Monday, January 26, 2009

Gold: A political reflection

I notice this morning that gold is back over $900. As you can see from the above data-image, this is just about a historical high-point (the above data-image only goes through about 2006). However, it is interesting, a bit of a curiosity in fact, that gold is actually lower today than it was a year ago, that is, lower than it was prior to last March, before the Bear Stearns collapse, and before the major interest rate slashing and monetary easing of the Fed. Due to the loose monetary policies of the past twelve months, we might, theoretically speaking, have expected the price of gold to have risen the past year, perhaps dramatically. Instead, it's stayed even, and actually dropped a slight bit. But still: that chart above is fascinating, in light of the fact that all the investors who since 1971 have poured their money into gold and driven up the price are, in effect, betting against the dollar.

One other thing about the data. Notice how the price of gold hits a high in the seventies before dropping from 1980 until 2000. Then look at the rise of gold this decade, under the economic stewardship of the Bush Administration. Remember: the high price of gold reflects, among other things, a percevied instability of the dollar. So the high price of gold is, as i see it, another reason to laugh at modern-day Republicans who consider themselves 'conservative.' Besides the attempt to radically re-make America into a fundamentalist paradise, and the unleashing of war to re-make the planet into a tyrant-less world, Republican monetary and fiscal policies have been similarly radical. The price of gold reflects the de-stabilization of the US economy during the recent Republican rule. There is little doubt gold is up and the dollar weaker because of the wild foriegn and domestic policies of the previous administration.

I am sure I am missing something, and perhaps I am over-reacting to the mangled and moronic radicalism of the Bush Administration, but my thesis that President Obama is the first real conservative president since Eisenhower just seems accurate to me. The ironic thing is that he is a conservative who markets himself a progressive (using the single-word mantra, 'change'), while everyone else since Eisenhower strikes me as change-oriented, power-grabbers who call themselves conservatives, or in Clinton's case, a 'New Democrat' (i.e., a conservative Democrat).

I do hope the Republican Party dedicates itself to a more sophisticated reading of political philosophy, and thus a more learned understanding of what it means to be a conservative. The country really could use a force for stability. The utopia vision of the Bush years should be put squarely into history. Maybe then we'd see gold prices go down, and confidence in the dollar -- and in the US economy -- go back up.

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