Here's Scott Adams of Dilbert cartoon fame on the US national debt. I've bolded the key bits:
In reaction to my post yesterday, several people pointed out that Obama's budget deficits would lead to certain economic doom. Let's take a look at that assumption.He makes two points that never really get discussed:
First, if you are American, and you believe the deficit means certain doom, you should cash in all of your investments and move into some sort of survivalist encampment, or to a country that has less of a budget problem. You don't want to pay your share of the $19 trillion. So if you aren't already packing to leave, maybe you are just saying you think the ballooning national debt is the end of us all, but you really think we'll figure a way out of it. This might be similar to saying you believe in Jesus but for some reason you refuse to give most of your money to the needy. There's a difference between real believing and whatever the heck the other thing is.
Allow me to be the first to say I don't understand all the ins and outs of the national debt. On the surface, it's hard to see how you can pay off a multi-trillion dollar debt even if you mug the rich. It's not even clear how we could stop the debt from increasing every year until cannibalism breaks out.
On the other hand, the Adams Theory of Slow Motion Disasters states the following: Any looming disaster that is generally recognized years in advance is eventually solved. For example, population hasn't increased until we ran out of food (Malthus), the Y2K problem got fixed, and even our air and water quality have improved in recent years in the U.S.
So what are the odds that human ingenuity will find a way to pay off the national debt, or at least pound it into a smaller problem before it rips society to shreds?
- Those who got the benefits of society need to put money back in the kitty. Those who yell the loudest about how they shouldn't be made to pay other's debts forget how much society invested in them via their education, via the economic infrastructure of transportation, communication, health, and business regulation that they've leveraged into their own wealth.
- Those who yell the loudest are usually trying to pull a fast one. By getting people riled up over deficits and debts faced by Obama, a lot of people ignore the incredible waste and corruption of the Bush regime. These same people who are yelling loudest now didn't let out a peep when those trillions got thrown to the wind. Isn't that odd?