Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bankruptcy of Our Nation by Jerry Robinson

book cover

Bankruptcy of Our Nation:
12 Key Strategies for Protecting Your Finances in These Uncertain Times
by Jerry Robinson

ISBN-13: 9780892216932
Trade Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Press
Released: March 18, 2009

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description from Back Cover:
Surrounded by a host of political and social problems, America stands at the crossroads of a devastating economic crisis - the size and scope of which demands immediate action, while instability and debt loom over the future.

  • America is the greatest debtor nation in history.
  • The value of the dollar is at tremendous risk.
  • Inflation is about to become a huge reality.

Crippled by personal debt, local and state governments facing revenue losses, and the federal government struggling to bail out segments of the economy, many Americans are suddenly afraid and uncertain of what the future may bring. Many worry if the United States can even recover from this crisis. Will you and your family financially survive and even thrive during this turbulent time?

Bankruptcy of Our Nation gives you vital insight, historical and future perspective, revealing how America got into this mess, and how you can make informed decisions to weather this economic crisis. Don't rely on the government to secure your future - empower yourself with sound economic strategies, solutions, and godly principles today!

My Review:
Bankruptcy of Our Nation is about how greed and poor government policy has created an inevitable, coming financial crisis for the American government that will affect everyone in America. There's a lot of good, important information in this book, especially in the first half. There's no getting around that the "coming crisis" is real. The question is only how severe it will be and when it will occur. Therefore, I was disappointed that the "12 key strategies for protecting your finances" made up only one slim chapter.

The book was a quick, easy read. Some of the information was repeated, but those unfamiliar with these concepts might appreciate the repetition. Some of his speculation about the future is already out of date, but that doesn't significantly affect the overall value of the book.

However, I questioned the wisdom of a few of his "surviving" strategies, like putting money into (among other suggestions) fine art. If people can't afford food, why would they place any monetary exchange value on art? And if all the world's currency systems are potentially as unstable as ours, is it really wise to invest a full third of your money in foreign currency?

I also felt like he got a little sidetracked in the chapters about the Federal Reserve. I felt like he was leaving some information out, that some of his statements there were misleading, and I didn't accept some of his conclusions. For example, on page 173, he said, "Money is debt. And debt is money. The concept that all money in our modern society is actually debt may be foreign to you." Okay, so in certain circumstances, money is printed in order to meet the debt need. However, money has buying power and the ability to pay off ("cancel") debt, so it can't be debt.

I was also amazed that he managed to potentially offend just about every type of reader. He blamed both political parties for the problem (most of which he backed up with facts). The last 47 pages suddenly contained a lot of references to Christianity (which will turn off non-Christians), but then he makes statements that most Christians won't agree with. Personally, I didn't like how he basically said that rich Americans and banks were deliberately trying to financially ruin the helpless "working poor and middle class." I know rich people who have honestly earned their wealth through hard work and wise use of their money and poor people who have lost theirs through foolish use of their money. I don't think he's making a fair generalization, and I think that everyone ought to look to how they've contributed to the problem instead of looking for someone to blame.

Overall, this book has some very important information, but I question some of its accuracy so you might want to research it more on your own. Or you can watch this free, approximately 80 minute long PowerPoint presentation video that covered many of the same points about why they believe an economic crisis is going to occur soon. One big difference, though, is that some of solutions at the end of the video appeal to people's greed whereas the author of the book blames greed for getting everyone into this mess.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from pages 73-75, 92
As of this writing, the U.S. national debt stands at just under $9.4 trillion and is rising by the billions daily. And these record debt levels are going up every second...because the miracle of compounding interest is working against us. ...America is the largest debtor nation the world has ever seen. America is clearly spending more than it can ever pay for.

...let me simplify the gravity of this situation by examining the U.S. government's annual budget. In fiscal year 2006, the U.S. government spent $406 billion of their tax receipts (translation: your tax dollars) on interest payments to the holders of the national debt. That $406 billion is just the interest on our skyrocketing debt!

To help you understand just how much money $406 billion is, let's compare this amount to other important expenditures by the federal government. Consider the items from the Federal Budget from Fiscal Year 2006....

  • The entire annual budget for the Department of Labor in 2006: $11.5 billion
  • The entire annual budget for the NASA Space Program in 2006: $16.5 billion
  • The entire annual budget for the Department of Energy in 2006: $23.4 billion
  • The entire annual budget for the Department of Homeland Security in 2006: $34.2 billion
  • The entire annual budget for the Department of Transportation in 2006: $57.5 billion
  • The entire annual budget for the Department of Education in 2006: $56 billion
  • The entire annual budget for the Department of Health and Human Services in 2006: $67.2 billion

....Every 13 hours your government spends over $600 million on INTEREST on the national debt.

Now suppose that the federal government collectively decided one day to beginning paying off the $59 trillion it owes [which includes it's future social security, medicare, and medicaid commitments] at [the] rate of $1.00 per second. Assuming that this $59 trillion was not compounding with interest daily (which it is, by the billions), how long would it take our government to pay off $59 trillion dollars...? 1,888,000 years. [One million, eight hundred eighty-eight thousand years.]

Read the first 35 pages.

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