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Doltish Rep. Weiner Accuses Goldline and Beck of — Capitalism!

Posted By Matthew Vadum On May 26, 2010 @ 3:00 pm In NewsReal Blog | 1 Comment

Although I’ve blogged about the malicious Media Matters attack on Glenn Beck for promoting gold coin sales, I haven’t really examined the source of all this vile socialist ado about nothing: the vicious accusations of weaselly aspiring leftist demagogue Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.)

Taking a break from helping the Obama administration destroy what’s left of America, the contemptible vermicule Weiner sent letters to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission seeking a probe of what he called the “unholy alliance” between Goldline International (a precious metals dealer with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau) and several conservative pundits on whose programs Goldline ran ads. Alleging that Goldline ”grossly overcharges” investors for gold coins and “takes advantage of fears about President Barack Obama’s stewardship of the economy,” Weiner targeted Beck, accusing him of “dishonest business practices” that are “an unfortunate byproduct of the Tea Party movement.”

Weiner accuses Goldline of selling coins at above the melt value, i.e. the market value of the gold contained in the coins if they were sold as scrap. Weiner is accusing Goldline of –wait for it– CAPITALISM! Oh, the horrors. How dare a company cater to coin collectors, who, as anyone who knows anything about numismatics can tell you, will eagerly pay significantly above melt value for coins for any numbers of reasons.

I’ve fallen out of it in recent decades but when I was a kid I eagerly lapped up books about coin collecting. I know that coins have value to collectors beyond that of the mere metal contained within them. Numismatists collect coins because they are rare, interesting, unusual, and for many other reasons. A coin with a defect, say a misspelled word, can be worth a king’s ransom. A complete set of a series of coins can have a higher market value for collectors than the coins individually.

Coin collectors, like philatelists (stamp collectors) live in a weird little world of esoterica but because there are so many of them putting their money where their mouths are they exercise market power and make certain coins worth more than others. Catering to them by selling them coins is not a crime, nor should it be.

And are the coins Goldline sells heavily marked up, as alleged by Weiner? Certainly the coins are marked up to an extent but I haven’t seen any evidence anywhere suggesting that the markups are anything out of the ordinary.

The attack by the congressman came around the same time as Will Bunch of left-wing character assassination site Media Matters for America penned a supremely dumb blog post blaming Beck for causing a speculative bubble in gold prices. In a blog post titled, “Beck fans strike gold…for now,” Bunch argued that Beck is causing a speculative bubble in gold by hyping doom and gloom. “[N]o one does more in his supposedly untainted editorial commentary to invoke panic about a future currency collapse or societal breakdown than the Fox News and radio host,” Bunch writes.

Americans have reason to be worried. In the U.S. the economy has yet to hit bottom. The commercial real estate market is poised to implode, residential real estate foreclosures are climbing, and private sector job-destroying government spending is at an all-time high and more useless government stimulus spending is on its way.

But Americans aren’t the only people who buy gold when they get nervous about the future.

Bunch seems to assume that the only people who buy gold are Americans but that’s just plain foolish. Europeans, Asians, and people the world over buy gold when they are nervous about economic stability. And right now there is so much to be worried about all the globe.

Surely Beck’s influence is not so great that he’s able to push consumers in Britain, France, India, South Africa, Japan, Brazil, and Turkey to stock up on gold coins and bullion. American gold purchasers aren’t solely responsible for the rising gold prices.

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