What’s $61.6 Trillion Amongst Friends?

“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity” – William Butler Yeats

The center cannot hold. USA Today put out an “analysis” today indicating that the current unfunded liabilities of the U.S. government total $61.6 trillion (story here). The story notes that this comes to $534,000 per household. Thus, by the simplest (and probably not best) math available – your family owes $534,000 in promises, made by the federal government on your behalf.

I say this isn’t the best math because in a fair system the most you would be accountable for is something akin to a proportion of the debt consistent with your proportion of productivity. So, if you produced $100,000 last year, amid a $14.7 trillion GDP, you’d be responsible for only about $420,000 … OK, that’s still a lot. But if you only generated $40,000 last year at least your share is a more modest $168,000. Yeah, I know, that’s not exactly modest.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock over at globaleconomianalysis is fond of saying that what cannot be paid back, will not be paid back – by definition. Somebody is going to get left empty handed here. Somebody is going to have to do with far less that they think they were promised. It’s not clear which generation will take the hit.

I’m not sure what else to say about the impending collapse. Will it be 2 years or 25 – who knows? The reckoning is out there though, somewhere on the horizon.

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