I’ve been reading and listening to Peter Schiff lately, the popular radio personality and CEO of Euro Pacific Capital. Schiff is well-known because he’s one of the few financial pundits who properly called the 2008 meltdown. YouTube search “Peter Schiff was Right” or “Peter Schiff Mortgage Bankers”, and you’ll see him calling the bubble popping in 2006 and 2007.
As is suggested by his title of CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, Schiff is an investment adviser type. He has a strong Austrian understanding of the market and the Fed, and advises his clients accordingly, by suggesting investments in foreign currencies and precious metals. Unfortunately, for someone like me, on the upper edge of the “millennial” generation who has been caught up in all the negative aspects of the economy and jobs market since 2008, the possibilities for future prosperity that Schiff offers seems well beyond reach.
That doesn’t mean opportunities on the edges of the economy don’t exist for younger people. There are a number of ways and a number of new ideas floating out there that hopefully will allow our generation to achieve what many believed was somehow promised to us: an opportunity to prosper.
While the debate continues to swirl around exactly what Bitcoin is, whether it’s real money or just another form of currency, there can be no doubt that the world seems to be taking an interest. While many said the Bitcoin craze was caught up in the peaceful, illegal drug trade it supported through websites like the Silk Road, the digital crypto currency has proved its resilience.
That resiliency was shown in the fact that on Oct. 2, the value of Bitcoin, according to BitcoinCharts.com, started out at about $140. With the news of the Silk Road closure, the value dropped sharply for a short time, bottoming out at at about $120 on Oct. 3.
Since that time, Bitcoin has steadily increased, topping over $200 on almost all the major sites as of today, October 29. Whatever’s going on, it looks like many are placing their bets on Bitcoin, and I think this wonder of the Digital Age is an opportunity for our generation. At the very least, as the economy either continues to stagnate, or even begins its final collapse, the private wallet that you can get from WeUseCoins.com may act as our generation’s “money in the mattress”. So, at the very least, it provides an opportunity for stability in the worst case scenario, and alternately, may provide an opportunity for prosperity.
With the ability to trade across borders instantly and seamlessly and without interference from the State, the true global, digital economy may be fully realized with the further adoption of “Satoshi Nakamoto’s” currency.
With the economic trouble we find ourselves in, and with many smart, studied people believing the final big crash is just around the corner, opportunities for wealth and prosperity will come from real, tangible goods. Like food.
This trend dovetails a lot of separate belief systems into one, agorism, non-GMO foods, self-reliance and so on. But, as always, if worse comes to worse, having a garden in your backyard is much better than not, and means that you might have a leg-up in whatever form a post-American economy world might take.
Even if the crash never really comes, the ability to produce your own food and then sell at farmer’s markets is a net positive. For me and mine, the extra bit of money that a home garden could produce for us (while providing a host of other positive, not necessarily tangible benefits) would mean a slightly easier life in some manner.
If you’re lucky, like I am, to live in one of the two states to decriminalize marijuana to some extent or another, that’s another farming opportunity available to us in what most consider will be a “growth industry”. (No pun intended, seriously.) Whether under the purview of the state, or in it’s shadow, at least in WA or CO, even if you don’t jump through the hoops, at the most, you’d be an unlicensed producer and/or retailer. 😉
Digital markets like Silk Road present opportunities for our generation as well.
One thought I’ve had about Silk Road and its kind, is that I wished I still lived near a state border so I could buy cheap cigarettes by making a half-hour drive. Where I grew up in Washington, Idaho was literally that half-hour drive away. A pack in WA could run anywhere from $6-10, depending on the brand and the part of the state you were in. (PROTIP: Never buy cigarettes in downtown Seattle).
In Idaho, those cigarettes would run anywhere from $3-5. Escalate up to cartons, and a carton of Marlboro Reds that runs $80 in WA is pretty much half that price in Idaho. Combine that probably not-so-unique situation with a digital marketplace like Silk Road, and voila! Opportunity for prosperity.
While the methods described above probably won’t result in massive wealth, combined together, they can make our generation’s life a little bit easier. I know how bleak it feels. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. I’m stuck in the middle of all of it still, in many respects. But there are opportunities on the edges, in the shadows of the real and digital economies. For those of us who think the State is a bloated beast that only interferes with our efforts to live our lives and better them to the best of our abilities, the possibilities are likely endless, if we just spend the time and imagination to create them.