Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Media Scams: Rosland Capital, Goldline, Merit Financial

By now many of you have seen many of these ads selling Gold especially if you watch Fox News; now they seem to be increasing on other networks as well. If you Google “Rosland Capital Scams” or substitute any of the other names, including Lear Financial and many more, there is no doubt that you will find a long list of complaints as well as more people trying to come up with more scams.

Ironically most of these web pages won’t even cover the most fundamental flaws with these scams which can be easily recognized with a basic understanding of how business operates. These principles can also help to recognize many other scams and the flaws with the advertising that the current commercial broadcasting system relies on.

I wouldn’t expect to hear anything about this from the mainstream media because they make their profits from it and I suspect that the leading scam artists may actually be the mainstream media in many cases. If the profit margins for these scams is small and they get sued they can close up shop and disappear but the media still gets their share selling advertising time and most people don’t even think to hold them accountable.
In fact many of these companies probably already have disappeared and the new scams may be using the same tactics under a new name so recognizing the simple principles of the scam may be more important than recognizing the past or even current scam artist.

The principles that clearly indicate the motives for these companies start with simply acknowledging the fact that they want to make a profit and that money has to come from somewhere.

In order to make that profit the first thing they need to do is cover their expenses. This includes the money they spend on advertising time, the money it costs to produce the commercial including what they pay actors like William Devane or Glen Beck, the money they pay to advertising psychologists that study the most effective way to manipulate members of the public with their deceptive claims, lobbying and campaign contributions that many of them spend to obtain connections that enable them to avoid regulation and accountability and any other costs that have to be added on to the actual product.

Normally in order to do this they get money from the consumer by providing a product or service that is actually worth paying for to the consumer. In this case the product is often gold or silver coins.
This product or service is presumably intended to improve the quality of life for the consumer somehow.
Not complicated so far; is it?

When selling financial services, or in this case gold or silver that is being presented as an investment, how does this improve the quality of life for the consumer? In most cases it almost certainly doesn’t especially if they have to pay big money for advertising on TV. If there is an exception it is probably something like the investment ads that they make for E-trading of traditional stocks but there may even be problems with that if you look closer, although that is more than I intend to get into in this post. When it comes to silver or gold if you buy it by responding to an expensive ad on TV instead of doing your own research, bypassing the advertising expenses that inevitably have to be added on to the cost, then this will not turn out to be a worthwhile investment; otherwise they would have simply taken advantage of it themselves without passing the opportunity to members of the public.
In the case of Rosland Capital they offer a “free safe” or at least they claim it is free. This is clearly just another scam that involves adding to the price first so they can offer something that the call “free” which is a slight variation of the marked up to mark down scams that are routine. These work by repeating them so often that it becomes part of people’s normal thinking process and they don’t question it anymore. Ideally it wouldn’t involve many if any reminders of the fact that it is a scam. If commercials are all people rely on to make their consumer decisions then they won’t have any fact checking to rely on.

Most people may say they won’t fall for that; but think about what other information is available for consumer choices. There aren’t many that haven’t been corrupted. Many reviews are routinely bought and paid for without any sign that they’re biased.

If you search for gold or silver scams there will be plenty of complaints but few of them that I have seen have pointed out these simple principles that also apply to many other scams. If you don’t know what kind of benefit the consumer receives and how you’re going to get it then it probably doesn’t exist at all; or as they say, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

Ironically many of the web sites that expose these scams without covering the basic principles that are flawed that I tried to explain or perhaps some that I missed also have other offers for the consumers that they’re warning of fraud. This means that they may be trying to obtain trust by warning the consumer of a scam and they present themselves as the defender of the consumer.

Kind of like, well, never mind.

William Devane and Glen Beck are only a couple of the high profile celebrities hawking these scams to the consumers; many media commentators and even a couple presidential candidates including Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson, Mark Levin, Monica Crowley, Sean Hannity and more have all done promotions of Goldline or some other scam. This is a major source of revenue for media outlets. This also increases the demand for commercial time and results in higher prices for commercials for legitimate products or messages, assuming there are any of those left. This means that it contributes to the rising costs of advertising and saturation which reduces the effectiveness and leads to even more ads and expenses.

The result is that expensive ads of all kinds are taking up a growing amount of the GDP without providing any improvement in the quality of life for most people.

On top of that Adbusters has attempted to buy time for what they call “uncommercials” but most media outlets refused to air them. Unlike commercial enterprises they can’t pass on the cost of their ads to the consumers since they aren’t collecting any money from them; instead they collect from sincere citizens that are interested in exposing the excessive amount of commercialism going on. Presumably they could try to buy up ads exposing many scams like this and the corporations that make profits from the scams could simply refuse to air them since they would interfere with the profits they make on their scams. These people don’t have a financial incentive to lie yet it is their speech that was refused while the corporate speech was protected even though it is often fraudulent and won’t stand up to scrutiny.

This problem should be considered much bigger than it seems since it involves the integrity of the mass media which clearly doesn’t hesitate to promote massive amounts of fraud anymore. The politicians that make our laws and the media that provides the investigation that keeps the government and business sector accountable are both the ones involved in this and many other scams.

It also indicates how reliable our main sources are for all other consumer products including legitimate ones that serve a real purpose. If they cost of advertising is added on to these legitimate products and it is harder for us to get accurate information about them then their cost will be driven up as well.

The same media outlets that are involved in these scams are also in nearly complete control of the election process and how the candidates are covered. The leading exception to this seems to be the control of the election process that is in the hands of the candidates themselves who often seem to act as if they should have more right to control the process than either the media or the majority of the public. In fact that majority of the public has little or no way to influence the election process in most cases especially when it comes to nationwide or statewide elections. In some cases when it comes to smaller elections if there are enough active people in any given area than they might be able to make a difference.

Apparently there was a temporary surge media coverage on this in late 2009; The Daily KO wrote Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert expose Glenn Beck's gold scam which provides links to many of the stories that were circulated at that time. Somehow they managed to cover this without mentioning many of the most important and basic problems with the scandal and focused mainly on a conflict of interests, which is legitimate, without mentioning the fact that this does little or nothing to provide the consumers with a worthwhile product sicne they ahd to cover all these excessive expenses which many of these media outlets also profit from even if they weren’t involved in this particular gold scandal.

Presumably they wouldn’t want to explain these basic principles about passing on the expense of the advertising to the consumers and that it isn’t the most effective way of providing accurate information to the consumers since they may have also had their won conflicts of interests that could be exposed if people were in the habit of thinking about how this impacts business of all kinds and how other advertising may also turn into scams.

Ironically these scams might be very similar to the scandal involving money changers that was exposed to some degree by Jesus at least according to the beliefs that many of these sponsors of the current scams who are mostly Christians.

Ironically this may have blown over for a little while but Goldline was charged with fraud eventually but they still don’t seem to have pointed out the basic flaws in this scam; instead they focused on the bait and switch tactics involving selling people something even more fraudulent than some of the other scam artists. Apparently under an agreement of “no further criminal charges, Goldline has agreed to refund all the money….” Or perhaps they’re only returning the money for the most extreme scams that they’ve been exposed at participating in and they continue to do business with the less extreme business scams that they and all the other scam artists continue to run; and the media continues to take an enormous amount of the profit when they sell the advertising that makes all this possible and they aren’t even considered among the scam artists.

Most of the leading participants in these scams don’t seem to turn up much at Open Secrets.org; however this isn’t a guarantee that they don’t find one way or another to influence the political system. One notable exception seems to be Goldline which also happens to be the company that seems to be in the most legal trouble and they’ve been allowed to continue running their scams. They apparently spent 95 thousand dollars lobbying in 2010 and 50 thousand in 2011. They also donated to Dan Burton who is famous for apologizing to BP after the disaster in the Gulf.

The lobbying and campaign contribution game is done in a confusing manner without official quid pro Quo’s in most cases which is what enables them to maintain what they consider plausible deniability. However when they collect an enormous amount of money from some companies and spend their time with them then pass laws that benefit them with little or no regard for the will of the people or their best interest it should be clear to any rational person what is going on.

This is either blatant bribery or if you prefer legalized or virtual bribery.

Whatever you call it the result is the same the system is heavily corrupted one way or another and the majority of the public pay the price. In Machiavellian fashion if there is an uproar with the public they may hold these companies accountable to a point; however they almost certainly will act as if the media outlets and politicians, that set policy to regulate this or in this case look the other way and perhaps even pass trade secrecy laws to make it harder to investigate these scam artist, had nothing to do with the scam.

A closer look at this will quickly and clearly indicate that that is false. The media outlets make an enormous amount of money selling these ads and they’re supposed to be providing a public service in return for the free use of the public airwaves which allegedly involves helping to provide some educational material and informing the public about current events and the political system.

They may have done this to some degree once, although never as much as they should have; but it is clear that they’re no longer providing any worthwhile public service. Instead they trying to make as much profit any way they can and using the mass media as a propaganda machine to advance their business and ideological agenda at the expense of the vast majority of the public.

These scams either help increase their profits or finance their propaganda efforts or both.

There no longer seems to be any standards that require any honesty in advertising any more, assuming there ever was. Thirty years ago many of us were told that they had standards one way or another and that they wouldn’t accept advertising unless it was reasonably credible in order to preserve the reputation of the media outlets and the other advertisers that buy time from them. If the media has a reputation for selling to scam artists then no one who buys commercial time from the media can count on credibility in the eyes of the public simply because they were on TV.

Or that was the impression many of us were given whether it was a result of government regulation of executives that were smart enough to know that if they went overboard selling to scam artists that they wouldn’t have any credibility at all.

That was long ago and they probably didn’t deserve that much credibility then but it is much worse now and it should be clear to anyone that the media has absolutely no credibility whether it comes to selling commercial time or covering important subjects that may involve a conflict of interests. And to make things worse the government has re-regulated the media so that a much smaller number of people have influence on the media that has access to the majority of the public.

The government initially gave them free access to the airwaves on the condition that they provide a public service and allow diverse points of views. These commitments have been gradually eliminated and many people no longer know that this was ever part of the deal. They now receive free use of the airwaves and the right to use them for their scams for absolutely nothing.

Or at least they don’t officially have to pay anything. However there is plenty of circumstantial evidence that they do have some unofficial commitments; unfortunately these commitments aren’t to the public. Instead they seem to be providing news coverage or propaganda that is designed to preserve the current political system and prevent any real reform from sincere people. These news outlets clearly do an enormous amount of lobbying and donating to campaigns and the coverage they provide creates an enormous advantage for the candidates that they support. The biggest advertiser for these scams is still Fox News which donates through many affiliates according to Opne Secrets.org; it would require much more time to even calculate how much they donate and they also try to influence legislation about many other issues most if not all of which also happen at the expense of the majority of the public. Other stations are also involved in providing the ads necessary for these scams and many others including insurance scams and ads selling products that are obviously useless like “magic screens” and many other things.

Without any regulation, openness or accountability the first amendment has been twisted around by the system so that it provides much more protection for fraudulent speech that is all over the corporate media than it does to sincere speech which is much harder to find at the grass roots level and the scam artist can feel safe that these warnings won’t reach the vast majority of their victims until it is too late. Whether it is by the Supreme Court, the media the politicians, the lobbyists or any other scam artist this is a massive level of fraud that involves participants in the media and the government in scamming the public.

Clearly we need to rely on a much more diverse group of media outlets and stop trusting the corporate media which clearly has no credibility on any given subject, especially until we have major media and political reform

The following are a few of the articles I found on this subject, including some cited, while looking around the internet; there’s plenty more where this came from.

PS, don’t give any of them any money either; if you want to fall for a scam just give me your money either by using the tipping option or letting me know how much money you’re going to give me for nothing more than I’ve already provided. ;-)


On another subject while I was preparing this a story about Presidential candidate Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala arrested in protest of foreclosure giant Fannie Mae came out. I’ll get back to this with more details; but it should be clear that she was arrested for standing up to the corrupt banks defending victims of fraud in the banking scandals while the real crooks continue to avoid accountability. Her positions on the issues should be far more important than this which I covered previously on a closer look at Jill Stein.
And I just thought I would close with a few words from Neal Young on sponsoring phony ads or products.

This Note's For You
Don't want no cash
Don't need no money
Ain't got no stash
This note's for you.

Ain't singin' for Pepsi
Ain't singin' for Coke
I don't sing for nobody
Makes me look like a joke
This note's for you.

Ain't singin' for Miller
Don't sing for Bud
I won't sing for politicians
Ain't singin' for Spuds
This note's for you.

Don't need no cash
Don't want no money
Ain't got no stash
This note's for you.

I've got the real thing
I got the real thing, baby
I got the real thing
Yeah, alright.

Neal Young Times
We don’t hear much from Neal Young in the mainstream media anymore; could it be because he hasn’t sold us out? He’s still around but only those that sell out get coverage anymore.
(For more information on Blog see Blog description and table of context for most older posts.)

The following are the original replies when this was first posted on Open Salon.

As I recall, the US government reserves the right to regulate whether people are allowed to hold gold. In times of economic crisis, other governments have gone house to house confiscating gold holdings. People who buy gold need to be warned that they need to bury it in a safe place.

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall August 03, 2012 01:29 AM

Technically that's true but I doubt if it is as big a problem as people like Beck and other right wing nuts make it out to be. a bigger problem is those that are manipulating the market and misrepresenting their products and downplaying the obvious fact that the customer must pay all expenses and more so that they can make a healthy profit.

zacherydtaylor August 03, 2012 09:18 AM

FYI, the government doesn't regulate whether people are allowed to hold gold. Yes, there was an executive order where they once upon a time confiscated gold, but that was rescinded. The government isn't going to go around like census takers and ask everyone if they have gold or not. It's much easier for them to take over 401k's and IRA's with the stroke of a pen eh? No worries about the 2nd amendment that way. Beck still represents the company that I personally was a part of reaching a settlement against for $3.5 million. Two other attorney's want me to testify for them now against this company. The only gold people need is bullion American Eagle gold or silver coins or the bars. No European coins. No pre-1933 coins. No numismatic coins whatsoever. You simply want to pay as little as possible over spot for your coins.

Doug Eberhardt August 15, 2012 01:06 PM

Doug, I’m sure that you’re right about the government being unlikely to start confiscating gold; however I’m highly skeptical over these one percent over dealers cost offers. This implies that the gold is the only cost to some people who don’t think things through. This would presumably include all expenses, in practice including shipping handling, any advertising expenses etc. This would include all the legal fees which make lawyers rich at the expense of anyone else involved. And it is highly unlikely that any good businessman would be satisfied with a one percent profit margin; this would mean that if they ran into any unexpected problems they would quickly run into serious problems.

Also the best way to get rich quickly presumably doesn’t involve buying a get rich quick book and the same would presumably go for buying a book about buying Gold safely.

zacherydtaylor August 16, 2012 09:36 AM

Well zacherydtaylor, you may be concerned over companies like mine who set themselves up as the Walmart to the industry, and attempt to critique my profit margin of 1% (do banks have such a lofty goal these days?), but I also have a higher minimum and gladly tell those who have less to invest where to go buy gold and silver (but at slightly higher fees). Or perhaps you think Walmart should close their doors because they undercut their industry in price, pay their employees less than their union counterparts, and allow those who can't afford to pay higher prices the opportunity to buy lower.

As far as the 1% being deceptive, have you ever bought a mutual fund from a broker? Have you ever read a mutual fund prospectus? What did you really pay? Who really reads the prospectus?

This is why I wrote my book, which contains a table that explains all these fees. This is why I write on my site, " If you don't know anything about investing in gold and silver, start with this book first."

As far as your "presumptions" related to my book, Congress was interested in what I wrote and wanted me to come testify during their gold hearings in September of 2010. That is until they sent my book to the Energy and Commerce department for review who subsequently decided against my testimony because they didn't like the fact that I criticized the hell out of them too.

What you don't know, is I have other goals in the writing of a second book that is related to my business. But if it makes you feel better to try and critique me or my business, or for that matter how I conduct my business in pricing lower than anyone else, feel free to do so. At least I have saved many, many people from paying 15%, 30% or more from making the wrong decision.

Doug Eberhardt August 17, 2012 11:26 AM

Thanks for your input but that doesn't explain how constant exchange of Gold or other money changing plans does anything to improve the quality of life for anyone.

What we need is a simpler commerce system that puts the focus on keeping the changing of money to a minimum and tries to reward people that do the most productive work that improves the quality of life more and scam artists less or not at all.

zacherydtaylor August 17, 2012 11:54 AM

zacherydtaylor, you are of course getting into other issues non-related to the article or what I said. But if you want to improve the quality of life, start with limiting Congress to the tax receipts for a start. Then possibly work on the debt. What we have now is a congress and President (Bush did the same and so would Romney) that are out of control. They aren't promising real cuts, and the Fed continues its QE to infinity. Add in the fact banks don't play a fair game and the Fed will do anything to "save" them and other companies, and you won't see quality of life improved for decades. The bad needs to be weeded out. Congress nor the Fed won't allow it. Therein lies part of the problem.

Doug Eberhardt August 18, 2012 06:02 PM

Doug, a reasonable objective for the economy should be to improve the quality of life for those that participate in it and this should be done by most if not all activity within the more complex economic system. This is routinely ignored by economists that focus almost entirely on the GDP even when many business transactions do nothing to benefit the consumers or in many cases they don’t provide the benefit in an efficient manner or overcharge consumers.

In the case of investments there should be some reason to believe that investment in any given plan provides a benefit in some manner. Simply exchanging money over and over again doesn’t do it and the hype about gold is overblown. There was a episode of the Twilight Zone that covered this. Three or four thieves stole gold hid in the desert and hibernated in technology that enabled them to sleep for a hundred years. The value of gold went up when they didn’t have enough water then when only one survivor made it and was found by people at the last minute before he died they mentioned the fact that gold was worthless in the future. This may be fiction but once people realize that this type of exchange isn’t the most efficient way of setting up a \monetary system it could be abandoned in real life.

As for the debt that should also be addressed by cutting down on all kinds of inefficiency in government and in the private sector since if people get scammed by a variety of corporate schemes they can’t afford the things they need like education, health care etc. with or without the government. They need to stop providing an enormous amount of corporate welfare in return for campaign contributions, whether it is an official quid pro quo or not.

zacherydtaylor August 20, 2012 09:44 AM


I'll start from the bottom up in your last reply. We are 100% in agreement on Congress and corporatism and the buying of favors through campaign contributions. I address this in my next book.

As far as the "hype" about gold, I'm not sure why you use the word hype. Gold's just a metal. It never changes. What it is priced in changes depending on where you live in the world. Why does it change? Because governments abuse their monetary powers and so do the Central Banks. Why do all Central Banks own gold? Why did they sell the last 10 years while the price kept going higher? Why are they buying now? This isn't a narrow minded Twilight Zone scenario that is related to the end of the world. Gold is wealth. Fiat money is perceived wealth and various countries will pay more of the fiat for gold than others. I do wish we had a sound monetary solution, and my next book addresses this too. I'm actually trying to put myself out of business (which will be hard for you to believe, I know).

If my ideas are successful, then I will be successful in this endeavor to change things for the better. You have to admit, if you can do simple math, that things aren't going the right direction and neither candidate is doing anything to "cut" what has to be cut.

There's a reason why our kids calculators don't go to a trillion...

I think we can agree that the debt to GDP is a problem. The interest on the debt takes away from future government programs. Interest rates move higher, which they have the last few weeks (with gold up and treasuries and the dollar down I might add), the debt burden becomes larger. No one is addressing that. Inflation comes in and we have to pay more for social security. Banks won't find borrowers with higher rates. Businesses can't get loans to grow. It's a vicious circle we are heading for.

Look to Europe as to what's to come here. I'm actually still dollar bullish because the situation in Europe is unsolvable with record unemployment and a few bad apples bringing all the good one's down.

Hard work, multiple streams of income, no debt, and some gold and silver is how to weather the coming storm if our government doesn't get their act together. Gold and silver are insurance. Whether or not the insurance is needed or not is the same with all insurance; home owners, auto, etc. But it also has a history as money, since the days of Jesus and before. Only governments destroy purchasing power. They should be your enemy, not gold and silver. Gold is just a metal. But one that can be converted to other forms of wealth throughout the history of mankind. You can't say the same for fiat experiments. Will the Euro or Federal Reserve Notes go the same route as the Argentine Peso? I'm not a hyperinflationist and you wont' find it in but one of my articles. I'm actually a deflationist who knows we have much more "illusions of wealth" that will have to somehow work their way through defaults to find buyers. When there are none, then scared money chases perceived wealth (cash and treasuries) and the real wealth found in gold and silver.

But I think you and I might indeed be working on solving some of the issues....just in different ways. Good luck and enjoyed the conversation...but I must get back to writing.

Doug Eberhardt August 21, 2012 01:12 PM

You’re right, Gold is just a metal; it doesn’t do anything to improve the quality of our life. It has been used as money to represent things that do. Whether it is gold that is used for this purpose or something else it should be kept as steady as possible and we shouldn’t encourage people to try to use it as part of a get rich quick scheme. The reason why I mentioned the quality of life is because many people seem to forget what the purpose of the economy is supposed to be. In the current GDP based economic system whenever money changes hands it is considered good whether it serves a purpose or not. People forget the basics; if they didn’t they would think that the only exchanges are those that serve a purpose and they should be done as efficiently as possible so we could relax.

Good luck in your efforts to write a new book and put yourself “out of business” I guess. Seriously, I don’t know exactly what you mean by that and I don’t agree with everything you’ve said but the best of luck at what you’re doing, assuming it isn’t a scam. No offense intended although it seems to sound that way.

zacherydtaylor August 21, 2012 01:40 PM

zachary, how can anything I have said or done seem like it's a scam? Is it the fact I sell gold and silver at 1% over my cost? Is that the scam? Or is it the people who sell it at 15% to 30% or more? Give me a break. I wrote a book to help people understand this market. Most financial advisors don't, but you seem to think you do. You say that gold doesn't improve the quality of one's life. Do Federal Reserve Notes improve the quality of one's life? Does an unlimited printing press via the Federal Reserve improve the quality of one's life? How about a bipartisan TARP bailout of the banks and GM etc.? No, it benefits the select people that Congress and the Fed want to help at the expense of all others. Gold is "honest" money because it can't be created out of thin air. It's "insurance" as I said, against the governments and Central Bank screw ups which will inevitably come. A government can't just keep printing paper money or creating Treasury Notes through the Federal Reserve to pay for things. That money has to be paid back to the owners right? Nothing is free. But these bills Obama is creating, and the bills Bush created in spending more than the treasury takes in will be subject to payment by our future generations. How do you think their quality of life is? Is this a system of perpetual debt they are excited about?

If you want to "relax," you must address the monetary system and the abuses by the Fed and Congress. Gold, being just a metal, has gone up 11 years straight. Why? Because "perception" dictates that it has more and more value. Those that own it have indeed maintained a "better" quality of life. Those that don't take the risk of default and lower currency purchasing power. My book is about righting the sinking ship. Dont get caught up in my intent. There's no "scam" except that which the Fed and government do to our kids and grandkids via Congress. Thanks for your good wishes.

Doug Eberhardt August 21, 2012 05:36 PM

I don’t know much about what you’re doing at all but I’ve become skeptical of the entire Gold and Silver industry especially those that spend an enormous amount of time and money putting deceptive ads on TV. This doesn’t seem to include you but you do seem to be ready to peddle your services to those that are frustrated with the Gold Scams that are out there. As you said Gold is just a metal and a relatively quick look at your web site doesn’t seem to explain the fact that the biggest problem with the monetary system is that it isn’t being kept as simple as possible. I have attempted to do this, for what it is worth through several blogs that address the subject including Semi-secret fundamentals of economics. (There is more listed on the left if you’re interested.) The exchange of money in a market where the currency isn’t stable isn’t in the best interest of the majority when it comes to improving the quality of life. However it may sound good to many who want to get rich quick which is where the appeal to many people seems like a good idea. They expect money for nothing but “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.” Also I have also warned that many scam artists that try6 to warn you about other scams are ready to benefit from their own scams and that looks an awful like what you’re doing with your own Gold and Silver Scams page. I assume this is yours; either that or someone else is using the same name as yours.

Your web site requires an enormous amount of work and I suspect that you expect to get your money back but I can’t imagine what you’re providing that could be worth paying for to the consumer. I don’t know what your selling and what it is worth but I am highly skeptical that it has much if any value.

zacherydtaylor August 22, 2012 10:00 AM

zachary, we are actually in agreement on a stable currency, but I challenge you to name one throughout history that has the stability of "purchasing power" that gold and silver have had. All fiat money has gone to zero over time. Why? It is mostly because government's abuse the quality of money through increasing the quantity of money through printing presses, rather than tax receipts. Out of control debt and deficits are the real issue, and the government abuse of the system. It is only through this Federal Reserve system that we are able to pay for these debts and deficits. Congress then has a blank paycheck to pay for things because of the willingness of the Federal Reserve to enslave us and future generations.

Gold and silver are insurance against the potential fall of said system. As the article above points out, some of the one's who sell gold and silver charge 15%, 30% or more for said gold and silver. My company charges just 1%. And you say that because I point out, like this article does, that some charge more, therefore you are skeptical that I sell at 1%? Are you skeptical of Wallmart? Because I expose the industry for the overall fraud it is (which we are in agreement), don't insinuate that all the industry is a fraud. The real fraud is the Federal Reserve system that allows Congress to put higher taxes and inflationary chains on future generations.

The funny thing is, I dont' care if people buy from me or not. I eek out a living selling at low prices, but far from getting rich off of others. I don't advertise anywhere, but will make a comment, like to this article in correcting it, that didn't even promote my company (unless someone clicked on my name). It was your comment of being skeptical of my company charging 1% where I defended my business. If people don't like gold, don't buy it. If people who do like gold as their crystal ball is quite clear as to what's going on with our monetary system, then they have a choice to buy low or buy high. I am one of the few companies that lists my bid/ask price on my products on my site under "Today's Prices." I am a broker/dealer. I wrote the gold scam articles that many of my clients appreciate as they just saved 29% or so in commissions. People just need to ask one question of gold dealers; "When I sell this back to you today, what will you pay me for it?" That tells the investor what they are really paying for it. This isn't rocket science, but most gold dealers use scare tactics calling it "private gold" vs. "government gold" or use the confiscation angle to get people to buy the expensive stuff. I don't.

What's funny is, I just realized that you were the one who wrote the article. Good job! Who else is exposing this? Answer; no one. Why? Because these gold dealers pay the bills for the mostly right wing TV shows. They can't hardly cut the hand that feeds them. When I was interviewed by the NY Times for a piece about Goldline (which didn't go to press), Peter Goodman told me that Goldline has a shrine to Glenn Beck as the customer walks in. Glenn Beck's site is plastered with his proud saying that Goldline is the only company he recommends. Goldline just settled a lawsuit that had them pay $3.5 million, make it so they can't use the word "confiscate" any longer, and now have to have someone monitor what they do say.

I read your article you referenced from the 18th. We pretty much agree on the media control and reform of government. You possibly blame institutions more, but I prefer to just address it as crony capitalism.

As far as reforming the two party system to allow 3rd party potential, faith can move mountains. You're right about Romney/Ryan though. But pain is coming no matter who is elected. It's simple math.

Doug EberhardtAugust 25, 2012 01:21 PM

Doug, gold can be impacted by supply and demand just like any other currency which makes it a gamble or a commodity that could lead to fluctuating prices that aren’t based on the merchandise that it is used to purchase. In fact I think they just did a story about that on MSNBC that said that the reason they left the Gold Standard which Ron Paul wants to return to is that it and they criticized Paul Ryan for recommending something even worse which was using a standard based on a bunch of commodities.

“you are skeptical that I sell at 1%? Are you skeptical of Wallmart?” Yes I am skeptical of Wallmart; I could go into much more details but the problem with them is that they dominate the market and use their dominance to reduce the rights of workers and consumers. They use their marketing skills and the advantage of a consolidated media to make it seem like they’re offering better prices than they are. Yes I am also skeptical of claims that people sell at 1% especially since this is a common practice if you watch all the commercials on TV that also make that promise including Merit Financial which seems to have drastically increased their advertising budget latterly. I assume that the cost they’re going over includes their advertising costs; otherwise they would go bankrupt. They also may be taking advantage of other tricks that I don’t know of. However I would have to concede that you don’t have that advertising budget as you say. This would make you less like Wallmart since most people probably don’t know about you and it would make it hard to do a large turn over business but the overhead is presumably low; which is presumably how you get by.

I don’t know what other people charge for commissions but in order to make money they have to charge a fair amount so I don’t doubt the estimate of 29% which makes it easier for other people to compete with lower commissions but it is still a tough investment that may not go up. If the value doesn’t go up the customer won’t get much if any return on their money even with a small commission.

I was aware of the Goldline settlement as indicated by some of the articles I cited but I probably didn’t look as close as you. Frankly I don’t even consider beck a good scam artist; only the most naive would believe anything he has to say. My impression is that they prosecuted one company as an example without addressing the majority of the problem and attempted to make it seem like a safe investment for people that were still inclined to buy it. Now some companies can claim that it was an isolated incident and the naive will believe it.

I also agree that the bigger problem is the government regulation system that allows this to go on and declines to inform the public about it. By keeping a low overhead you may be able to stay in business and eke out a living but it’s still not the industry I would have recommended.

zacherydtaylor August 27, 2012 09:43 AM

zacharydtaylor, you bring up Merit Financial and you are absolutely right. They bait and switch. I have had customers call and tell me this. I too was wondering how they can advertise on these shows and charge so little. They can't. Yes, I "eek" out a living with my business. If more people knew about me, I would of course do better. That can come over time and business has naturally gotten better with the upswing in gold and silver prices. I left a good business in financial services where I was for 20 years before opening my own brokerage. Since I do have self sufficiency taken care of, I am working on bigger things. After the election, my 7+ years of research will be available for you to critique.

Doug Eberhardt September 07, 2012 06:45 PM

Doug, if I thought the business was the most effective way of maintaining a steady currency I would want it to be with the minimum amount of bureaucracy and people should be reminded that if the people selling pay for ads they can’t give consumers a good deal. Under these circumstances someone that gets their message across in the least expensive way possible and the most honest way possible should get the business. The problem is that I don’t think this is the most stable way of maintaining a safe currency. You say it is going up but that fluctuates and it doesn’t reliable lead to increased value especially if inflation is also up. Besides even if you only take a small cut it still has to be added onto consumer cost.

I think the majority of economic activity should towards things that have clearly defined benefits that people can understand and confirm. zacherydtaylor September 08, 2012 09:45 AM

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