Hoarding: Lessons From History

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You can't eat gold despite the efforts of the blonde-haired blue-eyed anime girl in this picture.


“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana

Washington, D.C. (Accredited Times) – The Accredited Times has often warned its readers about threats in the world, including racism, sexism, and Islamophobia.  But one threat continues to menace the world perhaps more than any other:  the threat of hoarding.

Hoarding has a long, disturbing history.  We need to learn that history or else we will be condemned to repeat it.

I. Case Study # 1:  FDR Successfully Combats Hoarding in Great Depression America

The most famous historical experience relating to hoarding involved progressive President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  As the Accredited Times noted in a previous examination of the subject, President Roosevelt issued an executive order in April 1933 shortly after taking office “forbidding the Hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States.”  The executive order criminalized hoarding under penalty up to ten years’ imprisonment, plus a $10,000 fine — equivalent to roughly $200,000 today.

Executive Order 6102 criminalized hoarding gold.

After issuing the executive order, President Roosevelt and the Secret Service aggressively pursued hoarders.

In April 1935, an undercover government agent sneaked into a New York store owned by David Baraban and his son Jacob Baraban.  While there, the agent witnessed a transaction in which a dangerous individual criminally sought to pay $9 for an item of scrap gold — a felony under Roosevelt’s edict.  With probable cause to believe that the Barabans had committed a felony, government agents raided the Barabans’ business and found a hidden box of hoarded gold coins.  The investigation also found a cigar box full of gold scrap metal.  The government seized the Barabans’ gold and charged the Barabans with conspiracy to defraud the United States.  The Second Circuit Court of Appeals, in a decision joined by famous progressive judge Learned Hand, upheld the seizure.

In examining a case involving hoarding, progressive Judge Learned Hand determined that the right to property does not actually exist and that the President could write laws without Congressional action, thereby upholding President Roosevelt’s gold seizures.  Judge Learned Hand was an apparent believer in the “living Constitution” theory of jurisprudence.

Other gold hoarders around the country faced similar government stings.  In April 1939, Secret Service agents worked with local police and state mining agents to smash a gold hoarding ring led by jewelry merchant/criminal Gus Farber, arresting thirteen in New York, San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland, while seizing at least $24,000 in illegally hoarded gold.

In 1935, progressive activists on the Supreme Court upheld President Roosevelt’s hoarding edict and related decrees in a series of 5-4 Supreme Court decisions.  As explained by Professor Gerard N. Magliocca of Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law, the Court did so because the “higher law” of “necessity” trumped boring conventions like the “constitutional text or judicial precedent”.  The living Constitution compelled the Court to punish hoarders and punish them severely.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whom many historians regard as the greatest President in history after Barack Hussein Obama, aggressively pursued hoarders, seizing their gold bullion and coins for the Federal Reserve.

Thanks to President Roosevelt’s aggressive prosecutions of hoarders, the United States safely exited the Great Depression in December 1941, just eight years after the public had elected Roosevelt as President and just twelve years after the Great Depression had begun.  The economy ran smoothly from that point on as a result wartime production, which drastically increased the average American’s standard of living, as all wars do.

II. Case Study # 2:  Ancient India Destroyed By Hoarding

Looking back further in history, we see that not all countries had the benefit of progressive leaders like President Roosevelt.  Most notably, the same fate eluded a city-state in ancient India — the seaport of Muziris.

Around 2,000 years ago, Muziris flourished off the coast of modern-day Kerala, India.  Its main product?  Piper nigrum, also known as black pepper — the King of Spices.  But instead of distributing the pepper equitably amongst People of Color, as modern economists advise, local merchants resorted to crude capitalism, trading pepper predominantly for gold coins and bullion.  The decision doomed Muziris and destroyed the Indian economy for millennia.

The ancient seaport of Muziris, as despicted by the artist Ajit Kumar.

Muziris initially experienced a short-term boom from the pepper-gold trade, with trade primarily involving Muziris and the Roman Empire.  The Roman writer Pliny the Elder in his work Natural History called Muziris “the first emporium of India”.  According to the Akananuru, a classic collection of Tamil poetry from the era, Muziris was “the city where the beautiful vessels, the masterpieces of the Yavanas [Westerners], stir white foam on the Periyar, river of Kerala, arriving with gold and departing with pepper.”  Another poem describes Muziris as the city with “gold deliveries, carried by ocean-going ships and brought to the river bank by local boats.”

Trade routes in the 1st Century C.E. showing commerce between the Roman Empire and Muziris.

“This was a centre of paramount importance for Roman trade,” said Federico De Romanis, Associate Professor of Roman history at the University of Rome Tor Vergata.  “What made it absolutely unique was the considerable amounts of black pepper exported from Muziris.  We are talking about thousands of tons.”

According to Pliny, Rome had an annual trade deficit with India of 50 million sesterces — roughly 500,000 gold coins — largely arising from trade with Muziris.

“Muziris was entirely dependent on foreign, especially Roman, demand for pepper,” De Romanis said.

Muziris, as depicted a Roman map from the 4th or 5th Century C.E., called the Peutinger Map (Tabula Peutingeriana).

Energized by capitalistic animal spirits, merchants hoarded gold that they so desperately desired in a Saturnalian frenzy of bourgeois lust.  Gold flowed into Muziris.  Pepper flowed out.  Temples and vaults filled with gold, and the fetishism of commodities immiserated the Indian proletariat who had neither spices nor gold.

Then Muziris disappeared without a trace.

Muziris seems to have disappeared shortly after the rise of Islam in the area, but no one knows for sure.  Only one explanation answers why Muziris disappeared:  hoarding.

In 1945, shortly after President Roosevelt’s death, a series of archaeological excavations began in an effort to locate ancient Muziris and to learn more about the history of the ancient seaport — why it rose, why it fell.

In 1983, archaeologists discovered a large hoard of Roman gold coins at a site thought to be ancient Muziris.  The people had left.  Only the hoarded gold remained.

Hoarding remains a serious threat to civilization.  Some people laugh about hoarding.  They think it’s a big joke.  The truth is it’s not a joke.  It’s deadly serious.

Progressives like President Roosevelt had it right.  Muziris had it wrong.  Anyone caught hoarding should be arrested, charged, and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

John Sakars
John Sakars

Humans like to own lots of stuff. Other animals own only their bodies, but they’re not even allowed to own their bodies because humans want to eat them and wear them. That’s sad. Be vegan and be an activist for the animals, please.

Missy Bo Pepys
Missy Bo Pepys

You’re right John, it’s sad the way humans treat other animals so badly.

I’m vegan and don’t have the blood of animals on my conscience, but I had difficulty giving up wearing the fur coat handed down to me by my mother because of its sentimental value. It wasn’t until I developed the ruse of spoiling myself with a beautiful pair of pearl earrings that I was finally able to rid myself of the barbarous relic!

Vladmir Putin
Vladmir Putin

The vegan activist tiger says – “Missy Bo Pepys’ mom is a murderer”. And Missy Bo Pepys is pearl oyster baby murderer.

Missy Bo Pepys
Missy Bo Pepys

My mum is no murderer, Mr Putin. I’ll have you know, in her time it wasn’t common knowledge that to wear a fur coat was to be a murderer. As for being a pearl baby oyster murderer, you should know oysters have no brains, so they can’t feel pain like we and other animals do. In fact, oysters are a mainstay of my vegan diet!

Vladmir Putin
Vladmir Putin

Oysters have no brains? Then it is ok to include in your vegan diet. My friendly neighborhood vegan activist tiger gave up hunting and has vegans for dinner. He says vegans have no brains.

MillionDollarBonus

Missy, you’re mistaken! Oysters DO have rights! And so do bees!

Missy Bo Pepys
Missy Bo Pepys

MDB, There’s a saying a womyn is never mistaken and men are always right. So sometimes I am loose with the truth!

MillionDollarBonus

It’s so sad, John. Animals just want to be left alone to enjoy nature in peace, but humans are so violent it’s depressing 🙁

Vladmir Putin
Vladmir Putin

If it took a thousand years to find the hoarded gold of Muziris, then it is safe to hoard gold. Bury it, and have secret algorithms and maps to locate it, like the good old days of Treasure Island. The people of Kerala, where Muziris is located, love their gold, and you’ll find women decked in gold on special occasions.

They were also good with wooden ships. If you have a million to spare, you can get a teakwood ship that will last a 100 years. http://amazingindiablog.in/beypore-ship-building-industry-for-handmade-cargo-uru-ships/
http://images.mathrubhuminews.in/13724/biggest-uru.jpg

richandrenee

You’re clearly delusional Putin – algorithms aren’t for hiding a barbarous relic, they’re for providing liquidity for the smooth running of the markets.

Missy Bo Pepys
Missy Bo Pepys

I don’t know about algorithms R&R, but I swear I got rid of my barbarous relic with a ritual burning in a clearing in the woods!

Vladmir Putin
Vladmir Putin

When you burn the barbarous relic, the dirt burns off, and you are left with pure gold.

Vladmir Putin
Vladmir Putin

You missed the Al-Gore-ithm that brought global warming so a few can make money. I’ll use my algorithm to bury gold in the woods behind my farm 🙂

trav777

Fortunately, Modi has attacked cash in India; gold is next. India’s problems stem directly from the use of physical things to trade in. Once those are gone, India will immediately look just like Norway, except without all the racist whites. Paradoxically, Norway still uses cash, but whatever

Vladmir Putin
Vladmir Putin

Take a honest person like Bill Gates, would he not be annoyed, at all the people avoiding tax, using non-banking channels, not participating in cashless digital economy, or having black money. Would not the whole nation not be behind Gates, self-flogging themselves as crooks, while praising Gates as a savior, who through his cashless alliances with Mastercard, Visa, and Tax/Audit/Consulting powerhouses like PwC, Accenture, and Deloitte directs the nation through a straight cashless, digital path?

There are far greater heroes, than Modi, in this campaign to made a resilient people dependent on the whims of the globalists.

Rudyard Kippling
Rudyard Kippling

Gold is for the mistress – silver for the maid –
Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.
‘Good!’ said the Baron, sitting in his hall,
‘But iron – cold iron – is ruler of them all’.

Vladmir Putin
Vladmir Putin

That’s very true. One can have gold and silver and not be able to use it. Countries that very heavy gold users, today find the market heavily regulated. Any purchase or sale of gold or pawning for loans have to go through the system. It has become less of an insurance against hard times, because when you go to sell, the government will claim that you haven’t reported your ownership of the gold, so it does not belong to you.
One needs to be cunning to live today, because the globalists are clever and know how to put a squeeze of ordinary people or ill-equipped countries.

richandrenee

What a load of rubbish Anon! The only people who should hold significant amounts of gold are our central bankers and this is for reasons of tradition and maybe rehypothecation.

MillionDollarBonus

Rehypothecation gets a bad name, but in reality it’s a powerful tool for generating economic growth, just like high frequency trading.

Expat Logger
Expat Logger

Inspiring article, BLM!

On lighthouse duty again. Perfect day here under the transatlantic flight path looking out to see. High winds blew all the chem trails away leaving me an uninterrupted view of blue sky. Only thing bothering me now is one of those drones that keeps circling the lantern house!

Missy Bo Pepys
Missy Bo Pepys

Did you forget your meds Logger. Are you ok?

Expat Logger
Expat Logger

Which pill shous I take Missy red or the blue one ??

Missy Bo Pepys
Missy Bo Pepys

Don’t get fresh with me, young man. I’m not your lover!

trav777

Those are contrails; they are water vapor

Pbier

Hoarding of food is arguably the worst crime out there. Anon’s endorsement of this heinous practice only confirms its vileness. Hoarding food – to be eaten exactly when one’s fellow Americans are starving is the most selfish act of all.

MillionDollarBonus

Agreed – food, like all resources, is there to be consumed immediately! Environmentalist progressives are quick to point out that there are starving Africans ready to consume and multiply, whenever they see excess resources hoarded.

MillionDollarBonus

Holy moly BLM! This is a whopper of an article! As this article shows, there is a long historical precedent for confiscating gold from subversive goldbugs and preppers, who undermine peoples’ faith in national currency. It’s also encouraging to see that our courts have a long history of doing the right thing, despite nagging clauses in the constitution that forbid them from doing so. We need to have a legal system that is focused on progressivism, not upholding a document written hundreds of years ago by white male slave owners!

trav777

Minor correction- the gold wasn’t seized for the US Treasury; the Order required it to be delivered to the Federal Reserve Banks.

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