Saturday, March 15, 2008

Oro o plomo

Uncle Gonzo told me a story once. It was about his father, and the days he rode with...oh hell, I don't remember now. The Mexican army perhaps, after Pancho Villa maybe. Not the point. He was with some military or paramilitary unit in Latin America. He was a young officer.

Anyway, one day his Captain sent him to a nearby village with a bag of gold to buy food for the men. He rode into town, up to the tavern, put his gold on the counter, said he wanted to buy food. They told him they didn't have any. So he rode back and told his Captain they didn't have any. The Captain asked if he was really that stupid. He pardoned himself, rode back to the tavern, put his bag of gold and his gun on the counter, and bought food for the men.

Moral of the story: You can get sh*t done if you have gold or lead. Oro o plomo.

And why in Karnac does this matter now?

Anyone else notice that gold went over $1000 today? That it went up over $300 in the past six months? That the US saved Bear Sterns, one of the largest global investment banks, securities trading and brokerage firms in the world, by the skin of JP Morgan's teeth this morning? That the whole funny money house of cards is slowly sifting past out ears?

My husband was shocked, shocked, when I explained to him a few years back that you can no longer go into a bank and trade your money for silver. Used to be that way, they still bring it up in the schools, but they never tell you that Nixon got us off that standard. (Who came up with that brilliant idea is fodder for another post). These days you can't even go into a bank and trade your electrons for cash. Mother laughs on a regular basis, yes she works in a very small bank branch now, but her entire bank has less than a third of what she kept in *her own till* in the 1980's. And she was one of 12.

It's nuts I tell you.

So in case the sh*t does start to roll downhill (and you were wondering how the picture at the top ties in) how do you protect yourself? I thought about the power being shut off, but we're in hydroelectric land, we don't need fuel from other countries to keep us going. It's the Pacific Northwest, our water levels are good. Food is kind of iffy, I doubt we grow enough around here to feed the valley, but the herd will thin, I hate to say, and we can stock up. Medical is going to be harder, meds have to come aways, and we have a high percentage of well-medicated elderly. I predict that will be a rough time there, that thinning. The husband and I are on one med each, and we can live without it if we have to. Mother, and Dad and my step-mom, *sigh*.

Imports? Forget it. Starting with oil, and gas. And what happens when the great unwashed can't work or drive or buy plastic crap anymore?

One of the best thought exercises I ever saw on the idea of what happens if was the World Without Oil project. Unfortunately I came across it too late to join in. I think a lot of it would apply to a world without greenbacks as well.

Just something I'm thinking about this morning is all.

1 comment:

Kate said...

I've lived for extensive periods of time in places where things we take for granted - everything from water to gas to sugar to safe, clean meat - is often unavailable.

We go back to hunting and gathering, even in our own supermarkets. We take things back to the cave/deep freeze (which we cover with a blanket while the power goes out for days at a time), store them up, and cope perfectly well by candlelight and sponge baths.

Some people can't hang.
Most can, and pretty well.

I bet you would.