Economics thoughts about the rule of gold
There has been an interesting economic situation recently, where buying of consumer products has decreased, while buying of gold has really surged. Most of our consumer products originate from China, and according to Forbes and chinagoldmines.com, China is now the world's largest producer of gold. So, we're still supporting China, we're still purchasing from China, but a different rank of product. I'm not sure how that translates to America's different socio-economic levels, though obviously, only more affluent people can afford to buy gold. But we might question if gold's traditional status as a "hedge against inflation" still rings true, today.
Another thing to consider is the ease with which "higher value" rare or collectible gold coins might be counterfeited. It'd probably be more sensible for the affluent to buy ingots. Our paper money has changed appearance an unprecedented number of times under the current administration, (causing unfair costs and frustration for vending machine operators who must buy new bill identification software each time &
Our currency, which some deem worthless, has changed so many times presumably to thwart counterfeiting by foreign nations. But with the right equipment, precious metal coins could very easily be counterfeited.
So, in the long run we might consider what gives gold its value, and what might affect its value, keeping in mind that gold is inedible and a worrisome burden. And, we might contemplate the interesting economic effect and possible outcome of this strange gold fever, where the rich trade their currency for gold and the poor trade their gold for currency.
Fingerprinting foreigners is acapricious process
I object to the plan to fingerprint foreign visitors upon their departure. Foreign people who break our laws should naturally be subjected to the same booking process as any U.S. national, but to routinely fingerprint millions of law abiding foreign visitors will mean that U.S. citizens will also be fingerprinted where ever they go as a retaliation to this unfortunate administration and Homeland Security idea.&
I do not want to subjected to the indignity of being fingerprinted whenever I visit a foreign country. I trust I am not the only one.
Hopefully, the executives of the airlines will scream loud, enduringly, and convincingly in objecting to yet another bad idea from Bush and Co. and our U.S. senators and congressional representatives will stop the idea in its tracks as they should.
Cerebral man vs cerebral woman
Conventional wisdom claims male and female brains work the same. Not so. I encourage everyone, from teenagers to seniors to read Louann Brizendine's, "The Female Brain." She's a neuropsychiatrist at the University of California, San Francisco. It's a page turner &
scientific, fascinating reading with humor. Her book is a delight to read.
Louann reveals the neurological explanations why:
1) A woman uses about 20,000 words a day, while a man uses about 7,000
2) A woman remembers fights that a man insists never happened
3) A teen girl is so obsessed with her looks and with talking on the phone
4) Thoughts about sex enter a woman's brain once every couple of days, but enter a man's brain about once every minute
5) A woman knows that people are feeling, while a man can't spot an emotion unless somebody cries or threatens bodily harm
6) A woman over fifty is more likely to initiate a divorce than a man
7) Women don't understand that sex is as important to a man as communication is to a woman
8) Helping my patients understand that the emotional circuits for anger and safety are different in the male and female brains is often quite helpful.
This book is an eye opener. When men and women understand the changing chemistry of women's brains there could be more harmony in their lives.
Slower freeway driving can save gas, lives
Drive 55 mph on the freeway. Save gas. Save lives!
A few weeks ago I drove to Portland. After first purchasing a new fuel filter and checking my tire inflation, I set my cruise control at 55 mph. Every truck passed me. Some cars followed for a while. I usually met both of them at the next rest stop.
Results: I arrived in Portland only one half hour later than usual, but well rested; and I got 33 mpg on my '98 Toyota Camry.
In WWII the government asked us to "Drive 55" to save gas. Statistics show it works. We can walk, bike, buy a hybrid car or drive 55 mph on the freeway and save gas, money and lives.
Letters to the editor
Economics thoughts about the rule of gold