Monday, May 10, 2010

An Interesting Green/Gold Combo

One of the bloggers for the Times Online "Green Central" blog, John-Paul Flintoff, disclosed that he got paid in gold for a contribution to Idler magazine:
I was delighted to be paid on Friday by Tom Hodgkinson, editor of The Idler, in pure gold coin rather than paper money (pictured left is me with a gold sovereign). If you got hold of a copy of the beautifully illustrated and bound book/magazine, you too would be delighted - if not by my own contribution then certainly by Tom's weighty interview with David Hockney.

As a sign of how the economy is doing, I can think of few more interesting developments than this payment in gold. Somewhere in the back of my mind I recall that Islamic finance - which (at least theoretically) reviles interest payments on loans, and in that sense can be regarded as green-ish - places great store by gold. I'm sure that if I'm mistaken, somebody will let me know.

Although it was little more than a publicity stunt, as yet, it'll be through such stunts that the remonetization of gold would take place.

Despite my own skepticism about some parts of the green movement, I have to admit that there are some commonalities. There's a certain tincture of embittered savers - ants of the fable - in the green movement. It's not just pollution that bothers many greens, there's also an aversion to consumerism. There's also vocal criticism of the kind of irresponsibility that leads one to foist one's costs upon others. The commonality between greens and "golds" should be evident, although goldbugs confine their criticism to monetary and financial externalities. Of course, goldbugs are more averse to government action than greens are.

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