It's kind of sad, really -- I agree with Schiff that the US has a lot of economic and political problems, and we need to fix them. However, I find his specific arguments so vapid and baseless, and contrary to actual economic reality, that it's hard to take him seriously -- he hurts the cause more than he helps.
He basically sets up strawman arguments throughout the book, then tries to refute them with one or two items in opposition, without actually showing the degree to which one factor or set of factors seriously influences the economy.
In particular, he totally ignores the value of IP, especially in IT-heavy industries. I would sure as hell rather own Apple Computer than the contract manufacturer in China which builds their components, or the commodity manufacturers in China.
It's undeniable that the US overvalues consumption vs productive activity, but the shift toward a smaller number of people doing more abstract work is happening globally. It's happening in China too. The world will have a small number of people creating great value in manufacturing (on the IP side), combined with robots and low-skill assembly jobs. There will also be a range of service jobs, including a large number of low skill low wage jobs, but a number of high skill jobs as well. Buying a bunch of gold or foreign-currency stocks isn't going to hedge against this in any meaningful way.
If I could return this book to Audible, I totally would. If you want a good economics book, buy Thomas Sowell's "Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy".
Best explanation of global economics and that too in the most simple terms that anyone can understand. Wish I had read this book few years back.
Schiff is flat out wrong on too many of the points upon which he presumes authority. Simply put, if at the time of this book's publication you took his advice on investing and bought foreign dividend paying stocks, gold, gold mining company shares, and sold the dollar and treasuries, you would have beeen wiped out in less than a year.
He misinterprets productivity, CPI, the effect of the gold standard on monetary policy during the depression of the early 20th century and the impact in the length and severity of the hardship caused thereby, the value of fiat currencies in general, all in support of his populist shock and awe thesis. This guy is out to sell books, first and foremost, and reshaping the truth to suit that purpose is apparently no sacrifice at all.
Having said that, some of his predictions will likely come true: Gold will rise to unprecedented levels, the dollar will be challanged and treasuries might lose their risk free distinction. Mr Schiff will, once again claim the honor of having predicted this result. The fact that his timing might be off by 12 months or twenty years will not be highlighted since it is inconsistent with his 'Buy Gold now before its too late' recommendation. He has undoubtedly cost many an early subscriber an awful amount of money with bad timing advise but this will not keep him from claiming success of his predictions. Buy the book but bear in mind the author's predeliction toward self congratulations, his ineptitude as a market timer and unwillingness to admit when he is wrong, particularly if it means he will lose subscribers or potential book buyers by such a forthright approach.
He overkills his points. This book could be so much shorter. The concept is interesting but I kept wanting to fast forward to the "punch line". There are some good points on what USA government did wrong and what we can do to protect our self.
While he was able to predict a lot of what is happening now with the downturn ( though, many predicted it so its nothing special ), his advice is the pure definition of "Speculative Investing". He talks about the tech and housing bubbles, yet wants you to invest in gold when its at an all time high under his assumption that its just going to keep going up and up and up (Sounds like the other bubbles that burst).
I do agree that he recognizes the issues of our economy and does explain it well, although is quite repetitive about it and that was well worth the listen, just ignore the horrible advice he gives ( Like mortgaging your house to invest in foreign stocks, put all your money in gold etc...)
Considering that this book was written in 2006 BEFORE the 2008 crash, listening to it in 2015 was like seeing into a crystal ball. His recommendations carry even more weight. I will definitely consider his advice. Thanks Mr. Schiff.
The first part of the book is really good stuffThe last part of the book seemed more a election manifesto... As Schiff seems to be going into politics this may be the case. I am however not really interested in American politics :)