Letters to the editor from this week's Chronicle

From  a person who worked for the US International Agency for Development (USAID).  It's interesting. 
We are living in interesting times.  This helps put everything into perspective.
The current population of Earth is 7.8 Billion.  For most people, it is a large figure, that is all.
However, someone has condensed the 7.8 billion in the world into 100 persons, and then into various percentage statistics.
The resulting analysis is much easier to comprehend.
Out of 100  (you can consider the below as percentage figures):
11 are in Europe, 5 are in North America, 9 are in South America, 15 are in Africa, 60 are in Asia
49 live in the countryside, 51 live in cities
12 speak Chinese, 5 speak Spanish, 5 speak English, 3 speak Arabic, 3 speak Hindi, 3 speak Bengali, 3 speak Portuguese, 2 speak Russian, 2 speak Japanese, 62 speak their own language.
77 have their own houses. 23 have no place to live.
21 are over-nourished, 63 can eat full, 15 are under-nourished, 1 ate the last meal, but did not make it to the next meal.
The daily cost of living for 48 is less than US$2.
87 have clean drinking water, 13 either lack clean drinking water or have access to a water source that is polluted.
75 have mobile phones, 25 do not.
30 have internet access, 70 do not
7 received university education, 93 did not attend college.
83 can read, 17 are illiterate.
33 are Christians, 22 are Muslims, 14 are Hindus,   7 are Buddhists, 12 are other religions, 12 have no religious beliefs.
26 live less than 14 years, 66 died between 15 - 64 years of age, 8 are over 65 years old.
If you have your own home, eat full meals, drink clean water, have a mobile phone, can surf the internet, and have gone to college, you are in the privileged less than 7% category.
Among 100 people in the world, only 8 exceed the age of 65.
If you are over 65 years old,  be content & grateful.  Cherish life, grasp the moment.
You did not leave this world before the age of 64 years like the 92 persons who have gone before you. You are already the blessed amongst mankind.
Take good care of your own health.
Cherish every remaining moment.
Jim Reed
Hood River, OR

Redneck Review!
No. 301 - 2/1/2021
A bit of review! Recall that RNR 300 offered several 'expert' quotations that we are "on the brink of disaster"  because of "the unprecedented printing of huge amounts of new money," resulting in the U.S. being "on the brink of monetary hyperinflation." That closed with the claim that the result would drive the prices of gold and silver "to unprecedented heights."
Could this be true, it might be asked!  And if so, WHY... would be a logical next question! 
It is with these questions in mind that the following is reprinted from RNR 227, dated 9/2/2019, "Another topic threatening to destroy us could use a dose of Common Sense!  One look at our out-of-control federal spending and our current attitude towards money should raise all kinds of loud warning signals. To support this claim, study the following:  The history of money suggests that every nation has gone through the following stages:  Barter-->Primitive Money-->Sophisticated Money-->Certificate Substitution-->Reduced Reserves-->No Reserve-->FIAT MONEY. It is critical to realize that a solid case can be made that once a nation reaches that FIAT stage, it's only around 50 years before national bankruptcy and collapse occurs.
"So quickly, what does each stage of this 'Barter Chain' look like?  Back to the early history of Rome. Rome used horses for money early in its history, the word for horse was 'equus,' seen in our modern word 'equity,' which implies 'value.'  In our country, tobacco on the east coast and animal furs in the west were used as 'Primitive Money.' This came of course, only following a direct exchange of one good for another-'Barter.'  Invariably, the primitive forms of money gave way to gold and silver, two metals accepted all through history as a means of exchange, traced to their intrinsic value. Call it 'Sophisticated Money.' Very shortly came 100% backed certificates
because of convenience in transportation, and the need to carry big sums in inconspicuous ways. Study the history of developing nations, and you will find shortly thereafter the issuance of certificates based on Reduced Reserves. The issuing bank ceased holding a dollar of gold or silver for each dollar of certificates issued, because only a small reserve of the metal needed to be kept on hand to redeem the certificates. Only a matter of time lapsed, and said country moved to No Reserves, FIAT MONEY, money with no value at all, just paper!"
>From RNR 228 follows a brief introduction to the history of money in the U.S.:  "During the Revolutionary War our Continental Congress issued paper money, 'CONTINENTALS!'  In five years, this currency dropped to 1/7th of its original value, triggering the slogan, 'Not worth a Continental.' After many futile attempts to fix the value, in 1834, a promise was made to back dollars with gold or silver, at a government ratio of 16/1, 16 oz of silver to1 oz of gold. The dollar was required to contain 90% pure silver, requiring 77/100's of an ounce of silver in each dollar.
"This ratio was changed however, by the discovery of huge deposits of silver in the West, with William Jennings Bryan giving  his "Cross of gold" speech, demanding that Congress continue honoring the ratio of 16/1.  Over a period of years however, Congress did increase the ratio to 35/1 because of the increased amount of silver, and for awhile, certificates were issued with a promise to redeem at 100%. The gold  promise was dropped in1933,  but the 100% promise to redeem in silver continued until 1964, when it no longer was required to put silver in the dollar." When the U.S. in 1971 dropped its promise to redeem the dollar in gold for overseas payments, and all silver requirements disappeared entirely with the half dollar in 1968, the U.S. officially became a FIAT economy.  And the printing began, and the national debt started to explode!
Jake Wren



Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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