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Friday, April 10, 2009


Once upon back in the golden age money was made of gold & because government couldn't just print more of it there was no inflation. That golden age must have been quite a while ago because even the Roman Emperors used to dilute their coins with ever increasing amounts of lead. Still it would be nice to be able to trust governments a bit more & it is more difficult to inflate with gold than with paper.

To quote J.M. Keynes whose reputation & alleged big government ideas are being dragged around by our leaders to cover their borrow & print "By a continuous process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method, they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some". Keynes was not nearly as good a Keynesian as his followers - this is a common problem affecting all deceased leaders from Jesus to Marx.

The total value of all the gold ever mined would be around $4.5 trillion. This is less than the value of circulating money in the U.S. alone, where more than $7.6 trillion is in circulation or in deposit. Therefore, a return to the gold standard, if also combined with a mandated end to fractional reserve banking, would result in a significant increase in the current value of gold.This is considered a significant disadvantage but it also suggests that the value of the metal is being artificially held down by government policies. There is also another factor. When the supply & demand prices of a good are out of whack a rise in the buying price will lead to an increase of supply thus bringing down the supply price.

If the value of gold went up where would the supply come from. Well it would certainly make more & deeper mining more feasible. However there is an untapped source of metals of all sorts.
Another example of wealth can be found on an asteroid called Amun, the smallest metallic asteroid of several dozen known. According to Lewis, Amun contains roughly 30 times as much metal as the entire amount of metals mined and processed over the history of humanity.
I don't know the exact proportion of gold there but since fold is a very heavy metal we must expect that most of Earth's metal is trapped near the core whereas in an asteroid it will run much commoner.

I'm not exactly saying we should invest all our money in asteroid gold mining but I am saying (A) it & silver & platinum is going to be one of the many significant pay offs from space & (B) that for those libertarians who oppose X-Prizes or other government funding of space we already see the depression in what we might call the natural price of gold has acted as a disincentive - It seems to me that any distortion of the market encouraging space development by X-Prizes would not be more (& would cost the world hundreds of billions less) than the costs foregone by the fact that gold has not been expensive enough to prompt a space mining rush.

There are two ways to conquer space:

1. Send a government funded expedition like Ferdinand and Isabella sent Christopher Columbus. X-prizes are a variation on this. Besides it is better to have a national government fund this than abide by the Outer Space treaty and let the UN do it. Like your proposal New Spain returned vast amounts of gold and other worthwhile materials, which allowed Spain to pursue its foreign policy with a freer hand.

2. License a private company to settle a territory, like the British did with the Puritans. If I remember correctly Britain didn't make all that much money from the thirteen colonies, but I could be wrong.

Right now the Outer Space treaty and national laws prevent private men from claiming property, or settling space. So a successful space venture needs a state patron willing to defy the international order that declares that space is either off limits or property of the UN. The Reformation removed England from the European Union and gave it the opportunity to act independently of international authorities. The Reformation also gave the remaining countries under the Vatican's control an incentive to compete with England.

Right now there are two blocs, the West and China. The West doesn't have the courage to take on its internal enemies and China is busy developing. So we need a regional power like Brazil, Russia, Apartheid South Africa, maybe Japan? I can't think of any other countries that could do it.

Of course, Spain could explore again...
The real problem with the Space Treaty is that it prevents people owning territory. If you don't own it you have no incentive to invest in it or even go there. I suspect lawyers could reinterpret it to allow somebody, while not "owning" something, to have exclusive use for 99 years of ground. This was Britain's right to most of Hong Kong. Maybe 999 years of a circle of radius 60 miles from any landing point or point of permanent habitation. Either the US or a group of countries would have to officially recognise such reinterpretation.

Another "power" that could do it is multinational corporations, operating from wherever is most friendly. For example Space Adventures is now based in Singapore. One aspect of such friendliness would be the existence of local X-Prizes. I wonder what size of X-Prize would be required to get Burt Rutan to move to Scotland?
1. A multinational would need a state patron to protect their activities, even if the corporation did the investing and setup.

2. During the housing bubble my mother went to go get her real estate license and went to take an eight week class for it. The instructor stated that if a landlord writes a lease longer than 99 years the title to the land reverts to the tenant. I don't know if this is because of the Common Law or the Arizona Revised Statutes. In practice if the colony became big enough it would want to determine its own future.

3. The Outer Space Treaty is one of many UN power grab treaties. Here is a partial list from memory:

A Law of the Sea Treaty

B Antarctic Treaty

C Outer Space Treaty

LOST states that the oceans belong to the UN, and that all businesses wanting to exploit the ocean floor need to share their technology with the UN so its wholly owned subsidiary can do it too. Also, LOST requires all businesses to pay taxes to the UN finally giving it a revenue stream independent of the US. The other treaties may be the same.

3. The US is wholly responsible for this abomination (LOST) even if we won't sign the treaty. We allow the UN sanctuary in our country, fund it and look the other way while our elite and academics write articles and promote this. We need to withdraw from the UN and expel it from our territory.
Thanks I hadn't seen the LOST Convention before & I don't like its claim that the UN can charge fees for mining etc. This does seem a serious problem & the fact that the US hasn't ratified it a serious advantage for them.

Even if seasteads had to have a state patron this need be no more onerous than applies to ships. We may get Panamanian registerd floating islands.
If you go to the John Birch Society website you will be able to search and find this page containing information on LOST. I used to subscribe to the JBS's in house magazine called the New American and it was a great right wing read, covering everything except race from a right wing perspective. The magazines are written assuming that someone completely new to a subject is reading which makes them great for conservative outreach. I grew bored reading the same stuff every fortnight, but I may have a low tolerance for boredom. I still have their issue on nuclear energy, and it covers how existing technology could solve our looming energy shortage.

I remember that the issue I had that dealt with LOST stated that the treaty was written broadly enough that the Mississippi river could be regulated under it, and as such maybe even the Thames could be regulated as well. I remember reading that our bungled effort to recover from Katrina could have required the approval of the UN had we signed the treaty. After the local Black police were done looting the Army Corp of Engineers showed up with large diesel driven pumps to drain the floodwaters into Lake Pontchartrain, an act that dumped large amounts of contamination into a body of water that could in theory been regulated by the UN.

The last thing we need is to have ecopagans, socialists and Luddites controlling the entire globe with nowhere to run. Having the US with its large navy ratify the treaty would effectively make it binding law on every square inch of the globe. The Outer Space Treaty was written before LOST when the conquest of space was thought possible, and may contain most of the garbage that LOST does. You should do a post on LOST, OST and the Antarctic Treaty showing how they are stepping stones to world government.
Also, look at this.
Thanks I've bookmarked that & will check it & surf the site later.
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