Hi there! You've reached the homepage of Ben Lavender! Ben is a computery person who partakes in many kinds of nerd tomfoolery, but mostly programming! You've found his home on the web, with the caveat that a lot his day-to-day stuff ends up on social networks, so this site makes him seem pretty stodgy.
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13 Dec 2008

Most excellent.

IOUSA is a companion book to the recently-released movie of the same name, which I, as a pseudo-dirty pseudo-foreigner, am not allowed to watch. It’s a study of the national debt and what it means.

At this point, most of this is stuff I already know, thanks to good economics blogging and that kind of thing littering the landscape. However, what makes this book great is that 2/3 of it is actual primary source: interview transcripts, or sections thereof, made for the movie. They’ve interviewed a lot of the players involved: everyone from Greenspan to Forbes.

Reading interviews with these folks is quite impressive. I even got something out of reading an interview with Art Laffer, who’s shown significant foolishness on youtube videos and been ridiculed for his simplistic Laffer curve. The interview shows him to be not so easily chastised…although it does not show him to be ‘correct’.

The introduction is a pretty quick and accessible read, and I would recommend it to anyone who is just figuring this stuff out. It’s just the beginning, of course, but it’s well done. The truly damning numbers are elsewhere.