In Touch Financial—William Lenderman, III Financial Mentor
“Experiencing Success One Good Idea at a Time”
IMAGINATION AND HOPE
It is a powerful inspiration to me to see how much progress can be made by free enterprise even against bad law.
For instance, as a result of destructive copyright laws, the public has never heard some of the world’s greatest musical classics. In order to play these classics, a substantial fee is payable to the copyright holder. Some of these classics date back hundreds of years. Enter free enterprise. Napster started an amazing revolution in regard to music distribution. It made downloading favorite songs a breeze for a cost of next to nothing. Sadly, the Federal Government closed down Napster in 2001. Nonetheless, many up and coming stars have now discovered that distributing their songs on the internet free, or for a very small fee, can propel their work to enormous popularity while making them substantial fortunes in the process.
People have been justifiably concerned about the value of the American dollar. Since 1964, government produced coins have all been made entirely of pot metal. As long as they continue to be accepted, they are valuable in making change. Like paper money, they have no real intrinsic value. Approximately ten years ago, a brave pioneer named Bernard von NotHaus began producing and distributing what he called the “Libertydollar”. The Federal Government raided his operation in 2006. In 2007, Federal agents outright confiscated two tons of his coins, mostly featuring the image of Ron Paul. They also confiscated five hundred other silver coins as well as fifty gold coins. He was thrown in jail and convicted of counterfeiting. All of this is ironic in view of the fact that he was producing pure silver coins weighing one ounce as competition with the government monopoly, which is still producing coins of pot metal. The coins were widely popular until their possession was outlawed. The good news is that von NotHaus is apparently still walking free because he has never been sentenced. None the less, he opened the door to the possibility of a free market substitute for the monopoly of government coins.
YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE
Most of you are probably aware of the relatively new development called BITCOINS. The inventor of this concept has kept his name secret. The coins are simply digital units, which are not stored in one place, but rather are distributed through a global network in a way they can be traded from individual to individual without a third party being involved. Despite the fact that the BITCOINS have no substance, they are becoming more and more popular around the world as a method of trade. It has been fascinating to watch the BITCOINS grow in value from mere pennies to something like $135.00 each at present. People are looking for alternatives to government money all over the world. Even though these BITCOINS are produced on a computer keyboard, like most of the currencies in the world, the number of these BITCOINS is strictly limited. They make a fascinating alternative to the competing world currencies which are being produced without limit.
WORLD CHANGING INOVATIONS
All through my school years, I was told that gas and oil were formed as a result of the transformation of the carcasses of dinosaurs, and perhaps of vegetation which existed long ago. Like other school children, I simply accepted the idea, since it was repeated so often by authoritative figures. I have to admit that I believed this fable for most of my life. All it took to recognize the fallacy of that theory was to open my eyes.
Imagine how many dinosaurs would have needed to die to produce the millions of gallons of gasoline we use every day and to pave roads all over the world, covering hundreds of thousands of miles. In my mind, it draws a picture of dinosaurs living shoulder to shoulder all over the earth and standing on lush vegetation two feet deep. As we all know, vegetation dies, rots, and then is returned to the soil. The death of any animal ends up the same. After the flesh is eaten by the carnivores, and perhaps picked clean by vultures, insects and microbes arrive to finish the job. To believe that dinosaurs and vegetation turned to oil would mean an entirely different process than what we see every day. In addition, we would also have to believe, that when a dinosaur died, his companions dug a five thousand foot hole in which to bury him. That would explain why we find gas and oil so deep in the ground.
When we think about it, it is much more logical to consider the probability that gas and oil are being constantly formed under the crust of the earth. Elements such as carbon and other ingredients are driven together under conditions of great pressure and high temperature to form both oil and gas. That would explain why there is such an enormous amount of oil and gas, virtually over all the face of the earth, and under the sea. There is a strong probability we will never run out of these resources as long as we don’t use up the present supply and continue to pump it at a faster rate than it is being created.
I’m sure that everyone is aware of the high hopes many people hold for alternative energy. This includes items like wave power, wind power, and solar power. Wind power has been successfully used for generations to pump water. Solar power is efficient for heating water. Perhaps the biggest obstacle to any of these alternatives is the fact that, when this energy is produced, it needs to be stored until needed. The best batteries in the world must be charged slowly. They are inefficient. They must also be discharged slowly. A great deal of energy is lost in charging them, and in discharging them as well. Batteries only operate at their most efficient level at something like seventy degrees Fahrenheit. In either colder or warmer temperatures, they rapidly lose their efficiency.
Wind power has been an effective flop. Coal, oil and gas generators must be constantly running to back them up, since the wind can quit at any moment and is constantly varying in velocity. Wind farms are simply interfering with the normal production of electricity.
It is my understanding that advanced capacitors are now being produced. They have the storage capacity of a highly capable battery, but without many of the drawbacks. They can be charged in minutes, rather than hours or days. They can be discharged at any rate necessary. They can hold an enormous amount of electrical power without degrading until it is needed. They don’t lose efficiency. Once perfected, this new storage capacity would make all kinds of alternative energy generation viable. In addition, alternative fuels are being created. This includes manufactured gas, oil and diesel. These fuels may soon be produced in factories using highly efficient processes. There are other possibilities. Water may be efficiently degraded into hydrogen and oxygen, then later burned together to create energy. There are many other wonderful developments on the way. All of these developments could provide a significant improvement to the quality of our lives.