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Showing 1-10 of 30 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 130 reviews
on January 9, 2007
Anyone who is concerned about his or her financial future needs to read this book. Even though it tackles a topic that was unfamiliar and even arcane for me, it is quite readable, and the message it delivers is shocking.

Like cold water thrown on someone sleeping, this book reveals the real reasons behind our country's indebtedness to China and others, and the dangers this debt presents to personal financial planning. It appalls me that our politicians prefer to debate what are primarily personal issues like abortion and gay marriage, instead of truly tending the core issues of government, more important perhaps evan than global warming: deficit spending, underfunded Social Security, and unfunded Medicare.

Even more discomfiting is learning that the formulae for the very economic statistics we read every day have been so altered that they are now essentially meaningless. The Gross Domestic Product, for example, now contains all mortgage payments (not, to my mind, a true "product") simply because the enormity of these monies hugely inflates the otherwise limp GDP.

How does this impact you? It's hard to underestimate it. A must read!
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on June 3, 2015
A good view of what's been going on in our world on a macroeconomic level with our financial system. It will scare the pants off of you.
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on March 4, 2016
No one explains this better than Bill Bonner.
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on October 1, 2014
Interesting read. Good history and correlation to current events and the future of the U.S. empire. Authors writing style is interesting.
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on May 5, 2007
I was somewhat surprised by the content of this book- I thought it would be mostly about economics, but it was mostly about empire.

And I still have a ways to go before I have finished it. However, I seem to have entered the latter part of the book which does indeed focus on economics, and I believe I have a pretty good idea what the point is, a philosophy I am pretty much in agreement with, so I figured I'd just comment on the empire part.

Much of the book is devoted to criticizing the folly of America's aggressive military intervention, with a lengthy discussion of our involvement in the first world war and the Vietnam war.

However, they clearly disapprove of essentially ALL military intervention by the United States, including even the civil war and the second world war.

One reviewer suggested their view on the civil war indicated that they were comfortable with the slave economy of the south, which I think is way off the track. It seems clear to me that these guys just flat out believe that bloody warfare doesn't solve anything.

In that, it seems to me that their perspective, while it holds a lot of merit, is incomplete. And, I'm sure it is no accident that they chose to give detailed discussions on WW1 and Vietnam war rather than the Civil War and WW2, because the latter would be a lot harder to simply brush off as foolhardy military interventionism.

I am most intrigued by their view of WW1; unfortunately I don't know the history of that war very well, but I certainly don't get the impression that the history books provide any very coherent explanation as to what purpose we were serving by being involved in that.

Anyway, the bottom line is that the book contains an interesting look at empire-building in human history, and much of what they say rings true.

And the book is indeed a very witty and engaging piece of writing.
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on July 6, 2008
I enjoyed this book. Mr. Bill Bonner is too political for me and sometimes he's just trying to be cute, but overall I enjoyed reading the book and I personally like the newletters put out by Mr. Bonner's Agora Inc. I am a paid subscriber to some of these news letter which gives good investment advice. Regards, Keith Renick, Peachtree City, Ga.
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on August 4, 2015
Awesome information
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on November 24, 2014
Good analysis of financial and economic conditions in our society.
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on January 30, 2008
The authors' theory about the U.S. economy seems to boil down to saying about 500 times that having become an empire the United States is doomed to endure the fate of previous empires. To drive home the point, readers are treated to page after page about the travails of the Athenians, Romans, Mongols, Venetians, Spanish, British, etc.

The seeds of empire were sown in 1913, when the Constitution was amended to permit a federal income tax and the Federal Reserve System was created.

It seems that our country should not have gotten into World War I, most likely could have stayed out of World War II, and has no one to blame for 9/11 except itself.

The best U.S. presidents were not those whose faces are carved on Mount Rushmore, but men like Warren Harding who did very little during their time in office.

The reputations and motivations of various people, e.g., Woodrow Wilson, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Allen Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, and journalist Thomas Friedman, are mercilessly lambasted.

Oddly enough, given their readiness to express opinions on so many other subjects, the authors shy off from explaining the Great Depression, beyond pointing out that FDR used it as an excuse to expand the scope of the government. "The causes of the depression have been hotly debated. They go beyond the scope of this book." Darned, just when things were about to get interesting.

When it comes to evaluation of financial matters, such as the fact that both as a nation and as individuals we are living beyond our means and financing it with debt that most likely cannot be repaid, the message of the book becomes more compelling. Such thoughts are not entirely new, however, and might even be characterized as obvious.

Worse, in my opinion, the authors offer no suggestions to get the United States back on a sounder track. Now that might be worthwhile, whereas mere hand wringing about the financial situation seems rather pointless.
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on December 27, 2014
A book that explains why are country is in trouble
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