This chemist gives it to you straight.
David Collum, professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Cornell University, surveys the global economic landscape--and does not like what he sees. In his review of 2011, Collum describes both the trouble in which we find ourselves and the opportunity to set things straight. Included is a list of books and links that will get you up to speed. Here are two nuggets to whet your appetite, the first pertaining to the Federal Reserve, which, you may be surprised to learn, does not exist to serve ordinary taxpayers...
Here's my biggest gripe in a nutshell. The Fed, whether it's a wholly owned subsidiary of the banking cartel or not, is charged with protecting the banking system. Period/full stop. The banking system is global. Period/full stop. Ergo, one does not even know if the Fed's actions are in the best interest of the United States. Period/full stop. What is to prevent them from sending trillions to Europe, Asia, or any faraway place because bankers got themselves in trouble? Absolutely nothing; they do it relentlessly...We keep hearing that we made money on the bailouts, including from General Motors! That's an OMG/LOL/WTF all rolled into one. The $700 billion TARP was put on display for public consumption. It was designed to be paid back in the light of day. The rest of the money [at least ten times as much] entered the system covertly.
...and the federal government, which (now you've got it!) does not exist to serve ordinary taxpayers:
Government is a living, breathing organism that exists to perpetuate itself. There is nothing that says evolution must create a pleasing government better suited to individual liberties. History paints an altogether different picture. Possibly the single largest selection pressure is money. It has always bought political favor. When our government was a few percent of GDP and the industrialists were buying favors while building a nation, government had little power to wield. When money commandeers the machinery of a huge government, however, you have a monstrously expensive and intractable problem.