Glenn Beck's Goldline Scam--Visualized

Illustrator Jess Bachman diagrams Glenn Beck's shady links to Goldline in an accessible infographic. To summarize: Goldine is a sponsor of Beck's TV and radio shows. Beck tells his audience that they should buy gold as a hedge against inflation, but not just any gold. Beck says you should buy antique coins because there's this 1933 executive order that empowers the government to take all your gold except antique gold coins.


Beck tells his audience to go to Goldline and buy whatever they recommend. Serious investors buy bullion coins, which are standardized coin-shaped chunks of gold valued entirely for their metal content. Wouldn't you know it? Goldline is pushing collector coins instead of bullion. The value of these so-called numismatic coins depends heavily on their appeal to collectors, which in turn depends on their aesthetic and historical properties. Guess what? Goldine is selling old gold coins of minimal collector value. If you want to invest in gold, the worst place to keep it is inside a numismatic coin.

More to the point, Goldline is vastly overcharging its customers for these trinkets compared to its competitors. Ripping off your customers isn't necessarily illegal, however. All kinds of stuff is vastly overpriced in this great free market of ours. What did our ancestors fight and die for if not our right to pay through the nose for overpriced crap?

Beck has a conflict of interest regardless. He's using his show to steer his viewers towards a lousy investment. A congressional investigation found that the coins are so overpriced that they're useless as a hedge against inflation. The price of gold would have to nearly triple before the buyers of Goldline's American Eagle coin could even break even. Beck is helping his sponsor fleece his audience.

Click on the graphic to see the full-sized version.

Infographic by The Big Picture

Big Think
Sponsored by Lumina Foundation

Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!

As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.

Keep reading Show less

7 fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Here are 7 often-overlooked World Heritage Sites, each with its own history.

Photo by Raunaq Patel on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites are locations of high value to humanity, either for their cultural, historical, or natural significance.
  • Some are even designated as World Heritage Sites because humans don't go there at all, while others have felt the effects of too much human influence.
  • These 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites each represent an overlooked or at-risk facet of humanity's collective cultural heritage.
Keep reading Show less

Following sex, some men have unexpected feelings – study

A new study shows that some men's reaction to sex is not what you'd expect, resulting in a condition previously observed in women.

Credit: Pixabay
Sex & Relationships
  • A new study shows men's feelings after sex can be complex.
  • Some men reportedly get sad and upset.
  • The condition affected 41% of men in the study
Keep reading Show less

Scientists discover how to trap mysterious dark matter

A new method promises to capture an elusive dark world particle.

Surprising Science
  • Scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) devised a method for trapping dark matter particles.
  • Dark matter is estimated to take up 26.8% of all matter in the Universe.
  • The researchers will be able to try their approach in 2021, when the LHC goes back online.
Keep reading Show less