I wanted to share with you just a few startling facts on Health
Care in the US, but I was wondering whether my message would be "on
topic". Then, the man acting as President (but who may actually be
disqualified if he was not born in the US as wnd.com is reporting) gave a
televised national address on the subject, making this a more appropriate
topic than ever.
Many of my readers are investors, and investors are usually
older, and thus, tend to spend more money than average on Health
Care. But the average is so high as to be startling.
A quick wikipedia check shows that Americans spend $2 trillion
per year on health care. In a national economy of about $14 trillion,
that's 1 dollar in 7 spent on health care.
I always like to compare such large numbers to the size of the
silver and gold markets.
World silver mine production is 600 million oz. of silver per
year. But investors only buy 100 million oz., and the rest is consumed
by industry (and jewelry and photography, both of which are simply different
So, investors put 100 million oz. x $13/oz., or $1.3 billion
into the silver market each year. Compared to health care? $2
trillion is $2000 billion.
$2000 billion / $1.3 billion = 1538.
Thus, Americans spend $1538 dollars on Health Care for every $1
they spend on silver.
But nobody spends $1 on silver, the realistic minimum would be
at least one ounce, which is $13.
So, stated another way, Americans spend $13 x 1538, or $20,000
on Health Care for every 1 oz. of silver that they buy.
But again, most silver investors don't buy 1 oz., they typically
buy 100 oz. So, again, stated another way, Americans spend $2,000,000 on
health care for every "average" 100 oz. silver purchase of
Let's compare to gold.
The world gold mines produce $80 billion of gold. $2000
billion / $80 billion = 25. Americans are 25 times more likely to
spend money on Health Care than on gold.
Well, not really, that was American Health, vs. World
gold. Americans buy about 5% of the world gold market, and are about
25% of the world economy. So, Americans are about 25 x 20, or 500 times
more likely to spend money on Health Care than on gold.
Financial Health is much less of a concern than Physical Health,
for most Americans who have the money to spend.
Perhaps I could have made far more money, and gotten far more
readers, writing a Health newsletter than a Financial Newsletter?
Clearly, gold and silver markets are not at a top. In
fact, rather than gold being a small portion of health care, it should be the
other way around! Only a small portion of world gold production should
be spent on health care, with the rest being spent on "everything
Or, stated another way, gold prices would have to rise 25 times,
just to allow world gold production to equal the amount that Americans spend
on Health Care.
Or, stated another way, if Americans had to use "real
money" to buy everything that they want, gold prices would have to rise
at a minimum of 25 times, but probably several times higher than that.
So when gold bugs say that gold will soar well past $25,000/oz.,
that's an understatement, and anyone who gives a lower number, really has a
weird basis for their claim, or it's beyond my comprehension. Perhaps
lower numbers are only a short term prediction.
Needless to say, as a free market advocate, I'm radically
opposed to nationalized Health Care.
Lost in the debate is the fact that we all suffer from the same
disease; it's called death, and we were all infected at conception, due to
inherited sin from Adam and Eve.
The only solution is Jesus, who died in our place, for our sins,
so that we might have eternal life if we have faith confess our belief in the
But until the return of Jesus, Human Death is an incurable
condition, and it is inevitable, we can only postpone it. And often,
spending an inordinate amount of money doing so can be compared to vanity,
false worship, wastefulness, or selfishness. Why so? Because the
amount of money that you can spend trying to prevent the inevitable can
stretch towards infinity.
The "practice" of Health Care can be defined as trying
to prevent death, which is the inevitable. We are not cars that
can always be restored! We are people, and we die.
It cannot be a "human right" to be provided with
infinite amounts of other people's money to try to prevent the
On the other hand, it certainly is a human right to be able to
spend your own money on whatever you wish, such as preventing or postponing
your own death, at whatever the cost, no matter how wasteful, because it's
your money, and your decision!
If government health care is going to be designed to save money
overall, then it must naturally grant human rights where they don't exist,
and trample on human rights where they do, and restrict access to doctors who
can help to delay the inevitable, which is death.
Thus, nationalized health care, to save money, can only restrict
access to health care, not increase it, and will cause more death.
Health insurance is a vastly different issue than health
I don't have health insurance. Neither does my wife and
our four boys. Neither does my older brother, nor does my father in
law. Furthermore, I don't provide health insurance for any of my
employees. Instead, I simply pay them higher wages, and they can decide
for themselves how to spend it.
We don't believe in insurance. Any insurance. I'd
rather trust the Lord in Heaven, even if he may have plans to smite me
with an incurable disease, rather than trust the solvency, reliability, and
honesty of an insurance company. Most people have far more faith than
me, since they would rather trust such companies, but I think such faith is
My father sold insurance. They were not even very reliable
to pay for advertising after it was sent out, let alone the claims!
Insurance companies make all the money. They know the risks, they are
the ones with the information to know they are getting the best side of the
trade. Banks and insurance companies are the ones who own all the
big buildings, so you know they are the ones raking in the money, not the
people who own the policies.
Instead of wasting money by giving it to large companies, we try
to be pro active about keeping in good health.
I suppose I could write about that, but that would be the topic
for another newsletter.
I realized after the President's address, that our nation's
monetary system, and tax system, have helped to create the inefficiencies in
our modern health care system. Wages are taxed. Benefits are
not. This is not a loophole, it's reality, because many forms of
benefits cannot be properly valued. For example, if I provide a gym to
my employees, they don't have to report a gym membership as wages.
Similarly with insurance. If I give health insurance to my employees,
that's not taxed. Thus, it is to the benefit of companies to provide
benefits such as that to employees, since it prevents government theft of
The problem is that when the employer chooses, it restricts
market choice. And for one employer, it is impossible to choose what is
best for each employee, but only what is best for the employer.
Insurance also increases costs for everyone in multiple
ways. First, there is a reduced sense of personal responsibility for
one's heath if one has a sense of "coverage". Second, by
introducing a third party to make the payment, it opens up possibility of
fraud on all sides. Hospitals can defraud insurance companies, who can
defraud covered people, who can defraud insurance companies.
Third, neither doctors nor consumers are cost conscious of
treatment options. Well, actually, that's not entirely true, since
perverse incentives exist. Doctors are given monetary incentives to
prescribe the highest cost treatment options when there is third party
insurance. Thus, a quadruple bypass operation might be more likely to
be prescribed than herbs or amino acids that might be more effective, such as
cayenne pepper or grapefruit to dissolve the fatty deposits and chelating
amino acids such as lysine, or minerals such as magnesium, to help dissolve
the calcium deposits. And clearly, there will never be a University
sponsored or Medical establishment recommended double blind study to prove
the difference or best combination of nutritional remedies that cannot be
And conversely, HMO's have incentives to provide the least
costly treatment option, except they must "go with traditional
medicine", such as the quadruple bypass, or be accused of cutting
corners. And both options are entirely without regard to what is best
for the patient.
And if there are that many problems with a third party, such as
insurance companies getting in the way, imagine how many more problems there
will be if government gets involved!
Oh, and finally, no matter what topic I discuss to highlight the
importance of real silver, people accuse me of all sorts of
"deviousness" and "selfishness" to market "the
silver scam", and inevitably, at least one person will rudely demand to
be removed from the list as I have insulted their sense of fairness, or I hit
a hot button with them.
Excuse me, how can silver be a scam? With the silver
investment market being only a $1.3 billion market, and with a standard
mark-up of about 2.5% for the dealers, the potential profits for the entire
silver bullion investment industry are only $1.3 billion x 2.5% = $32 million
for the entire industry.
Oh yes, what scammers those silver peddlers are, hoping to suck
the economy dry with their paltry $32 million total annual profits to be
shared among all of them combined. That's less than the annual salary
of many sports stars. I tell you, the accusers have no sense of
size, no basis for comparison, no sense of right and wrong. Those who
are so easily offended will surely get what they deserve, which is nothing,
as silver continues in this inevitable and unstoppable bull market.
Andrew Lin writes in:
Let's look at a way to visualize inflation.
Let's say you had a $1,000 bill in 1900. At that time, this would be the
equivalent of letting the government safe-guard 50 ounces of gold for you.
In 1933, Franklin D Roosevelt devalued the dollar, and as a result gold's
price rose from $20/ounce to $35/ounce. Equivalently, you could also say the
50 ounces of gold the government held for you now became 28.57 ounces of
gold. The government stole 21.43 ounces of gold from you overnight!
In 1971, Richard Nixon ended the Bretton-Woods gold standard for good, and by
1974, gold had risen to $200/ounce. You now had 5 ounces of gold. Thus,
between 1971 and 1974, the government stole 16.43 ounces of gold from you.
In 1999, gold bottomed out at $250/ounce. You now had 4 ounces.
With gold nearing $1,000/ounce today, you are down to 1 ounce. Over the last
10 years, the government has stolen roughly 3 ounces of what little gold you
Now instead of paper money, visualize that you did indeed have 50 ounces of
gold in your safe in 1900 and that year after year the government broke into
your home and stole gold from your safe at this rate. Would you find that
It's amazing that people can't see the theft, and even that so
many will argue in favor of deflation, meaning that "the
dollar is getting stronger" when that has never taken place over the
long run in the last 95 years.
all the other articles written by Jason Hommel
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