The Average Lifespan of a British Employee for the East India Company 

East-India-Company

Death was quite common among the British stationed in India, with 33% of the entire British workforce dying in a single year due to the rainy season set by the monsoon. The average lifespan of a British worker in India was said to be just two monsoons, and the East India Company regularly had shipments of blank tombstones shipped from England just to keep up with the number of dying workers each month. The East India Company tried to help decrease these numbers by shipping vast quantities of spirits and wine, in the hopes that it would help increase the overall health of the workforce but unfortunately it did not do much good

China’s Desire For Ivory and the Effect Upon African Countries 

Chinese-ivory

China is one of the only countries in which recently acquired ivory can be sold legally, and because it is in such high demand, China’s insatiable thirst for ivory is devastating elephant populations around the world. 80% of the Chinese middle class own one or more pieces of ivory and 84% of those people intend to purchase more in the future. Trade between Africa and China between 2003 and 2013 has jumped from $6,000,000,000 ($6 billion) to over $100,000,000,000 ($100 billion). China has been investing in Africa, building roads and shipping ports as a way to streamline the trading process. Some of the most popular goods traded include turtles which are eaten, shark fins which are also ingested, rhinoceros horn which is ground up and consumed, and elephant ivory which is carved into decorations. 60,000 shipping containers enter Chinese ports each day, with less than 1% being searched, making Chinese ports a smugglers paradise. Only 16% of ivory sold in China is legally traded and can be verified to have been sourced from legally acquired sources. Kenya has achieved success with elephant protection due to private philanthropy which funds the ability to patrol Kenyan parks via helicopter and land vehicles with armed security personnel, trained guards who have been authorized to shoot to kill when poachers have been identified actively poaching or attempting to poach

The Unsustainability of Massive Debt 

mortgage-contract-signing

A major driver of prosperity during the last 50 years of the 20th century has been debt. Prior to World War II, significant debt (e.g. mortgages) did not exist. Debt has been the fundamental driver of all of this forward momentum. This system of prosperity is dependant upon one’s financial ability to service it, and although it is accepted as normal, it is unfortunately unsustainable. This movement has created the enormous financial sector and markets which the industrialized world is now familiar with. The mindset of enjoying now and paying later creates a mindset in which people are divorced from affordability. History has consistently demonstrated that this model is highly volatile and worse, unsustainable in the long run

The Vancouver, Canada Housing Market and the Theory of the Greater Fool 

Vancouver-Canada-housing-market-investment

The Fraser Valley is the fastest growing suburb in Canada. The housing market in Vancouver, British Columbia is by far the most expensive in Canada, even more so than in Toronto, Ontario which for a long time was the most destabilized market in Canada. The most expensive region of Vancouver to live in is West Vancouver. 65% of residents of Vancouver and the Greater Vancouver area which includes the Fraser Valley are homeowners. Fundamentally, the Vancouver housing market is easy and cheap income, and from that, lots of it. The chasing of returns on a speculative basis has no basis in reality in terms of what an assets (e.g. a physical property) true valuation is but it is justified on the notion that it does not matter what a buyer pays now, as another buyer will pay more in the future. This is referred to as the “Greater Fool theory” in that the next person will cover the cost of the last person. This model is for obvious reasons unsustainable

City States Minting Currency

minting-currency

Throughout history, city states were permitted the legal status to design and manufacture their own unique currency which inevitably lead to tens of thousands of different designs on both the fronts and backs of coins, throughout the ancient world. Surprisingly this chaotic monetary system was not an issue for commerce as each coin manufactured was approximately the same size and weight with the same amount of silver or gold smelted into it, making trade relatively straightforward as values rarely fluctuated and could be traded at their intended face value regardless of the geographic location they were manufactured in. This system eventually gave way to the modern day system developed during the 18th century in the United States of America which stated that only the government of a nation was legally permitted to mint currency, with the size and metals being utilized deemed irrelevant as the currency depended solely upon how valuable the currency was in comparison to the world market, a counter balance which is heavily influenced by the gross domestic product of both the import and export of every country involved in trade alongside many other smaller yet equally important intrinsic factors (e.g. political climate or instability)

The Statue of Liberty

Statue-of-Liberty

The Statue of Liberty was assembled and shipped from France as a gift to the United States of America. Construction started in July 1884 but parts did not arrive to the U.S. until June of 1885. The Statue of Liberty arrived in pieces and had to be constructed on Bedloe’s Island, United States of America which was renamed “Liberty Island” in 1956. Joseph Pulitzer, who owned the New York Times during this period announced that anybody who donated a penny or more to the project would have their name printed in the next issue of the New York Times. Thousands of people started donating to see their name listed in Pulitzer’s paper. The donations went towards the building of the base which the statue stands upon. The base was built by U.S. workers unlike the rest of the statue which was constructed by the French. One of the main engineers of the project was Gustof Eiffel, the same person who designed and built the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. The 7 spikes on the statue’s crown represent the 7 seas and the 7 continents

German Hyperinflation

German-hyperinflation

The Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to pay reparations for causing World War I which was finally paid in full in 2010. Affected countries demanded gold, manufactured goods, and other means of back payment which collapsed the German economy. To fix this economic downturn the German government borrowed money and printed enormous amounts of currency which inevitably caused and lead to hyperinflation. In 1919, ℳ4.00 papiermarks would buy a loaf of bread, but by 1923, a loaf of bread cost ℳ650,000,000 (650 million) papiermarks. The value of money deteriorated so greatly that restrooms of establishments had to post signage asking patrons to use toilet paper instead of currency as the currency was clogging the toilets and plumbing system. The economic collapse of the German state allowed Adolf Hitler to rise to power and the depression experienced by Germany effectively guaranteed the occurrence of World War II