VANCOUVER ( BullionBullsCanada ) -- For more than 400 years, Western economies (and the deluded theorists who have been allowed to guide those economies) have focused upon two extremely simplistic and somewhat opposite "models" for our economies. In this respect, I am indebted to John Maynard Keynes. While Keynes may have been utterly inept as an "economist, he is more than adequate as a "research assistant."

Keynes tells us that the older of these two economic models (by far) is "mercantilism," while the more recent theoretical model is that of "free trade." For those readers who become phobic whenever exposed to economic jargon, relax. I have no intention of bombarding you with complex jargon. Indeed, as I alluded to earlier, these economic models are shocking for their simplicity (among other things).

Both of these models centered on the need to have a "balance of payments" surplus for one's economy. There is nothing controversial here. A nation having a balance of payments surplus is like a corporation which makes a profit. No nation (or corporation) can survive over the long term as a money-losing enterprise. However this aspect of economic theory has obviously been totally (and conveniently) forgotten by all of our politicians and all of our modern "theorists" (i.e. banker apologists).

For the benefit of the precious metals enthusiasts out there, the "surpluses" that these nations and economists coveted above all else were not surpluses accumulated in banker-paper, but rather surpluses of gold and silver. For more than four centuries, those who accumulated the gold and silver were considered history's winners, while those whose gold and silver was taken from them were the losers. We can see the obvious result of such thinking through the rampant corruption of modern, Western precious metals markets.

Mercantilism is by far the older of these two economic models, and can be thought of as an "adversarial" system of economic management. In this law-of-the-jungle philosophy, nations aggressively sought to out-maneuver competing nations in creating their balance of payments surplus -- in the simplistic belief that there could only be "winners" and "losers" in any economic system. If you didn't try to "screw the other guy" then they would certainly try to "screw" you.