Sunday, September 7, 2008

I.O.U.S.A., explained...

Sorry for such an abrupt post..we got back from the movie and had to start dinner.

The "trailer" of the movie can be seen here. I found a critics review that I believe best explains what the movie is about.
Any documentary about the alarming level of our national debt faces a
major hurdle - making the dismal subject at least somewhat palatable.
"I.O.U.S.A." does about as good a job as any film could be expected to, thanks to the direction of Patrick Creadon, who made "Wordplay," the entertaining profile of crossword master Will Shortz. "I.O.U.S.A." recounts the Fiscal Wake-Up Tour conducted by U.S. Comptroller General David Walker and Concord Coalition Director Robert Bixby, who offer a Paul Revere-style warning about how deeply in hock we are ($8.7 trillion) and the unhappy results of letting this "fiscal cancer" continue to grow. How we got here isn't especially complicated - you can't keep spending more than you have - and the consequences are also simple: We're putting our kids in the poor house. Creadon gives us testimony and commentary, through interviews or newsreel footage, from a parade of America's financial wizards including former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, Congressman Ron Paul, Warren Buffett, ex-Fed chiefs Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan, and many others. The film is aimed at viewers who don't have any particular financial expertise, and uses everything from animated charts and other visual aids to folksy metaphors ("a budget is like a diet") to get its urgent message across. There's also some very welcome comic relief (a "Saturday Night Live" skit with Steve Martin and Amy Poehler, a rant by Jim Cramer of TV's "Mad Money"). Though the Bush administration gets some whacks (particularly
for the 2002 dumping of Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill), the film tries to be nonpartisan - as Walker says, "The facts aren't Democratic or Republican. The facts aren't liberal or conservative." "I.O.U.S.A." is based on the book "Empire of Debt" by Addison Wiggin and William Bonner. Wiggin co-wrote the film and served as executive producer.

This movie was both a history and economics lesson. It did a good job not taking political sides (something I liked). But it also spoke to the non-economics major and explained how the economy worked. The scariest part of the movie for me was the foreign trade deficit and the realization that if we continued in the same path we are on, another country could "own" us in the very near future.
The 90 minutes went very fast...and at the end of the movie the words that came across the screen were quite sobering "in the time that it took you to watch this film, the U.S. added another $85 million to it's debt."
This movie is especially important for voting U.S. citizens. I know that I will be researching and scrutinizing both political platforms to find out how each will be handling this very serious problem .
If the movie is playing near you, I promise it will be worth the $7.75 price tag.


natedavidscott said...

this does sound worth it. thanks for the review

Anonymous said...

I did not see this movie and most probaly wont but I believe that debt is a trap from satan everyone of us should be aware of.

It took me 20years to reach a point where I realize that I must get ou of this web. I'm taking smal steps getting out of debt but I know I wil be debt free in the short future

jpkittie said...

wow - that sounds very interesting... will definately have to check it out - but I probably will have to wait until it is out on video. (It would put us $30 or so into debt, with a sitter plus the tickets!)

Thanks for the review!

Canadian Saver said...

I'm not American but I think this would be worth seeing anyway.

Sharon said...

Absolutely! It is very eye opening!