A LOTTERY NOBODY WANTS TOWIN
causing the debt burden to continually grow faster than the economy.
Even after the crisis of 2008. Even with $4 trillion in new money. Even with the huge number of mortgage defaults (over $1 trillion in losses). And... what really matters is that, more so than ever before, the burden of these debts is falling most heavily on the poorest members of our society – the people most likely to be radicalized. The people most likely to be violent. The people most likely to declare a jubilee. Most Americans believe the 2008-2011 financial crisis solved our debt problem... We all know someone who defaulted on his mortgage and hasn’t been able to borrow money since. Most of us believe that solved the problem... that everything is fine now. Well, except for the government’s debt... But • U.S. total debt (household, corporate, and government) hasn’t declined since 2008. • Federal debt only declined in one quarter (first quarter 2017, -2.6%) since 2008. Household debt only declined twice (2010, 2011 by less than 1%). And corporate debt has declined twice, too (-4% in 2009, less than 1% in 2010). • Total debt is currently growing at almost 4% a year. Since 2008 our economy has grown on average at 2.9% a year. That means, once again, our debts are growing much faster than our economy. that’s a different kind of problem. But the facts tell a different story.
When ‘Normal’ Stops Working
When deleveraging doesn’t work, the debt burden grows and grows. It begins to weigh heavier and heavier across the poorest segments of society. It becomes life-choking. It leads to despair. To depression. To violence. And to revolution. I don’t think I have to tell anyone that the federal debt burden has been growing uncontrollably for the last decade. Since 2008, total U.S. federal debt has more than doubled. That is, our government has borrowed more money in the last 10 years than it borrowed in the 231 prior years of its existence, combined. Yes, in terms of debt to gross domestic product (GDP), government borrowing was
The burden of these debts is falling most heavily on the poorest members of our society – the people most likely to be radicalized.
larger during the Civil War and during World War II. That’s true. But it’s also irrelevant. What really matters is that it’s not only the government’s debt that continues to grow uncontrollably. What really matters is that our country’s total debt load (household, corporate,
and government) continues to grow.
26 | October 2017
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