MINING: Men and Midas

The U.S. Government last week was engaged in an undercover struggle with the British Empire to correct the wildest paradox of the war: gold, which nobody really needs, is still being mined at peak rates, while other crucially scarce metals are made even scarcer by the tightening pinch in mine labor, equipment, shipping space.

The British Empire has over 500,000 workers employed producing gold; the U.S. has 55,000. Between them they swell the buried treasure at Fort Knox by around 1,000 tons a year. To Britain this now means some $700,000,000 a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!