Monday, November 15, 2010

783 Lysistrata

783 Lysistrata

Okay, gold freaks, you're not going to like this. About 2500 years ago there was this guy, Aristophanes, who wrote a play called "Lysistrata." The basic idea was the women were tired of war and decided to withhold sex until their guys stopped fighting. In a way, goes the story, it works. Of course, there was a side effect: men and women escalated their own "war of the sexes." But the point is, Lysistrata started a women's movement that pretty much accomplished its goal.

Get ready for a reappearance. This time from the women who are in relationships with certain commodity traders. At this writing, the price of gold on the US markets is about 14-hundred dollars per Troy ounce, which is notably lighter than a "regular" ounce. A lot of people have made a ton of money by buying gold these last few years.

But there's another side. As the trading price of gold rises, so do the prices of everything anyone makes out it. For example: a simple bracelet that cost, say, $500 a few years back goes for double that today. And a "jewelry woman" does not want to wear the less expensive gold-plate or (shudder!) silver. Like second hand smoke to recently quit smokers, some silver causes allergic reactions. (It's the nickel they use to make the silver hard enough to keep its shape.)

Jewelry women want GOLD! And it wouldn't be surprising if they turned to some new Lysistrata for advice on how to bring the price down. But, you say, it's all "market forces" that change the prices. Yes and no. If one or two major traders are "deprived" at home, they very well could dump their holdings at a lower price, which, if large enough, could then start a downturn.

It may all boil down to this: most guys don't want to be sex-deprived. Many women don't want to be jewelry deprived. If something like this worked in early Greece, why wouldn't it work in modern America? Lysistrata was fictional. A repeat today, might not be.

Shrapnel:

--The local paper had a "reader survey" question the other day, with answers worded so a sane and rational person had no choice but to vote "against." An e-mail exchange with the editor, an acquaintance, made clear he hadn't noticed but agreed. So, he says, he'll change it -- which is the responsible thing to do.

--Penney's sells its own brand of 12-cup coffee maker for $40, though it's on sale for about half that, right now. It's top rated, solidly made and the coffee's pretty good. So how is it necessary from Cuisinart, Krupps, and even the lowly Mr. Coffee to sell THEIRS for 80 bucks and (way) up?

--An uncrowded restaurant on a Saturday night? Easier to explain than you'd think. In this case, they were out of everything good on the menu and the beer taps weren't working right.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010

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