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The Mandibles: is Lionel Shriver the new “Gold Girl” of fiction? - Peter Diekmeyer (30/09/2019)

The Mandibles: is Lionel Shriver the new “Gold Girl” of fiction? - Peter Diekmeyer (30/09/2019)
By Peter Diekmeyer 2 months ago 3295 Views No comments

September 30, 2019

The gold community is filled with historians, accountants, and assorted dweebs, almost all men whose consistent warnings about government borrowing have fallen on deaf ears.

However, it’s a complicated subject. By now, Americans are so strapped that few even consider questioning the country’s debt growth economic model , which most experts know (but can’t admit) is a Ponzi scheme.

Into this mess wades Lionel Shriver, a woman and a fiction writer to boot, who in The Mandibles illustrates what could happen to a typical American family when the country’s creditors finally pull the plug.

The book chronicles the journey of the Mandible family following the collapse of the U.S. currency in 2029, renunciation (by “President Alvarado”) of the national debt, and hyperinflation.

Touching the soul in a way that graphs can’t

“Money rots,” writes Shriver, who likens America’s economic system to government borrowing a dollar, photocopying five more, and paying back lenders with the photocopies.

Shriver’s “worm’s eye view” of how a coming collapse could affect ordinary folk is in many ways more poignant than technical charts used by gold bugs, non-fiction writers like Jim Rickards, and the Alt-financial media.

For example, Shriver describes how a tenured Georgetown economics professor loses his job after the university’s endowment and government funding collapse, his boys get yanked from private schools, and his daughter Savannah heads into prostitution, a now-laudable career choice.

A final insult: in The Mandibles, Mexico sets up a wall to prevent impoverished American economic refugees from fleeing to a better life.

Although The Mandibles is at times a funny work of satire, it is also profoundly unsettling, because Shriver, a fiction writer, touches the soul in a way that economists can’t.

Ayn Rand’s speech about gold in Atlas Shrugged

Indeed, not since Francisco d’Anconia’s speech about gold in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged a half century ago has a fiction writer so fully grasped the key importance of sound money: man either trades with each other, or we enslave and steal from each other.

A long time ago, Calvin Coolidge supposedly said that “The business of America is business.”

In 2019, the business of America is theft.

Wealth redistribution, according to Truth in Accounting , now equates to more than 60% of GDP.

That means there is more money to be made by convincing governments to tax other people and transfer the wealth to you than from any other economic activity.

Shriver, like an increasing number of experts, is categoric about who the winners are in this system.

“Ever think about what the federal government does?” asks Jared Mandible, the family’s nutcase prepper and savior. “It takes your money and gives it to somebody old. That’s about it.”

We have to talk about The Mandibles

Shriver, however, remains optimistic. She surprises in key, unsettling occasions.

In one, the 95-year old Mandible family patriarch, “The Great Grand Man,” shoots his demented wife and then himself in order not to slow the younger Mandibles as they flee a dangerous New York City, on foot, to Jared’s farm upstate.

The example—almost unheard of in America, where boomers have bankrupted the country for two generations—demonstrates a quaint portrayal of sacrifice, which once prevailed but is now largely gone.

Another Mandible senior also contributes in the clutch.

Ninety-year old Enola Mandible reveals that a heavy box of her old papers, which she has been clutching protectively throughout the multi-decade tale, also contains gold bars she hid from the U.S. government when it announced a 1930s-style national confiscation of the yellow metal.

Proceeds from that “crime” enable the family to bounce back.

Shriver, who has written fifteen books including The Mandibles, would laugh away “The Gold Girl of Fiction” title.

Critics, too, would almost certainly laud Shriver’s previous books, such as Big Brother (which recounts the story of an obese man) and We Have to Talk about Kevin (which deals with a mother’s ordeal after her son shoots up a local school), as more serious works.

Whether they are correct is moot.

The Mandibles is required reading for anyone interested in economics…or gold.


Peter Diekmeyer is a business writer/editor with Sprott Money News, the National Post and Canadian Defence Review. He has studied in MBA, CA and Law programs and filed reports from more than two dozen countries.



The views and opinions expressed in this material are those of the author as of the publication date, are subject to change and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprott Money Ltd. Sprott Money does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness and reliability of the information or any results from its use.You may copy, link to or quote from the above for your use only, provided that proper attribution to the source and author is given and you do not modify the content. Click Here to read our Article Syndication Policy.

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