Economics is not easy to understand. Chris Martenson’s “Crash Course” will bring you up to speed.
From a Salon.com forum review:
“It sounds scary, huh? I mean, with a title like “The Crash Course”, it’s gotta be bad, right? Well…no. I admit that the title might could have used a little more “focus grouping” but the information is what counts and the information is, I think, some of the most important and valuable that people who want to get a handle on what is going on with our economy, our money and our future will ever see. And the best part? It’s no-strings-attached free.
The Crash Course is a project of Dr. Chris Martenson in which he “seeks to provide you with a baseline understanding of the economy so that you can better appreciate the risks that we all face.”
Why’s it called The Crash Course? Well, it’s not because it’s a course filled with Doomin’ & Gloomin™, because it isn’t that at all. Instead, its name comes from the fact that it represents a three day seminar that’s been boiled down into an informative and entertaining three hours or so, and those three hours have been divided into easily digestible 2 to 20 minute chunks that you can review at your own pace. In effect, it’s a three hour crash course. Hence the name.
On the housing and credit bubble, I simply can not overstate how important it is to get a handle on exactly where we are and what the historical behavior of collapsing asset bubbles (the characteristics of which repeat in similar fashion again and again) looks like. But the Crash Course is more than bubbles and credit. The Crash Course is energy, the environment, the economy and even the clearest explanation of our fractional reserve banking system — the Federal Reserve, how money is created, our debt based economy, etc. — that I have ever seen.
Is Dr. Martenson right on everything? Undoubtedly not, and he says as much himself. My fundamental area of disagreement with him is on the Social Security Trust Fund and the special issue treasury securities which fund it. My position is that as long as the political will is there, those securities (backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, same as any other treasury security) are good. Dr. Martenson’s position is that those special purpose treasuries will (or at least may) not be honored when the time comes. And you know what? Though I presently disagree with him, the fact is that he could be right.
The bottom line for me is that a lot of people are engaged in wishful thinking and are resistant to facts which they find uncomfortable. All I can say is that in order to make informed choices and to have informed opinions, you have to first be informed. As Dr. Martenson says, “The only way (the challenges we face) can become insurmountable is if we let them, by ignoring them for too long.”
We do face some rather enormous challenges concerning our economy, our energy supply and our environment, and our decisions concerning our lives, our careers, where we live, how we make use of our resources, the future we wish to pass on to our children, the investments we make, and even the survival of our way of life in a complex society are all dependent upon awareness of those challenges and what steps we must take to meet them. For me, the Crash Course was an eye opener in many areas including some where I believed myself to already be very well informed.”