired, feel calmer, be happy, then said painting has a real value. I suppose you could stretch that concept to anything, be it a pile of seashells, a collection of oak leaves, or yeah, even gold, but I dunno. I guess I just won't ever get it. To me it'll always just be a rather ugly yellow metal. Wrap it all fancy-like around a pen, and yeah, pretty cool. Wait, $3,000 for that pen? Umm, I think I'll stick to my Bic.

Quote: Nareed

Not just because they say so or believe so. After all, there is a price for money: interest rates. Money's bought and sold in open markets. If governments print too much of it, it looses value regardless of what people say or believe. Look up inflation.



The price for money is interest rates, which are paid for...with money...that um, has no real value...except it does because we say so...so we'll pay money of no value for...more money of no value except that which we state it has...so we can in turn get what we need to be productive and make...um, money....that has no value.
This is what the inside of my head looks like lol.
I mean, I get money. I understand the concept of needing a way to track wealth and to do it in such a fashion that we're not reduced back to trading for goods whose quality may or may not be suspect. And I understand what you and paco have said about it representing a portion of our country's wealth, yada, yada, yada. I just thought that if you stop and look at it from afar, from a virgin perspective, that the concept of money is strange. We all have needs that are absolutely required not only for happiness, but survival itself. Food, water, shelter, medicine. These are all very real, very direct. Yet the only way to get these items of the highest value is through this concept of money, which has no value. It's funny. People live 70ish years, 50 of which will be spent chasing money. I feel mankind would be better off spending their time elsewhere. Or maybe I'm just sick of working. I dunno lol. Thanks for the chat =)
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pacomartin
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April 16th, 2011 at 1:25:34 AM permalink



Well the gold backing of Swiss currency seems to hold up well even if the law was changed in 2004.
When the euro banknotes were issued on 1 January 2002
The 1000 Swiss franc note was worth $600 and is now worth $1,120 (increase of 87%)
The 500 euro note was worth $442 and is now worth $700 (increase of 58%)
The 100 Canadian dollar note was worth $62.50 and is now worth $102.40 (increase of 63%)
`
The Canadian government has sold nearly every ounce of their gold having only 3.4 tonnes left (about half as much as Guatemala) , while Switzerland has 1,040 tonnes of gold. Mexico has 7.5 tonnes, and the USA has 8,133.5 tonnes.

The purple Swiss 1000 franc note is now clearly the most valuable banknote in the world. The Swiss government is circulating over US$7000 per person in currency, which is far and away the largest amount in the world.

Just think, to get US $1 million you only need 900 banknotes (2 pounds by weight). Perfect for a diplomatic pouch.

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