From the Publisher's Desk
"The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens."
- John Maynard Keynes
Is This What It's Going To Take You To Buy A Loaf Of Bread?
We'd like to thank all our readers for their support during 2010 and before. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year 2011.
- PT Shamrock
IT's WAKEUP TIME!
It's time for a wake up call Amerika and the rest of the world! The alarm is going off and the ringing is loud and clear.
We believe that the following email we received the other day says it all.
Dear PT Shamrock:
I am a recent subscriber to your excellent newsletter, thanks to a work associate who referred me to your web site and free newsletter.
Although we've only received and read two of your newsletters, I have perused your web site and read every article I could locate. I practically enjoyed reading your past missives at http://www.ptshamrock.com/secret/archive.htm
I thought perhaps you and possibly your readers might be interested in someone's perspective from what many would call a "middle class family" and how it might pertain to your web site.
I am a 42 year old American living in XXX. I'm happily married with two children one of whom is rapidity approaching their teen years. I am earnestly employed with the same firm for a number of years now and lucky to be so, as the company I work for has been forced to lay off a good percentage of my fellow workers during the last two years.
Politically we are middle of the road independents, and are not one for conspiracy theories, although some of your articles have raised a number of questions for us. So I guess you could say we're a "typical middle class American family", living in a modest house, in a middle class neighbourhood, although I'd suspect there are others who would think we are higher income, which of course is far from the truth.
My spouse and I earn a little more than US$115,000 before taxes annually. After city, state, property and federal taxes are deducted; our adjusted gross income is considerably less, i.e. less than US$74,000 per annum. 35% of our income in taxes is no small amount I can confirm. And do remember that amount is before we pay for health insurance, life insurance; automobile and home insurance; our monthly mortgage payment, food, utility bills, i.e. gas, electric, water, telephone, internet and cable TV, clothing for two very active children and ourselves, gasoline, monthly parking at my wife's place of work, baby sitting fees, once a month entertainment for the family at the movies, plus all the other day to day expenses that have to be paid as do most American families have to deal with and pay.
The fact that there are soon to be enacted additional taxes causes us great concern. How are we to manage our day to day affairs with additional taxes?
Our savings are modest with two college education funds set aside for our children. We're working hard on increasing our personal savings as best as possible and both of us have modest retirement funds in 401K accounts that are building up very slowly. However we're more interested in preserving our capital and our children's college funds from further devaluation.
We're frugal and watch our pennies to a fault. We have one car; my wife drops me off and picks me from work each workday in order to save money. Owning and operating two cars is an expense that we cannot afford! We go to the library and get books to read rather than buy them, and we're always on the lookout for sales and bargains city wide, especially yard and garage sales.
My good wife economizes like crazy cutting out discount food coupons, etc. When we [grocery] shop together, lately we've both been shocked to see the prices for basic food stuffs increase dramatically, which seems to be happening on a weekly basis! Fortunately our children go to a decent public school. However their education at public school is somewhat disappointing and not up to what we feel is necessary for a really good education. If we had the money, they'd go to a better, albeit private, school.
What really brought me to complain to my fellow work associate, the one who referred me to you, was when I took my family to a professional football game recently. In fact this was the first time we took our children to a professional sports game. I'm happy to report we really loved it, albeit the cost was outrageous, but we recommend that most families take their children to a ball game if they can afford it as it's a truly great experience for the entire family.
I don't believe we were extravagant by a long shot attending this football game. This wasn't the Super Bowl or even a playoff game. It was just a regular season game between our home team XXX, and another popular NFL team.
The cost for the four of us was a few bucks short of US$400! Can you imagine that? Four hundred dollars for a 4 hour outing at a professional football game! How many Americans can experience a ball game when that kind of money has to be forked out for a family of 4?
What was included in that amount was parking at the stadium parking lot, 4 tickets' in a not so great section, hotdog's, soda drinks, one beer for myself, and popcorn for the four of us, plus two of the cheapest football souvenir's for our children that we could afford.
Worse, I became very much aware of the security measures we had to undertake in order to gain entrance to the stadium. I'm happy for my family and others attending the game to be safe from potential terrorist and other threats, but that kind of security boarded on being intrusive and beyond.
When I was a kid, my father took my siblings and myself (5 of us) to a professional football game. I vividly recall my father telling my mother it cost them US$28.75 because it was a great event in my then young life; something I've never forgotten. From US$28.75 to US$400 is one heck of an increase for a family to see a football game in a little over thirty years!
The above is what brought me to complain to my workmate and eventually to your good self.
I love my country and we've certainly been blessed. However there is something very wrong with America today and not just economically. It's hard for my spouse and I to put our fingers on it in order to fully understand what's gone wrong, but something has definitely gone very wrong.
Where and what does one invest in today in the states to protect or grow their money? Do you invest in stocks and bonds that have lost 60% of their value in the past few years? Or real estate that has lost trillions of dollars in value and where millions of Americans have lost their homes along with the American Dream, not to mention the millions of others facing foreclosure due to their mortgages being MORE than the value of their homes? Or if you're lucky enough to have a job, do you keep what money is left over after all your monthly expenses and place it in a savings account that pays one or two percent interest, while inflation is eating away at your capital making your money worth less and less each month?
Your web site and newsletters are helping us to understand these matters better, while offering products and services that are not obtainable here in the states. Thanks to you, we now have the opportunity to legally protect what remains of our hard earned income after taxes, bills and other day to day expenses. Our heart goes out to the millions of Americans who are not as fortunate as we are and who are suffering in this terrible crisis America is facing. We pity those who aren't aware of what is happening and those that don't care!
After perusing your web site and reading your free articles and reports, we asked our bank, a local but well known worldwide respected bank, if we could place some of our funds in a currency than the dollar and buy some gold coins. The person trying to assist us had to bring the manager in because he had never been asked this previously. We repeated the question to the manger who looked at us like we were Osama bin Laden with a look in her eye like, what the? Then the manager proceeded to ask us, and I quote her; "Why would ANYONE want to have their money in anything [currency] other than the dollar"?
This well known bank couldn't help in this regard and neither could three other banks that we tried. We received the same answer from all of them; they do not offer these services.
We went to several coin dealers wishing to purchase some one ounce Maple Leaf and Kruger gold coins as you suggest. Most of them tried to sell us expensive 'investment' coins that were way over the worth. The one coin dealer who would/could sell us one ounce gold coins told us frankly, that under new rules they are required to obtain our social security number and a copy of our drivers license in order to purchase gold coins of any kind. To say we were dumbfounded at these 'requirements' is a gross understatement. It seemed we were trying to purchase guns instead of a few gold coins. Have things really gotten that bad in America?
However thanks to your web site, we're in the process of setting up an offshore bank account with both my spouse and I as signatories, and placing a modest amount of our funds in gold and currencies other than the USD as our main currency in our offshore account. We believe this to be a good hedge against future dollar devaluation and something we've not been able to achieve in the states.
We have no problem reporting this account to the authorities, but to the best of our knowledge, this is the first time we can have some of our funds in a currency other than the dollar as US banks [at least ours and three other local banks] apparently cannot or will not help Americans who wish to acquire this type financial service within the USA.
Thanks for your wake up call.
Middle Class in America.
See you next issue
"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion."
- Edmund Burke, 1784
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