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I.O.U.S.A. Movie: Watch This Free 30 Minute Trailer

I had been waiting for the I.O.U.S.A. documentary to show up here in the Raleigh-area movie theaters ever since it came out and it has finally arrived. However, while I was waiting, I spotted this 30-minute trailer that makes the movie – and many of its important points – accessible to everyone, regardless of area.

The trailer is excellent. My only “issue” with it is that it understates – through no fault of the producers – the size of the U.S. debt problem by a considerable margin, even though the movie is just a few months old. That should give you a strong indication of exactly how fast things are changing. I urge you to watch this trailer and forward it to everyone you know either via a link to this page on my site or direct to the link below. WATCH THIS NOW!

Note: You can watch in full-screen mode by clicking the little TV icon on the player.

2 Comments on “I.O.U.S.A. Movie: Watch This Free 30 Minute Trailer”

  1. #1 Matt Sherman
    on Nov 13th, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    This movie is really good at scaring you. Some of the projections are absolutely bone-chilling. But it largely overstates the problem — the deficit is currently at a manageable level of 3% of GDP. And we need to run a deficit in this economic downturn to ensure we don’t have skyrocketing rates of unemployment. The flim also ignores one of the best solutions to the “problem” — health care reform. If our health care system were as efficient as other industrialized nations, and if Medicare/Medicaid were able to take advantage of these lower costs, then our deficit problem would basically disappear. Check out the Center for Economic and Policy Research, they have a nice graphic that demonstrates this well: http://www.cepr.net/calculators/iousadeficit/calc_iousa_deficit.html

  2. #2 David
    on Nov 15th, 2008 at 12:51 am

    Hi Matt,

    I do appreciate your comments as well as knowing that the staff at the highly-respected CEPR is reading my site but that doesn’t mean I can agree with what you’ve stated. Furthermore, my BS detector is screaming so loud I can barely think.

    Did I read you correctly when you wrote “And we need to run a deficit in this economic downturn to ensure we don’t have skyrocketing rates of unemployment”. Huhh?? Have you ever seen us NOT run a huge deficit, even in the strongest economy Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has ever seen in his entire business life (a Summer 2007 quote)? As for unemployment skyrocketing, isn’t this horse already out of the barn and racing down the pasture toward a city near you? Smelling salts come quickly to mind but, I digress…

    My primary rebuttal to your comment would be that, in our present economic environment, the numbers we are all working with, including those relied upon by the I.O.U.S.A. writers are ancient if they are 60 days old.

    Everyone who reads this site is well aware that our national GDP is SHRINKING rapidly and deficits are exploding and there are plenty of signs that these trends are steepening. This would strongly imply that your statement “the deficit is currently at a manageable level of 3% of GDP” is already a gross understatement of what’s waiting just around the corner on ’09-10.

    The fact is, we have gotten into the dire situation we face in our country now from blithely accepting the “aww it’s really not as bad as it looks” crap from economists and politicians. We need leadership and solutions, not excuses and, unfortunately, I’m not buying your reasoning here, Matt.

    There are so many things that are not mentioned in the I.O.U.S.A. movie that are still highly problematic; i.e. massive public and private pension underfunding, unknowable future social costs of the current downtrend, infrastructure reinvestment, and so on, that substantially worsen the whole problem that I think you’re doing us all a great disservice by not taking a harder line than you are.

    I welcome your comments here, wholeheartedly, but I’m not letting you off easy.

    BTW, I did visit your site and played with the calculator you linked for us and it didn’t do anything meaningful to change my mind about anything. Our medical costs are head-and-shoulders above any other country’s with – until now – a high rate of annual increase and, with our current obesity epidemic and questionable (at best) food-quality, I can’t imagine ANY current projections could remotely overstate anything.

    I’m willing to go as far as to publicly state that I think these costs are currently being underestimated due to the factors I mentioned along with a few others I didn’t list. Just think about the social costs we’ll face in the future for all those millions of us who must “defer” medical care because they can’t afford insurance or, even if they have insurance, don’t take advantage of routine medical care because their portion of the costs and high deductibles is STILL WHOLLY UNAFFORDABLE! Open your eyes a little wider here, Matt, and take in the bigger picture. As a researcher working in an economics think-tank, you surely know there is no free lunch.

    One thing is beyond debate at that is it’s time for us all to wake up. I wholeheartedly commend the producers of I.O.U.S.A. for taking a leadership role with the important job they’re doing. Few others seem to have the guts to do it and it’s high-time we all stepped up and did our share if we really love our country and want to save it.

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