Wed, Jun 12, 2013 - Page 8

Taiwan’s time running out

Taiwan is sick, and getting sicker by the day. She was infected by a virus five years ago and since then, all of her vital organs have been compromised. Taiwan is now on life support, but fading quickly.

Not only do the doctors in charge of her care seem not bothered about the imminent death of their ailing patient, but they seem to be helping the deadly virus spread. A slight majority of people trusted these doctors and unfortunately, in January last year, they elected to allow the virus to spread for another four years. Now, the vast majority of those people realize that this was a grave mistake.

On May 20, an opportunity arose that could breathe new life into Taiwan’s infected lungs. A cure became available that could potentially kill the virus and there was a chance to rid the host of the parasite weakening it. Finally, there was a reason to hope for a recovery.

To the dismay of those who love Taiwan and want to save her, the opposition doctors felt the timing was not right to test the new cure.

“But Taiwan is dying,” the people said. “How could the timing not be right?”

Time is quickly slipping away and Taiwan cannot hold on much longer. If your child is dying of lung cancer and a donor lung becomes available, do you pass up the opportunity to save your child’s life?

Now is the time to rid Taiwan of the virus, before it is too late. Once the parasite has completely infected the host, it will give way to a stronger, more virulent virus waiting in the wings. This would no doubt mark the death of the “Beautiful Island” as we know it.

We miss the healthy, beautiful Taiwan and cannot imagine what she will be reduced to if infected further by the more deadly virus waiting to devour her.

Hurry, please cure our beloved Taiwan.

Brent Calkins


Keynes’ ghost kills us all

When it comes to the economy, there are two schools of thought. Each have their own predictions about the world’s near and long-term economic performance through which their accuracy can be judged down the line.

John Maynard Keynes is the cheerleader behind Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and both US houses’ business models. However, the predictions made by proponents of this school, such as the US’ Congressional Budget Office, consistently fail, just like those made by the IMF and others who are constantly downgrading GDP predictions.

Those in the other camp are followers of economists Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, and economic journalist Henry Hazlitt. These Austrian School masterminds have correctly predicted every economic disaster in history, especially since the establishment of the deceptively named Federal Reserve.

Keynesians seem to think that endless expansion of credit and debt will bring economic growth, while conveniently forgetting that we live on a finite planet.

The Austrian School believes that the finite nature of our unique Earth requires that we tie all human consumption to the value of precious metals, including gold, silver and possibly copper — for variety, small change, and to arbitrage fluctuations (wink wink).

Austrian School students read books like William Strauss’ The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy — What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny and Niall Ferguson’s The Ascent of Money. They have a graph showing how the “global reserve currency” changes issuers from time to time and they are relentlessly accurate in their predictions, thanks to forecasters like Tyler Durden.

However, Keynes’ influence does not end there. His “debt equals growth” model has clearly become the business model for the entire planet.

The ongoing frenzy to make short-term profits at the expense of humans’ long-term future is insane, with deforestation and overfishing just two examples of the alarming “hockey stick graphs” that I am seeing more frequently and which contribute to my “doomer” outlook.

Not only will continuing on this vein end badly, but people cannot seem to comprehend how paper money is simply paper, backed only by the faith of those who use it as a proxy for a method of exchange. However, it is obviously not a store of value when you look at the charts, especially the US dollar and now the Japanese yen, and this unfairly punishes old people around the world.

A global economic correction is overdue as the Fed, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and others continue the farce of throwing digital money at a problem that they created, without sound money.

Reversion to the mean will be very tricky for Taiwan once China’s economy collapses amid their so-called reforms. The future will not resemble the past, starting as soon as we all start learning about what’s really going on around here and the many “black swans” that are circling overhead.

“The future is uncertain and the end is always near” is wonderful investment advice and I am buying gold coins whenever I can. In my view, time is running out for the “smart money” to pile into profitable, actionable investments like stacking gold and silver like a pirate.

Unless you are a lemming, it pays to be early when the stampede starts. As seen in the film The Matrix, there are exit doors — if you can find them.

Torch Pratt

New Taipei City