The Populist Movement, India’s Tax Rate, Econ Degrees and the Comex

Listeners’ Questions, Peter’s Answers Audio- April 19, 2012

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Ben from Long Island, NY
In school we were learning about the populist movement. My teacher told me that one of the problems of the industrial revolution was that new machinery and deflation caused prices to go down too much. Also, the monopolized railroads increased the prices on the short hauls so farmers ended up having to go into debt and not being able to pay it off, therefore farms ended up closing down. So my question is: “Is deflation a bad thing for farmers?”

Hufton from Madison, WI
What affect will India’s tax rate hike on imported gold from 2% to 4% have on gold prices in 2012?

Dave from Kittanning, PA
Our son is in his sophomore year in college and has a very keen interest in economics. He is considering transferring from his present college to a college that would teach Austrian economics approach. In your opinion, does and undergrad Economics degree carry weight? Or should he take your approach and do a Finance major and possibly do a graduate degree in Econ?

Greg from Chantilly, VA
I’ve been principally unemployed since October, 2009. The only assets that I have left are two gold proof IRAs, one through Goldline and the other through Lear Capital. I withdrew $100,000 from my retirement fund, which was in stocks and bonds, and split it between Goldline and Lear Capital @ $50,000 each. I am now going to welding school and need to start cashing in these assets in order to finance my education and get re-employed. I took a serious hit from both Goldline and Lear at a rate of 35 to 40% when I transferred my money from stocks and bonds to precious metals. In order to not take a further hit against the existing value of my retirement, how can I best sell off or transfer the funds from one of these IRAs to finish paying off my education and sustaining myself? How badly can I expect to be hit by the government? Does the fact that I’m on unemployment help me, or does it even matter?

Michael from Sioux Falls, SD
What will the Pan Asia Gold Exchange do to the price of gold and silver? Will it help ease the manipulation of Comex and JP Morgan Chase or will the Chinese then take over the game of manipulation?