Engaging today's political economy
with truth and reason

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The United States of Insolvency

22 Apr 2016

This past week my macroeconomics classes finished their review of the national debt.  I assign it in the vain hopes that perhaps my small efforts will awaken at least our students from the slumber of wishful thinking and denial of reality.  One of the best parts of being at a Christ-centered university is to be able to bring one of my fellow profs who is in the School of Biblical and Theological Studies over to review some of the public discussion of scripture as a rationale for high taxes to solve this problem.  The good news is that our students are now aware of both the moral and technical difficulties that our national debt presents.

Fortuitously, Jim Grant has just done his own small part (but MUCH larger than mine) to educate America on this problem in the recent issue of Time magazine.  His post is a must read (click the link), but here is a sample:

Debt per se is neither good nor bad, though less is usually better than more. How it’s priced and how it’s used are what tips the scales. If chocolate cake cost a penny a slice, the best of us would be tempted to break our diets. Well, government debt is priced at less than 2%, and Washington fell off the wagon years ago.

As I often say, what cannot go on forever, will not go on forever.  The day of reckoning gets closer daily.  Yet we worry about Mr. Trump’s orange hair and rude language, and why everyone in DC hates Mr. Cruz and Mrs. Clinton’s cough.  Oh my.