I’m sad to say that after watching the movie “Patriocracy”, a documentary about our country’s polarized political environment I can’t endorse it for one major flaw; that of its mischaracterization of the US debt. They use the same low-info fear mongering about the debt as the movie is otherwise against. And they do it incredibly early in the movie as if it is the most important issue facing our country… well, not “as if” since it is clearly state that it is the number one American problem.
I appreciated that they proposed solutions at the end, and showed how MSNBC and Fox “News” are a huge part of the problem, but they are like those two networks in the way they “looked” like they are experts on the US debt when they clearly are completely misinformed and adding to the public hysteria over it. Two really bizarre statements really stood out.
One was a lie or error; that the U.S. “borrows most” of the money from China. This isn’t even remotely close to being true. China holds around 7% of the debt. How is that “most”. Using this lie, they add to the fear that China is somehow taking over the U.S. Meanwhile, even if China owned 100% of the debt this wouldn’t be true, but at 7% the film completely discredits themselves and makes you wonder what else they got wrong.
They further add to the ridiculousness by saying “The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs says the number one threat to America is the debt”. Good grief. So you have a MILITARY expert who obviously knows nothing about our MONETARY system weighing in on the subject? How on earth is his opinion relevant? It isn’t. He is totally clueless.
Now I realize we have Alan Simpson saying the same thing, and you’d think his words would be relevant and appropriate, but he’s clearly been sand bagged by the nonsense rhetoric of ideological economics rather than reality based economics. You can hardly blame Simpson, or the movie for not realizing Simpson doesn’t know what he’s talking about, because the entire country has been hood winked into believing the fairly tales told about the U.S. Debt. But that doesn’t change the fact that the movie gets an “F” for failure by perpetrating this myth. A HUGE reason for the polarization is each side wants to blame the other for this largely imaginary problem.
The bottom line, until reality based economics is understood, rather than politically created economics, BOTH sides will think they are right to take their side of the debate, and the polarization will not stop. Only “monetary realism”, and objective understanding of how the monetary system really works, what the Debt and deficit really are, and how we use and mis-use the debt and deficit, and their ACTUAL benefits and their actual problems, can we ever hope to talk about real solutions to the countries problems. The bottom line is the #1 problem of the country isn’t the debt or deficit. Not even close. How and where we spend is up there, but not how much we spend. But that’s for another article.