The Gold Standard in Scams

Antiques_Gold_CoinsI was in the car earlier and hit on a right-wing radio station. What’s odd—beyond the notable hysteria that Obama is vaccinating men into sterility or whatever—are the commercials: one after another using the hysteria whipped up by the hosts to sell gold and certain investment services. A friend send me a link a week ago for $150 “crisis seeds” to use when the government has rendered food availability unstable (or something). Obviously apocalyptic thinking has always been a part of the US and certainly this has been driven by markets. But I think that with Fox News this marketing has hit the near-mainstream. A student gave me a book to read yesterday—one of those books a student will earnestly give you and you borrow for a week or two so as not to insult them. But it’s basically full of this right-wing tripe about the gold standard, which was so 1970s (the current exchange system has been the subject of crackpot conspiracy theories at least as long). I won’t go into the weird steps it takes to get there (something about flat money) but it’s also the case that, indeed, the price of gold has been driven up in recent months in large part by uneducated investors buying into these schemes. I used to laugh at these commercials when I heard them (“real gold delivered to your door!”) but now I feel a certain pity for people who lock themselves into a certain news bubble, who face the same economy we all do, and are wiping out their money and perhaps their health with these gold and vaccine scams.

It’s one thing that these hosts (Limbaugh, Hannity, and others) are political scam artists, but with these gold and investment commercials that they themselves read, they’ve entered the scam artist realm as such. It’s strange—and I mean this in a non “the MSM isn’t reporting it” way—that this hasn’t gotten coverage as far as I see, since millions of people are getting taken in.

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