VIDEO: Why the US is deeply insolvent

Building on the previous chapter on the US’ tremendous and exponentially-increasing debt, this chapter looks at the shocking shortfall between our nation’s assets and its liabilities.

In short, America is deeply insolvent. We’re just not admitting it yet.

Perhaps not surprisingly, official statistics leave out our unfunded liabilities when calculating the net worth of the nation. Once these liabilities are added back in, America’s net worth plunges into the negative tens to hundreds of $trillions.

In the last chapter we noted how our vast debts place an unfair and immoral burden on future generations, and realistically can and will never be pad off. Factoring in the unfunded liabilities just makes the situation beyond absurd.

For the best viewing experience, watch the above video in hi-definition (HD) and in expanded screen mode

Coming next Friday: Chapter 15: Demographics

For those who simply don’t want to wait until the end of the year to view the entire new series, you can indulge your binge-watching craving by enrolling to The entire full new series, all 27 chapters of it, is available — now– to our enrolled users.

The full suite of chapters in this new Crash Course series can be found at

And for those who have yet to view it, be sure to watch the ‘Accelerated’ Crash Course — the under-1-hour condensation of the new 4.5-hour series. It’s a great vehicle for introducing new eyes to this material.

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  • pjmeli


    Actually, neither GDP growth, or the “debt”, or public spending is growing exponentially…it’s a simple annuity of one at some rate of growth, and it has always been so. Same as compound interest. The only way to stop growth in spending is to stop growing, and no one will be OK with that. It’s called a depression.

    Hey, we can always agree to tax away all of our federal spending…why should the private sector be allowed to keep all of that money the government spends, if government spending is so bad? Zero deficits. Zero non-government savings.

    The rich would cry like babies.

    Anything that happens in the future is an unfunded liability…todays money will not buy tomorrows output, it never has and it never will. The future is much bigger than the present.

    If we have growth in GDP we have to have an increase in the money supply for growth in spending to purchase that output. Money doesn’t flow faster (more velocity) to make up for not having enough of it. To believe it can defies logic.

    There’s a reason public spending has grown at a rate of over 7% per year since WWII (and likely since the beginning of the Republic). Irony of ironies, spending growth post1980 has been 2/3rds of the previous 35 years, our most prosperous years as a country. Between 2012 and 2013 Federal spending hardly grew at all, a fraction of 1%. Lets see how that drop in spending growth plays out over the next few years. I suspect we will start to look a lot like the EU.

    While we are filling our britches over public “debt” (where did all that money come from anyway? There has to be a source) private debt at upwards of $48T dwarfs the public debt…and that money has to be repaid or the banking system will collapse (or have to be bailed out again). Private debt comes from thin air too, so why no wailing and knashing of teeth over that?

    I want to hear the argument that says we can have compound interest…growth in private debt and the liabilities associated with it…without compound growth in spending, A growing system requires a growing money supply, and spending from thin air is the only way to get new money into the system.

    It’s impossible to have growth in spending without running deficits, which we have done more than 80% of the time since the birth of the Republic.

    I see a meaningful pattern there.

    • jadan

      You’re just too polite to say Martinsen is full of shit. Would be a great leap forward if we could develop a consensus about the definition of money. Then we could make a plan and maybe get our economy under control. If we could somehow reduce the % of Martinsens in the blogosphere there might be progress…

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        • edwardrynearson

          my sister made 8 million dollars last month sniffing other people’s sneakers

  • New book: COPS vs. The Constitution, available now for download, hard copy very soon.

  • anonymous

    This is so wrong. It just adds to the incoherence and misinformation that is pulling everything apart. Please take this down immediately. That is, it would save you from when you eventually take it down and issue an apology for all of the incorrect and ignorant assertions made. Again, this is so wrong. Do everyone a favor and take it down. Thanks.