Friday, January 31, 2020

Selling Our Kids and Grandkids Into Debt Slavery

The numbers are out for 2019 and they are ugly.  The US economy grew by 800 billion but we added more than double that to the National debt, continuing the trend that has prevailed since the 1980's.  Our National debt is now equivalent to 108% of the wealth we generate as a country in even good year for the economy.

Even as the National debt has been rising over the last 40 years support for eduction has fallen and housing prices have risen faster than income.  In urban areas the homelessness problems are exploding, in rural areas despair driven drug addiction is driving record levels of suicide and drug overdose deaths.

Even bright hardworking young folks, if their parents are not multi-millionaires, will have a hard time getting out from under the debt they incur to get an education, to buy a house, to provide medical insurance for their family - to live the life the World War II generation and baby boomers took for granted.  Even before beginning to try to pay off the National debt.

It didn't have to be this way, but as voters we have complacently voted for folks promising a free lunch for 40 years.  Politicians saying tax cuts will produce fabulous growth and more than make up for the revenue lost to tax cuts.  Instead as a country over the last 40 years we have gone backwards, averaging more debt each year than growth.

I recall 30 years ago being appalled by photo's of streets in India full of pitiful homeless beggars and thinking to myself Democracy would make India more like us - more capable of taking care of the less fortunate.   Now as I look back it I realize I was a starry eyed idealist.  Instead our complacent democracy is becoming more like India.

Self interest and greed has consistently trumped seeing success as a country involve success for everyone in it.

1 comment:

lloyd said...

Nicely done, Jan. Thanks for raising the issue. Who pays for the national debt? Is there a break down by percentage paid by income levels?i.e. does the middle class pay the largest share? etc.