Financially speaking, we’re all up sh*t creek.

In his excellent #1 best seller, which is being turned into a TV show, Justin Halpern tells us about the sh*t his dad says. Well, the following may not be sh*t an economist says, but Professor Jekabs Bikis or Dallas Baptist University gave a presentation yesterday that let all of us that attended know that we’re up sh*t creek without a paddle if we don’t do something to fix our exploding debt and deficit problems.  And it’s because of two words: unfunded liabilities. 

Here’s a video on unfunded liabilities from the Cato Institute:

This Heritage Foundation graph, which was a part of Bikis’s presentation, shows the percentage of our national debt in relation to national GDP. As you can see, WWII was time in our history when we had the largest debt, but you can also see that it was paid down fairly quickly. By 2035, at current levels of spending and taxation, debt will skyrocket to 180% of GDP. If that’s not bad enough, let’s talk about the interest rate on that debt. Interest rate payments at that time will consume half of our federal budget. Basically, we will have enough money to pay for defense and interest payment. Bye-Bye Department of Education, social security, Medicare, any federal transportation programs (including construction and maintenance of infrastructure) and many, many other programs that we have grown accustomed to in America. For more frightening information that will scare the sh*t out of you, just visit the Heritage Foundation’s Budget Chart Book. You may enact your own Code Brown alert after reading it, because you may just…well, I won’t say it, but it fits with the certain four letter word that’s the theme of the day.

Why am I talking about this on a “how to market books” blog? A couple reasons. One, I think this topic needs to be the NUMBER ONE topic of the national conversation. Two, I had this situation in mind when I wrote my latest thriller, The Brink. It uses a conspiracy-fueled plot to explain the current financial crisis, as well as predicts what could happen next if nothing is done about it. When I first started writing it, it was my hope that while people are entertained by the action and suspense in the novel, they will also take away the underlying message from the real-world financial numbers in the book and realize that we’re in deep you know what. In Bikis’s presentation, he mentioned the problem isn’t necessarily a financial one, it’s a moral one. Since most of these liabilities extend from entitlement programs, like Medicare and Social Security, what should we, as US citizens do to change our behaivor toward helping our fellow Americans? Should we cut Medicare to the bone? Cancel Social Security? If so, would you want to see your dying mother denied hospital care because she couldn’t pay her bills? These are tough questions that will make us question our sense of morals as both a country and as individuals. No wonder no one has wanted to tackle these issues, right?

If you’re a writer, you have the natural ability to communicate. What are your thoughts on spreading the message about our enormous debt problem? Shouldn’t we all be sounding the alarms as loud as we can? How would your morals affect asking the tough questions about unfunded liabilities?

To the keyboards!  

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: