We are all rich, very, very, rich. (Western world)

How did we get here?

We borrowed.

We now have mucho debt.

We also have assets. (businesses, real estate, precious metals)

If you think anything other than businesses, real estate, and precious metals qualify as assets you are in for a rude awakening.

Even if your assets are made up of those three you and I may still be in for a rude awakening.

The assets can change in value, the debt doesn't.

Oh contraire you say, countries just write off, or write down the debt.

Voila you don't have to pay it back.

Some are doing that, but how many can do that before the debt holders get a little cranky.

Cranky as in no more new debt for you.

Cranky as in your new interest rate is now 21%.

The USA requires 1.6 trillion in new debt every year to keep the ponzi scheme afloat.

You know what happens to a ponzi scheme when the new money stops coming in.

It collapses and Bernie goes to jail.

Who's in charge of this ponzi scheme?


Prime Ministers?


You and I.

We elect those who promise to spend more and tax less.

You would think that we the ponzi schemers would want to come clean now. Admit our mistakes, go to our collective debtors prison so to speak.

You would think that, but you would be wrong.

That would be painful. We don't like pain. We like IPhones.

So now the masses have hit the streets, not to demand debt repayment start immediately. No, no, to demand government take more money from someone else and give it to them. That and borrow forever, as the government must take care of us.

Make rich people and big companies pay for it all.

How did we turn into this blubbering mass of pathetic spineless humanity?

The Keynesians tell us that we need to borrow more when we have an economic downturn. I assume Keynes also suggested we save (?) or pay it back during the economic boom times?

Look at the top three charts again. The boom was nuclear. Did we take that opportunity to pay back debt?


We borrowed more during the boom and now we are supposed to borrow even more?

That is my issue with Keynes. He assumes, like many economists, that humans and governments will do the rational thing.

They don't.

Ever see a 2 year old throw a tantrum in a supermarket when Mom says no to the candy placed at the 2 year old's eye level at the check out counter?

That's us.

Only we can vote.


Anonymous said...

We pay tax burdens for other peoples' obligation, not our own.

Stop paying propery tax on a house "we" own, we quickly find out out who really owns it.

We pay 25 - 30 year mortgages - I call them slavery bonds. How much can we afford by paying up via saved cash - nothing, or next to nothing.

Debt to buy a house, buy a car, buy a vacation, buy goods.......debt, debt debt. All out life we remain in debt to someone else.

This is not being rich, it's economic slavery. We are indeed, very very poor.

Solfest said...

I don't mind paying taxes. I use public services so I should help pay for them.

However I should not pay a higher % of my income then anyone else.

Watching society's reaction to the 2008 recession has been both fascinating and sad.

Mostly sad.

Americans paying someone who's house was foreclosed on $2000 cash?

This is America?

Once we start down the government take from others and give to me road you know the end is near.

Americans used to "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country".

That line is so far gone now it sounds sad and pathetic.

This American election is going to be very interesting. Unfortunately I think I already know the outcome.

Other than rant about it I don't know what else to do.

We all make choices, then if the outcome isn't very good we blame someone else. That blame game gets accelerated when you have a government that agrees with you. A government that tells you it isn't your fault, here take some money.

Oh and vote for me.

Solfest said...


Solfest said...

This guy could complain to his government that he needs money to buy a car with a heater, or, he could put a wood burning stove in his volvo.


Anonymous said...

You crazy fool. Next you will be saying that the middle classes fuelling the property bubble were partly responsible for the financial crisis.


Solfest said...


That's an interesting word, defined by the Free Dictionary as:

1. Liable to be required to give account, as of one's actions or of the discharge of a duty or trust.

2. Involving personal accountability or ability to act without guidance or superior authority: a responsible position within the firm.

3. Being a source or cause.

4. Able to make moral or rational decisions on one's own and therefore answerable for one's behavior.

5. Able to be trusted or depended upon; reliable.

6. Based on or characterized by good judgment or sound thinking: responsible journalism.

7. Having the means to pay debts or fulfill obligations.

8. Required to render account; answerable: The cabinet is responsible to the parliament.

Yes, a very interesting word, the world could use a lot more of that word.

DT233 said...

Where exactly were the risk managers that were working for the banks that took those terrible loans? NO WHERE TO BE FOUND.

Blame those who took the loans, as you should, but equal blame lies on the shoulders of the very banks who wrote those loans, knowing full well that they were going to flip them to Wall Street.

Solfest said...

Sure thing DT, that's the great thing about capitalism. People who take risks and lose go bankrupt.

Oh wait, the government said the banks could'nt go bankrupt.

The govt said, here banks take some money we just borrowed.

The govt stepped in and screwed the system.

The govt said take your private profits and we will socialize your losses.

The govt.......

Dammit DT now look what you made me do. I have to go watch those two magical music vids again.

So should you.

Peace out.

DT233 said...

Let's not forget...

Those in the government who made those decisions on the bailouts used to work for the very banks that they bailed out.

A rigged game.

Solfest said...


Solfest said...


DT is making me fall off the wagon.

I need to phone a friend.

Trin Café said...

Solfest, really interesting post, and plenty of well formulated responses; so please forgive me for my ignorance, but at least I can say it's self identified.

I believe the Western World will continue to be very very rich, even if the perceived wealth is built on a mountain of debt. For the foreseeable future, America will continue to be the safe haven when times are bad, America will continue selling its best product it has, US Debt. Countries are still stumbling over each other to buy more and more of our debt.

As long as Americans and the world continue going deeper into debt for things they dont need i.e. the latest and greatest iphone, China will be happy to continue building and exporting all of our cheep goods.

A pyramid scheme that works as long as people continue wanting more and more and more. I rambled on enough, and I didn't even get into talking about taxes : )

Solfest said...

Trin, good points all.

There has never been an entity on earth that has been able to add debt every year forever without eventually hitting a very large wall at high speed.

Kind of like Greece.

So the question is will America be the first to do this without ever hitting that wall?

Trin Café said...

Kind of like Greece?

United States GDP in Billion USD is at 14582, the closest competitor is the Euro Area 12456, 3rd place goes to China 5879. Greece GDP is in 26th place at 305. US military has a 683 billion dollar budget, this does not include the emergency spending $900 billion in direct costs on the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. As much as it seems we spend on our military, it only makes up 4.06% of GDP (2005 est.) 23rd in the world. I believe the “great recession” two wars is directly linked to the increase in debt. If we were to look at GDP purchasing power, the EU eeks out the US for 1st place. Greece’s GDP purchasing power is ranked at 41.

Now back to the original question, will America be the first to not hit a wall while increasing debt. I think the best example to sum up this idea is to compare the US to a overpaid physically gifted and talented athlete (sport of your choice). As long as the athlete can continue to perform better than rest of the competition, our star athlete will continue living the high life by signing multi million dollar contracts and receiving endorsements while running up their credit cards and writing checks for money they believe they will earn later in their career.

Tiger Woods is a great example, sorry I could not help myself. : )

Solfest said...

Tiger Woods lost to a fat left handed golfer.

You are in trouble.

Trin Café said...

In big trouble ; )