Gold and silver have historically been used as money and as a way to retain the purchasing power of fiat currency. As we as a population face such issues as mounting debt and endless warfare, one oft-reviled generation is really getting a sour deal: the millennials. Those narcissistic, lazy, good-for-nothing louts who played by all the rules only to realize the rules had been changed or were never for their benefit in the first place. Although historical ways of protecting our wealth are still applicable, I want to suggest an alternative for a generation that must already eschew “wisdom” passed onto us by our elders who caused this mess we’re stuck with, if only for survival’s sake.
Millennials are routinely criticized by the older generations who raised them to be who they are. We are told to respect our elders; the ones who ignorantly send Snopes debunked chain emails complaining about how congress needs to do this or that ineffective measure to delay nonexistent problems, the ones who voted into power people who wish to keep everyone enslaved, the ones who support the wars that their social security payments were squandered on all the while expecting to be paid as if those monies are stored in a vault somewhere, the ones who will be dead before the brunt of their actions are fully actualized, the ones millennials are keeping alive on the backs of their labor. Those elders.
Mainstream financial experts often claim that millennials aren’t saving enough or planning for retirement that we rightly assume will not happen, and so they urge us into getting the same instruments that worked for our parents: savings accounts, Roth IRAs, 401Ks, the stock market, etc. That’s great if you don’t mind inflation eating away at your savings since interest rates are frozen at zero or if you still trust some banking entity to play fair when you need access to your funds before a certain age or if you even have a substantial amount of money to put anywhere in the first place. For people living paycheck to paycheck with the jobs they have or still living with their parents as they search, these options are laughable. After the financial collapse, one lesson surely everyone learned was that no outside entities are going to protect your hard earned money and there needs to be an evolution of how we store our wealth.
While special snowflake syndrome is a problem among millennials (and pretty much humans in general), it’s difficult to claim ignorance on the fact that they and younger generations will suffer the most directly from the reckless actions of older generations. We have learned the lesson that hard work and a college degree don’t ensure success, and that breaking the rules can pay greater dividends than following them. A return to self-sufficiency is in order when it comes to finding jobs now, and shifting our consciousness to adapt to an increasingly unstable world is not only practical but a necessity to merely survive. Survival, at this time with all things considered, is all millennials can hope for—there’s no retirement in our futures, no social security to look forward to, no payoff for participating in politics, no end to crushing debt. While our elders have thrived and relished in their own entitlement we foot the bill and receive nothing but broken systems and empty promises in return. Woe is we, but we are not without some solutions.
If we need a different philosophical approach to dealing with the problems we face, we also need a different approach to storing and retaining what little wealth we can accumulate. That’s where crypto-currencies come in. With the advent of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Feathercoin, and several other alternative currencies making their way into the financial zeitgeist, we have more opportunities than ever to take back control of our money.
Crypto-currencies appear to be one of the better choices along with precious metals, mainly silver since gold even at a low today ($1317.00 per troy ounce) is way out of the price range for us poor people. Silver, while much more affordable at around $22.00 an ounce, can sometimes be difficult to store and safes are expensive. While I still recommend buying silver when you can afford it, we live in swiftly changing times and can use the expanding technology to our benefit.
You can buy fractions of Bitcoin, Litecoin, or other altcoins to fit your budget, transactions cannot be taken back, and you control the access to your currency via a virtual wallet on your phone or personal computer that is easy to protect the privacy of through encryption. There are no banks that can hold your money hostage during a crisis, and you can spend them at a variety of places. While some may make the valid argument that your wallet could be hacked and your coins stolen, the same argument is applicable to banks and consider that inflation itself is just slow theft over long periods of time. Again, that’s what privacy protections are for, and luckily these are easy precautions to take.
Since I started writing this article yesterday, the notorious Silk Road has been closed down and its owner imprisoned, and while some view this as a danger to crypto-currencies, at the moment it appears to be an issue of personal mistakes on behalf of Ross Ulbricht aka Dread Pirate Roberts. While the raid made the prices fluctuate, I still believe there is utility for Bitcoin as a way to buy perfectly benign goods and services without government intrusion. The Silk Road raid is a set-back for Silk Road users, but not the greater alternative currency community, and as technology improves and we face greater economic uncertainty, demand for better alternatives to the war dollar can only increase.
We live in the perfect time to take advantage of this opportunity to relinquish the chains imposed on us by government institutions, older generations, and even our own psyches. While hindsight is 20/20 when assessing how we got to the point we are at, looking ahead to the future is crucial for our own security. The resources for building a knowledge base on the subject of crypto-currencies are plentiful, as well. Weusecoins.com is a great place to start your Bitcoin journey, and others much more knowledgeable than I have written extensively on the topic. More altcoins are coming out and providing competition to Bitcoin, and this is also great news as it broadens the options people have for diversification.
Crypto-currencies aren’t going anywhere, relying on conventional wisdom from our elders and mainstream gurus have gotten us nowhere but more burdened with debt. To quote Assata Shakur, “No one is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them. Nobody is going to teach you your true history, teach you your true heroes, if they know that that knowledge will help set you free.” It’s about time the millennials (and others who are struggling) find more effective ways of getting their freedom from a dreary future orchestrated by former entitled generations.
Original content by Meghan, copyleft, tips welcome