the dollar vigilante blog

Feedback Friday - December 13, 2013

Another week has passed, getting us closer to 2014. And what a week it was. Nelson Mandela is dead. And once you’ve read the propaganda, read Gary Gibson’s response to his passing. The world’s “leaders” traveled to South Africa for the memorial, and took time out to flirt and take selfies, as well as conspire to continue to steal your money.

Sigh.

Want to join in the discourse? Send your questions, comments, queries, and concerns to tdv@dollarvigilante.com, comment on a post, or get on the forums.

On to the feedback…

I DIDN'T SIGN UP FOR "THE BITCOIN VIGILANTE"

Dear TDV,

Is this the Dollar Vigilante or Bitcoin Vigilante? I subscribed and  paid you guys in order to get sound advice on international investing. 

As of late, it seems that all you want to do is push Bitcoins. I suspect because you guys all have a vested interest and want others to come in behind you to bolster your price. Isn't that the exact description of a Ponzi Scheme? You need other to get in behind you to get your price up so that you can sell. You do plan to sell,  right? 

Otherwise if you paid $1200 for a single Bitcoin and the value drops to $700 are you seriously willing to spend them? The herd mentality is that they will hold them HOPING they will come back up in value. Which brings me to my next point: HOPE IS NOT A VIABLE INVESTMENT STRATEGY!

Bob S.

Jeff's Response:

Bob, you are getting mad at our coverage of Bitcoin now, but it's only natural since TDV has been discussing and recommending Bitcoin back when they were unpopular after a price crash that brought it down to just $3 in 2011!

And think about it. When I recommended Bitcoin I was indeed telling readers how to invest internationally with no transaction fees. I told them to get into it at $3 and to put a buy on it below $100 to subscribers just a few months ago. In other words, I gave valuable advice against the mainstream nonsense and those subscribers who took that advice are at least 1000% ahead if they held onto their investment. 

Not to mention, the point of The Dollar Vigilante is to — wait for it — sell your dollars! I respectfully submit that we have lived up to our end of the bargain so far regarding the nature and consistency of our advice. Remember, our entire thesis is surviving The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI) and if all fiat currencies are going to collapse what better way to be prepared than to already have moved on to a new, better currency system like bitcoin.

Of course, as you know, being a subscriber, we cover lots of other areas and Ed Bugos covers the precious metals and the markets each week.  And we regularly have international investment ideas such as our recent advice to invest in South American farmland... and how to do it.  Not to mention our recent info on how to take advantage of arbitrage between the Hong Kong and Chinese stock market.

Have we been focused on bitcoin more than usual lately?  Of course, bitcoin has become the talk of the entire world... years after I told subscribers it would be.  So, we are covering it and answering all the questions subscribers have including trading ideas based on our experts who have been in bitcoin since 2009.

Gary's Response:

You're right, Bob. Hope is not a viable investment strategy. Hope is obviously a component of investing. But Bitcoin has a lot more going for it than its detractors realize. What I've seen among the detractors in the freedom movement is the same hidebound allegiance to gold that statists have to dollars. This blind spot has kept some very smart and very wealthy Austrian economic types from tossing a small portion of their vast dollar and gold holdings at bitcoin and thus miss out on 1,000% to 10,000% returns in just a couple of years.  

If Bitcoin were a mining stock, many of its detractors would have happily piled in early, enjoyed the ride up and cashed out without all the negative commentary. I guess they are so touchy about bitcoin because it threatens the ancient monetary metals the detractors have identified with so strongly for so long.  We actually lost a fair amount of goldbug subscribers for even bringing bitcoin up a few years ago (including a subscriber who was one of the top 20 richest people on Earth who lambasted us). Bitcoin isn't just another mining stock; it's a young upstart that is shaking up the status quo and it has the potential to become a major player if not a leader in the money game. 

It will continue to be a wild ride. It may all go to zero. But it's worth the risk of a small portion, at least, of your investment portfolio (and Ed Bugos gave his recommendation of what percent of your speculative portfolio you should look at - and TDV will have a report free to subscribers in the next month on how to speculate in bitcoin). Given how bitter the detractors are now, I can only imagine the frothing rage they will feel if bitcoin charges up to $100,000 over the next couple of years. We'll happily take the rage though as many of our subscribers are now multi-millionaires already thanks to our advice.

MANDELA BUTTHURT, Part I

Mandela was never charged with murder and I don't blame him one bit for throwing in the towel as far as a peaceful revolution. Sure, he was a commie, but how does that make him a bad person??? Everything I've ever heard or read from him was about equality and harmonious living. We know that Mandela's political views are skewed, but most commies actually believe their philosophy will work until they discover, in practice, that it doesn't.

"The Dizzle"

Gary's Response:

Dizzle,

Asking me how being a commie makes one a bad person is like asking how being a fascist or a national socialist makes one a bad person. Communism is not just a bad idea held by well meaning people. It is arguably the single most destructive thought virus ever to plague mankind. It has killed far more people than national socialism. It is an economic and political "philosophy" that no intelligent and truly compassionate person would ever hold. It appeals only to the short-sighted, the shallow, those who ultimately think that people are bad, not worthy of trust and in need of full on coercive organization. 

Mandela with his platitudes and nice smile is no better than Obama with his charisma and stirring speeches. I get the black rage part over the apartheid system. Trust me, I do. But don't ever give Mandela...or anyone for that matter...a pass for wanting to initiate force to make people give up their property and live as slaves. 

Keep that in mind as you read the letter below...

MANDELA BUTTHURT, PART II

This has to be one of the dumbest posts I've read all year. Amazingly, Mr. G seems to be blaming South Africa's post-colonial hangover not on colonization by Dutch CAPITALSTS, but on Mandela and his "communist" tendencies.

How far back do you want to go? The CAPITALIST Dutch East India Company? Exploitation of indigenous Khoikhoi? The CAPITALIST British colonization? The support of apartheid by Western CAPITALIST powers for as long as humanly possible?

I've yet to see a compelling model of anarcho-capitalism which meets the anarchist test of being "free from coercion."

The public tyrannies engendered by the modern state is replicated in miniature by corporations which are private tyrannies. 

There is no real difference between mercantilism and capitalism except for one of scale. 

"5Flags"

Gary's Response:

Like most communists I know, you like to toss around the word capitalism to label all forms of state brutality. As much as some conservatives and minarchists don't want to admit it, capitalism is by its nature anarchic. The Dutch East India Company...British colonization...Western "powers"...corporations....Dear, dear 5Flags, these are all state phenomena! 

Capitalism doesn't work with governments. It works in spite of them. Capitalism requires freedom to trade private property. The state is coercion. It seizes private property just to exist! 

But you are clearly one of those adorable "anarcho" communists who wants complete statelessness but who thinks that property = theft. You claim to want the same freedom from coercion that we anarcho-capitalists want...yet you want to pretend that in a free world, no one can own anything. 

Your collectivist dream with no private property seems to require a lot of coercion and I'm sure would result in a hunter-gatherer standard of living. 

Tell you what. When we get the anarcho-capitalist world going, you are free to give up all your property and live communally with as many other people who want the same. Just don't try to force your anti-property lifestyle on anyone else.

And there is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to explanations of why stateless market anarchy would not devolve into private tyrannies. If you haven't found one "compelling', it's because either you've been too lazy to look or because you are so wedded to your collectivist ideas -- like most folks are to their irrational religious believes -- that nothing will ever get you to change your mind. 

FALLING POT PRICES, RISING PEACE AND FREEDOM 

I live in Washington State where marijuana was legalized recently. It is still heavily regulated and taxed, but according to someone I know, the price on the street has plummeted. Personally I don't touch the stuff, never will, and ask others to do the same.). Gee, look what happens when the risk to 'illegal sellers' goes way down. Prohibition is a joke.

Andrew C.

Gary's Response:

Drug prices are as high as they are because of the enormous risk taken by the producers and merchants as well as the extra cost in stealthy shipping and bribes to enforcement officials.

Then there are the "external" costs of paying for the ineffective enforcement which has to trample all over privacy and ruin lives even though it does nothing to slow down the trade. It just makes it much more expensive for users while making society much more miserable than it has to be.

And stopping it is impossible because of economics. The demand from users is so great that they will generate more money than the enforcers get paid in the aggregate. This demand supplies enough money to entice natural risk-takers to provide the supply with plenty left over to bribe the enforcers.

But I take exception to your strong recommendation against ever touching the stuff, Andrew! I personally don't bother with it because it does very little for me. Yet such a puritanical and severe "never, no way, ever" policy about it helps fuel the public's acceptance of prohibition. It was the Temperance Movement's absolutist stance against alcohol that got Prohibition Version 1 started in the first place. And look how ridiculous alcohol prohibition looks now.

Though I will concede that in the absence of a state to jump on immoral enforcement of other people's preferences, it wouldn't matter. Still, weed need not be feared any more than alcohol is feared. In fact, it is a far more benign substance than alcohol with obvious medical benefits. Hell, it may end up providing the cure for several cancers! So I stick with my admonition: when it comes to weed, never say never.

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