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Jon Little: Precious Metals Warfare Theory

Tom welcomes a new guest Jon Little publisher of ‘The Pickaxe’ to the show.

Jon discusses the historical usage of precious metals and why metal was first used to pay soldiers. Empires tend to be based on warfare and a continuation of conquering others. Barter was considered cumbersome and paying soldiers in metals while demanding payment in taxes created a market for precious metals.

You can see the debasement of coinage during the Roman Empire and the inevitable inflationary outcome. War grabs resources and as governments spend more on wars they tend to have a gradual lack of return on investment.

We are witnessing the unintended consequence of sanctions on a commodity superstore nation. Jon argues that a gold standard can help a country thrive within its means.

We see problems with the tock indexes and CPI metrics which ignore food and energy. We have enormous debt and an unproductive labor force while Russia has very little debt. Outsourcing has created a service economy in the West. We see the modern obsession with entertainment but countries can’t stream their way out of problems.

Moving back to a gold standard by a major nation would make their currency far more attractive. China, Russia, and India all promote the buying of gold by their citizenry. Those that have been hurt by hard times understand the value of sound money.

It’s important to note which nations have chosen to not sanction Russia because that silence is deafening. Modern monetary theory and Keynesian economics are failing rapidly.

Jon explains the historic results of currency manipulation. Often government promises aren’t worth the paper they are printed on. People will tolerate it a lot but eventually, confidence collapses. Today, it’s highly questionable why anyone would buy treasuries for a guaranteed loss.

He discusses some of the risks around digital currencies both from hackers, volatility, and a potential lack of anonymity.

Lastly, Jon notes that throughout history there have been periods where people have been ordered to turn in their precious metals.

Time Stamp References:
0:00 – Introduction
0:44 – PM Warfare Theory
8:43 – Monetary Cycles
16:20 – Waning Power
18:40 – Gold Standards?
23:29 – Sanctioning Issues
28:21 – History of Manipulation
31:45 – Negative Rates
36:59 – Cryptos?
39:57 – Sanctioning Gold?
44:22 – Winning Silver Argument
47:34 – Wrap Up

Talking Points From This Episode

  • The historic reasons for using precious metals for paying soldiers.
  • The unintended consequences of sanctions and decline of the western nations.
  • Benefits of returning to a gold standard.

Guest Links


Jon Forrest Little studied at the University of New Mexico with an emphasis on history, Latin American foreign policy, and archaeology. He studied processual archaeology under distinguished anthropologist Lewis Binford. Jon also attended Georgetown University’s Institute for Comparative Political and Economic Systems.

Little began his professional career working for 21 years in the clay mining industry. He worked with companies drawing from shale mines surrounding Mount Cristo Rey in El Paso. These clay deposits were unique because two manufacturing plants from two separate countries (north and south of the US-Mexican border,) shared the clay resources. The same clay deposits were used by Mexican and US brick manufacturers. This experience sharpened Jon’s knowledge of international business and labor relations. Jon also worked with dozens of clay mines near Pueblo and El Dorado Colorado.

While working in the clay-fired brick industry Jon worked with Robert AM Stern architects to set a CU Boulder campus standard for a brick blend to replace the locally quarried sandstone. The sandstone was selected by Charles Z Klauder in the 1930s. Klauder was inspired by the hillsides of Tuscany and designed CU Boulder in a Tuscan theme with clay-fired roof tiles, sandstone walls, copper gutters, and brick. Jon worked with architects, masons, and contractors in the field of value engineering. His work with architects and contractors has saved CU Boulder building projects millions of dollars. The “Artisanal” blend Jon created was half the cost of sandstone installation.

Jon currently consults with polymer dispersed liquid crystal glass manufacturers. PDLC glass is also called switch glass because the glass switches from opaque to transparent on demand. Smart glass technology uses silver for electro-chromatic conductivity. Moreover, they are powered via copper busbars. Recently Jon has been working with Chinese pdlc manufacturers and he is involved in importing raw materials and managing supply chain logistics.

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