Skip to comments.Why the young should welcome austerity (Their future is at stake whether they like it or not)
Posted on 06/18/2012 7:58:06 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Governments should be more honest about the size of their debts and young voters would be wise to get politicians to pay them off as soon as possible.
The critics of Western democracy are right to discern that something is amiss with our political institutions. The most obvious symptom of the malaise is the huge debts we have managed to accumulate in recent decades, which - unlike in the past - cannot largely be blamed on wars.
According to the International Monetary Fund, the gross government debt of Greece this year will reach 153% of GDP. For Italy the figure is 123%, for Ireland 113%, for Portugal 112% and for the United States 107%.
Britain's debt is approaching 88%. Japan is the world leader, with a mountain of government debt approaching 236% of GDP - more than triple what it was 20 years ago.
Now, often these debts get discussed as if they themselves are the problem, and the result is a rather sterile argument between proponents of "austerity" and "stimulus".
I want to suggest that they are a consequence of a more profound malfunction.
The heart of the matter is the way public debt allows the current generation of voters to live at the expense of those as yet too young to vote or as yet unborn.
In this regard, the statistics commonly cited as government debt are themselves deeply misleading, for they encompass only the sums owed by governments in the form of bonds.
The rapidly rising quantity of these bonds certainly implies a growing charge on those in employment, now and in the future, since - even if the current low rates of interest enjoyed by the biggest sovereign borrowers persist - the amount of money needed to service the debt must inexorably rise.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
Ha! All the young people I know would pawn their own future (and anything else of value they possess) for the latest cell phone model!!
Why the young should welcome austerity
And why they don't:
Well, yes. Isn't this the very foundation of every government program? Of every liberal/socialist action? Forget trying to make "the young" understand or appreciate the danger. There hasn't been an educational basis for that in at least two generations.
Thank you — I have just been searching for the exact data you posted. It’s interesting how the financial news cites the Greek debt crisis as the reason world markets create or destroy more value in a given day than the total of Greek debt. I did not realize the French held so much of the Greek debt; after enabling the Greeks to run up all this debt, they think the Germans should do something.
Ferguson’s analysis is spot on, and no one else has the courage to speak this unpopular truth. US history gives scant hope that a majority of the “public” will understand his arguments, or summon the necessary will to sacrifice anything without a crisis. The Democrats, with substantial Republican help, have deliberately pursued the sort of dependency that is causing the inevitable collapse. The same politicians who decry “Pay Day Loans” as predatory, think that it’s a great concept for public finance, as if a bad policy writ large will have a different result.
Practically speaking, how do we change this before it’s even more too late?
I notice the Chinese don’t hold much Greek debt. They aren’t stupid.
a very dangerous game to play in countries that have embraced the concept of legal euthanasia...
“which - unlike in the past - cannot largely be blamed on wars”
You can still blame those past wars, though. Without WWI and its “war socialism” the New Deal probably never happens. And that was nothing as compared to WSII (War Socialism, Part II), or WWII as it’s known. But it all goes back to the Civil War, which quashed the ultimate check on federal authority.
I happen to agree with Robert Higgs of “Crisis and Leviathan” fame that once the feds were allowed to conscript men into military service the rest was academic. “What, we can send young men to die but we can’t nationalize the railroads?” “We can’t have a national pension system but we can send young men to die?” “We can send young men to die but we can’t outlaw employment discrimination?” Etc.
I was wondering who "owns" all that debt (lends money to Japan).
According to the above, 94% is held by the Japanese themselves. (While 48% of US debt is held by foreigners.) So would it be correct to surmise that Japan isn't really in all that bad shape at all?