>The Sky is Falling, Our Money is Worthless, and the Baby Boomers have Enslaved us All

Posted: 22/06/2009 in economics, Movies

>I recently watched the informative, yet scary, documentary I.O.U.S.A.. I don’t like sounding like I am appealing to fear, but this documentary bothered me quite a bit. Looks like I get to add one more reason to live abroad a few years: this country is going broke.

The film, which was based on a book entitled Empire of Debt, argues four basic points. The United States government does not balance a budget –ever; Americans as individuals do not save money, we consume more trade goods than we export, and our leadership does not do a whole lot about it. The documentary gets into details such as the difference between “monetary” and “fiscal” policy, the looting of social security, “financial warfare,” and the looming economic oblivion. Surprisingly, the movie does not thump stereo-typical “reaganomics” or other Republican planks.

It also had many relevant personalities in the movie. Alan Greenspan, Warren Buffet and many others had their own time. They even interviewed a Chinese businessman.

The thing that struck me most about the movie was the economic prospects of my generation. While hindsight is 20/20, many politicians back in 60s and 70s arguing that the policies enacted in their time would force the next generation to pay for it. Now, we’re starting to deal with some of those predictions coming true. There will be no social security for our generation, yet we will still be expected to pay for the boomers as they retire.

Our grandparent’s generation worked their knuckles dry to make the American dream for their children. Our parent’s generation decided to borrow from our piggy banks. (Thanks a lot, hippies. Get a job.) Many of the people in the documentary asserted again and again that is immoral.

Another thing that bothered me is that there were a few interviewees in the documentary who had to resign (or were fired from) government positions because of differences of opinion with the administrations. Such might be evident of the “leadership deficient” described in the movie. Many of friends feel like “political atheists” in the sense that we do not have faith in our political system. Maybe we are over the top, but I think more than a few twenty-somethings do not feel that they are represented.

Who is John Galt?

But watch the documentary. Those of you with Netflix have no excuse. It will either motivate you to work very, very hard, and/or emigrate. Either way, people will start thinking long term again.

  1. Q says:

    >It's a pendulum swing. All of this stuff is. I have no doubt that if we were to look back at history, we would see the same trends, the same things happening, with the exact same response with the exact same fatalism and optimism about it. Not to minimize the situation; living in CA, it certainly doesn't look promising. But I have a little more faith in things correcting themselves with regulation and new rules being put in place to help keep these things from happening again. Maybe I'm being a little too calm about the whole thing, but I also don't really see what the good in freaking out about it is.

  2. >Hmm that's interesting. Did the documentary mention other specific countries' economies that are more promising (e.g. China, expressed by the Chinese businessman?)? My grandfather grew up in the Great Depression and then decided to move to Taiwan (well, Korea first) after WWII because he thought that it was more economically prudent even back the. He was stationed in the Pacific during the war and got a feel for Asia there, too. He was an electrical engineer, and still has close ties with a power company there.This is Stacia, btw. I just started a blogger account. 🙂

  3. >Yup, borrowing money is a VERY bad thing.I wish our country would stop borrowing money – it will only get worse.Speaking of which, I can hardly wait to go back to the U.S.A. and buy a nice MacBook Pro to the courtesy of MasterCard. 🙂

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