When talking to people about the economy and the nation's future, I have a mental checklist that I go through during the conversation to see if they are truly informed. For example, watching or reading CNN, CNBC, or Fox business does not make the cut.
Here is the checklist:
(1) Knowledge of the federal reserve. Specifically, the fed's operations and the size of its balance sheet;
(2) Knowledge about debt based money and fiat currency. Specifically, a understanding of fractional reserve banking.
(3) Peak oil. Specifically, knowing world consumption and production rates, future forecasts, past and present oil discoveries, and the role of energy in our debt based economy.
(4) US Federal Government deficit, including revenues, expenditures, and 10 year forecast. In addition, an understanding of the insolvency of Medicare and Social Security.
(5) Local and State governments and the debts they have incurred.
(6) An understanding of the structural US trade deficit.
Knowing these 6 areas is crucial to understanding the health of the US economy.