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Trash Talking

March 30, 2012 by  

That’s some sure valuable trash. Here’s a stat that will blow you away. At least it did me. In the United States, we dispose of several million cellphones a year. One million cellphones contain more than 35,000 pounds of copper, 770 pounds of gold, 75 pounds of silver and 33 pounds of palladium. By the way, a computer’s circuit board contains four times as much gold and twice as much copper as a cellphone.

Someone should thank the guy. Eric Fehrnstrom, Mitt Romney’s top adviser, sure caught a lot of flak for his Etch A Sketch comment. Personally, I didn’t see much reason for the Twitter-fueled media frenzy over the remark. But one group of people should thank him for it: investors who own shares in the Ohio Art Co. The stock price more than doubled, thanks to all the publicity the comment got.

This is an “affordable” light bulb? Last year, the Federal government awarded a $10 million prize for the production of a new, energy-efficient light bulb. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that the prize would spur industry to make LED lights that are “affordable for American families.” The winning light bulbs cost a not-so-reasonable $50 each.

And speaking of Washington wasting money. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that unemployment in Washington, D.C., has increased by 8 percent since 2009, despite a ton of new Federal grants, loans, contracts, tax benefits and entitlements. In fact, despite receiving $900 million in stimulus money in the past three years, Washington, D.C., can’t account for a single new job that has been produced as a result. Your tax dollars at work, folks.

–Chip Wood

Chip Wood

is the geopolitical editor of He is the founder of Soundview Publications, in Atlanta, where he was also the host of an award-winning radio talk show for many years. He was the publisher of several bestselling books, including Crisis Investing by Doug Casey, None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen and Larry Abraham and The War on Gold by Anthony Sutton. Chip is well known on the investment conference circuit where he has served as Master of Ceremonies for FreedomFest, The New Orleans Investment Conference, Sovereign Society, and The Atlanta Investment Conference.

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  • s c

    ***NEWS ALERT!*** Would someone please tell Chu that Americans can buy LED lights NOW at $25 each? I have good reasons to suspect that Chu is so far behind the learning curve that that’s how he got the ‘job.’
    For someone who is supposed to have a science background, he seems to be a bit ignorant. Or, is it simply the idea that he thinks he can control Americans whenever he gets the urge? You don’t pack the gear, chum.
    Whatever it is, by the time Chu and his fellow camp-following, round-heeled strumpets learn that lights that cost $25 each NOW will be cheaper than that when he finally has his $50 lights to force on us.
    Mr. Chu, do you know what year this is? Do you know anyone who can operate a computer? I know you don’t own a car [?????], but surely you can read – or have someone read to you. Your idea is crap, and it’s no secret that your “idea” is already old-hat and out-of-date.
    Tell us again, Mr. Chu. HOW did you get that job and WHY? You can be replaced by a grade school kid, and THAT’s no exaggeration, bubba. In case you’re one of those Washington ‘dolts in volts’ [or soon will be], it sounds like you should have learned some basic economics when you ‘supposedly’ got an education in science. If you attended Al – duh – Gore’s High Scat Tech & Bar and Grill, I sure hope you got a real degree out of the deal. Zowie.

    • M. Joseph

      every time someone mentions the name a- CHEW, I simply want to say GOD BLESS YOU< I think that someone is SNEEZING, that moran needs to step down, has no idea what he's talking, another Obama, needs telepromter to answer the questions. he studers. aaaaa huh aaa huh. where do these people come from, and how did they get their degree?? a high school graduates speak a whole lot better then these so called college educated idiots.

      • M. Joseph

        oops, mispelled his last name, should be A-CHUUUUUU

  • s c

    Ooops. The end of my 3rd paragraph should have included ‘maybe Chu will re-think his con game.’ Sorry about that.

  • JimH

    Now I know why there is such strong encouragment to recycle electronics in our area.
    Looks like someone is cashing in(literally) on salvaging that copper, gold, silver and palladium from those objects. Good for them.

  • frank

    Americans think about this if every person 300,000,000 payed 1.00 us currency every day that’s how much in a year I think they get that amount easily from tax payers we pay taxes on every thing we buy be it fed or state we can no longer afford another tax hike so we need to start eliminating political jobs any ways their doing a poor job when people do poorly on the job they are usually terminated and or replaced not given raises we need police fire men teachers and their jobs are the first ones they cut we need to cut some congress jobs or senate jobs or mabe even the presidents job he don’t run the country he is just a figure head we know who runs the country anyhow

  • dan

    our recyclers and refuse contractors are all union/mobbed-up….quite the legit racket

    • eddie47d

      Electronics are not safe to dismantle and most are shipped overseas and taken apart by 3rd world kids. There are indeed valuable metals that can be recycled and that should be done. For now that is being done at the expense of someone elses health. Electronics have brominated flame retardants in them: causes thyroid and neurotoxicity. Cathode ray tubes:lead poisoning. Cadmium: effects kidney and bones. Mercury: nervous system. Polyvinyl chloride: harmful to lungs if burned. They are tough products to dispose of and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

      • JimH

        Hi Eddie, I hope someone can figure out a way to get at these metals without the health risk.
        The reward for getting these metals should inspire an entrapenuier to figure out a way.
        Maybe an automated system, or at least some kind of protective gear. Resperators, gloves, eyeprotection. I know overseas people have a low reguard for safety. Also a low reguard for children.
        Maybe someone can have an idea that will change that.

  • Steve

    I saw a video on a specialty company that recycles catalytic convertors from cars. Lots and lots of precious metals get recycled safely. Not so much with electronics, most of the unsafe work is farmed out to kids over seas. At least they make a little money before they day a horrible death from metal poisoning.

    • Steve

      I meant die a horrible death…….

    • Joe H

      A lot of the scrap yards will not take the new catalytic converters as they are being stolen off cars left and right!! The theif uses a cordless sawsall! Five minutes and they are gone!


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