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March 21, 2011

VDH Brings the DOOM!: "Debt Is The Father Of Us All"

Here's a taste:

Debt is now the father of us all. In some sense, every cruise missile fired, every Social Security check cashed, ever NPR show aired is done so in part with borrowed money. In response, the president saw the impending doom of insolvency, appointed a bipartisan commission to draft a solution, and then ignored his own appointees’ recommendations. So far the excuse is largely that George Bush ran up debt as well, although last month Obama’s red-ink exceeded the entire 2007 budget deficit under Bush — 30 days of Obama trumping 365 of Bush.

Do read the whole piece.

It's clear to me that we as a people have become sunk in a kind of magical thinking: that because we have lived in the most prosperous and wealthy society in the history of the world for so long, that we deserve to do so, and will continue to do so...forever. There doesn't seem to be any apprehension on right or left that our debt is tied to real actual wealth, and that every dollar of debt we accrue must be paid off at some point -- by our children, and our children's children.

We are in a very real sense selling our own children into indentured servitude so we can continue to live beyond our means.

This makes me incredibly angry. It offends me on a very deep moral level. If we had simply arrived on the scene with the situation as it is, we'd be baying for blood and demanding fundamental changes. But since we have marinated in this dream-world for our entire lives, we simply take it as our due. There is the incoherent but widely-spread belief that...well, things will just work out, somehow, without anyone having to make any difficult decisions.

Our debt represents a real loss of wealth. The future output of industry and the labor of millions is being traded -- without their consent! -- for the immediate gratification of the wealthiest people in the history of the world. We are telling our kids (and their unborn children) that they will have to do without so we won't have to. They will have to work like donkeys and forgo many pleasures because Mom and Dad (and Grandpa and Grandma) can't bear to cut back on their spending. Worse still: many of us didn't bother to have children of our own, and so are larding debt on other people's children.

As I said -- if we had just been dropped into this system rather than growing up in it, we'd be calling it child abuse, and would demand that this atrocious debt be borne by the people who incurred it: us.

Hobo cat has a deal for you.

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posted by Monty at 09:17 AM

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