The Fallacy of Gold



One thing has always intrigued me about the preparation we all go through for surviving the end of the world. While there is no disputing the logic of stocking up on food, guns and ammo, and the other sundries of everyday life, lots of article have been devoted to the usefulness of gold in these TEOTWAWKI scenarios. Indeed, these pundits would have us believe that gold is all we need to survive any calamity.

Not surprisingly, most of these articles have been written by a man with an interest to sell you gold and numismatic silver.

Let us look at a hypothetical situation. We're a few years into the future, four years after the disaster of your choice. It doesn't matter what brought us to this strait, just that civilization as we know it today no longer exists. You, like those around you, survived. Unlike some others, you took precautions; like Aesop's ant, you laid in enough to see you through the lean years. Some of your neighbors weren't so foresighted, and one of these benighted souls, cold and hungry, has shown up at the door to your retreat. He has a box of 9mm that he scrounged somewhere, but owns a .38 special revolver. Your Browning can always use a little more ammo, so you ask what he wants in trade.

At this point, let's ask ourselves what we would want in the above scenario. A box of .38's, and maybe a can or two of beef stew? Or a two ounce bar of 99% pure, shiny, worthless, gold?

Gold, like most things man has based an economy upon, has no intrinsic worth beyond what we assign. While it is quite handy in the electronics industry, and the jeweler's of the world wish us to believe it's the only way to buy true love, it has no other real uses. In a collapsed society, items of real worth will be those that we can use. Unpolluted water, food, ammunition, any number of manufactured goods such as soap and toothpaste will be much more in demand than gold. It will be many years, if ever in our lifetimes, (depending on the severity of the situation) before gold is used again as a currency. Fishing weights and musket balls will be about all that gold would be good for.

But wait, you say. What about something other than a system-wide collapse, say a hurricane or other natural disaster of limited duration? Surely a stash of gold or pre-1965 dimes and quarters will come in handy then?

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