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June 1st, 2009
Gold Futures
Issues to Consider

Download the PDF here.

Discussion Questions

How does a nation fairly balance the private property rights of the individual with issues of eminent domain?

How does a nation balance its economic and environmental issues?

  • Imagine Rosia Montana 100 years ago, vibrant and deeply involved in mining. Were there winners and losers back then? To what extent does the Gold Corporation’s promise of prosperity have merit?
  • What is eminent domain? Eminent domain has traditionally been allowed for government projects such as highways, bridges, and the like. With the challenge of the global economy, should it also be employed for economic development projects? How can the concept of eminent domain be abused?
  • What should be the role of the Romanian government in this process? If a small group of villagers hold up this project, should it step in and force them to give up their homes in order to bring the much-needed economic development to the area?
  • How does the environmental disaster of the cyanide that poured into the Tisza River illustrate the effects of environmental irresponsibility? How can multinational companies be forced to take responsibility for environmental damage?
  • What compromises might be possible to facilitate the project, but without the negative environmental impact envisioned by some?
  • What will happen to Rosia Montana when the gold and silver run out?

Activities

A. Research and report on one of the following:

  • Tennessee Valley Authority and its development in America.
  • China’s new Three Gorges Dam.

There are clear benefits for the people of rural American and rural China with the availability of electric power for millions. What are some of these benefits? Are these benefits worth the price? Explain.  What about the environmental impact of these projects? Do the benefits outweigh the damage done?  What is your litmus test?

In what ways are these two uses of eminent domain similar or different from what is happening in Rosia Montana of Romania by a Canadian Company?

B. Choose two characters from Gold Futures and take their perspective twenty years in the future.

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