I’ve fallen behind with my reading and still have about 7 more books to review, but I did some quick reads of three books this week:
In Master Your Debt, Jordan Goodman presents readers with some of the best debt elimination and reduction tips, and credit management that I have read in long time.
He packs the book with more than just information on mastering your debt, he also gets readers to fill in various worksheets to see where they can make changes to their financial lives. He covers credit reports, how to fix credit errors, how to select and properly use credit cards, and a great chapter on understanding mortgages. If you didn’t know what an ArcLoan, a Harmony loan, a HELOC, or a reverse mortgage is, you will after you read Chapter 5!
If it has ANYTHING to do with debt, from student loans to car loans to mortgages, Goodman has it covered. Since we live in such a debt laden society, this book is a great resource to help you understand debt and master it. I really liked his formula for becoming mortgage free in only seven years – that one idea is worth the book right there.
In Who Owns The World: The surprising truth about every piece of land on the planet, author Kevin Cahill presents the first comprehensive land ownership survey of all 197 countries and 66 territories in the world. You’ll never believe who the world’s top landowner is. Care for a spot of tea?
If you’re interested in geography at all, you’ll be fascinated by the fact that only 15% of the world’s population owns land. The author believes (as do I) that these staggeringly low numbers of landowners is possibly the single greatest cause of poverty.
So who are these huge landowners? Here is the top 5 with the number of acres they own and the approximate value:
|Name||Acreage and where||Value|
|Queen Elizabeth II||6,698,146,531 acres in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and 28 other territories||$33,490,732,655,000 (yes, 33 trillion)|
|King Abdullah||All of Saudi Arabia||$2,900,000,000,000|
|The Pope||Vatican City and Roman Catholic Churches around the world||$1,700,000,000,000|
|King Mohammed VI||Morocco||$1,650,000,000,000|
Yes, Queen Elizabeth II owns ONE SIXTH of the land mass of the earth. Staggering isn’t it? That’s three times the size of the USA.
Speaking of the USA:
- The largest landowner in the US? Surprise, surprise – the US Federal Government.
- The largest corporate landowner? Plum Creek (a lumber company) with 7.3 million acres in 19 states.
- The biggest private landowner? Ted Turner at 1.8 million acres in 7 states.
This was a very interesting book with much more than just charts and graphs. The author explores how land ownership actually changes a society for the better.
How To Achieve A Heaven On Earth is a compilation of essays edited by John Wade. After asking himself how “a” heaven on earth could be achieved, he set out to read what other people thought about the subject and this book was the result. With articles and essays from a wide variety of people from different walks of life (from George Bush to Tony Blair to Paul Prudhomme to Alice Schroeder), the book has a distinct leftward slant but it isn’t too over the top. The chapters include peace, security, freedom, democracies, prosperity, spiritual harmony, racial harmony, ecological harmony, health, moral purpose and meaning, and individual paths to heaven on earth.
The book is easily read in snippets since there are 101 essays covering these topics, but personally, I’m not looking for heaven on earth because it isn’t here on earth.
Perhaps we could get closer to “heaven on earth” if some of these wealthy landowners would sell/grant/transfer/give land holdings to ordinary citizens. I’m not holding my breath …