On the Money
Financial Advice for the Working Class
The Sovereign Debt Crisis, Who’s Default is it Anyway?
Now that governments around the world have bailed out their “too big to fail” banks, many of them, including our own, have taken on so much sovereign debt that they now teeter on the brink of default. Now these governments turn to the working people, who just got screwed out of affordable housing by the mortgage bubble, saw their wages shrink because of global outsourcing, and watched their benefits disappear because of runaway health care costs, and announce “austerity plans”. Working people are justifiably outraged.
Somehow, the richest people in the world managed to do fabulously well the whole time. The wealth of the world poured into their pockets at the fastest rate in the history of humanity, leaving poverty, squalor and pollution all around the world. While governments struggle to deal with massive unemployment, widespread homelessness, hunger and environmental crisis, they find themselves hamstrung by the sovereign debt crisis.
So, instead of massive public works projects, we lay off government workers. Instead of taxing capital gains, we cut social programs. Instead of investing in the future, we pay for past mistakes. But not our mistakes, and you can’t really call them “mistakes” if the people who made them, got rich doing so.
We didn’t ask for the mortgage crisis. We didn’t beg to pay three times what a house was worth, just to have a place to live, because the banks would loan that much to an incarcerated criminal to buy the same house, if you didn’t. Some people made a lot of money ruining the housing market for everyone. They made a lot of people homeless, and broke. A lot of people were in on that crime, and none of them have paid. Instead, you and I, the people who got screwed out of affordable housing, the taxpayers, bailed them out.
Now we teeter on the brink of default. In the media, they make default sound like a terrible thing. They warn us in the most dire terms about what would happen if the US defaults on its sovereign debt. Bank failures, stock market crash, markets seizing, the world economy grinds to a halt. Really, what has the world economy done for you lately?
On the other hand, they don’t tell you about the dire consequences that will happen if we do pay down the debt. For instance, if we pay down the debt, you will work longer hours for less money. You will not be able to afford a home. You will not be able to afford to see a doctor. Food prices will rise. Gas prices will rise, and the planet still gets destroyed. You will be trapped like a rat, and ground to dust under the foot of the very bankers and shareholders you bailed out. That’s what happens to you, if we pay down the debt.
So screw the debt! Why throw good money after bad? Cut your losses now. We have enough challenges facing us now, and we owe more to future generations than we do to the debts of the past. Besides, let’s look at who really defaulted here anyway.
From my perspective, every major institution on earth has completely failed to deliver on their basic obligation to future generations. Every generation owes it to future generations, to leave the planet in as good of shape as they found it, and to pass on a culture that offers a sustainable way of life that meets basic human needs. That’s what they owe us! How well do you think they did at that? Would you say they lived up to their half of the bargain? Or, would you say they could hardly have failed more spectacularly. Or perhaps you might think they intentionally screwed us over. Either way, they have a heluva nerve to tell us we owe them anything for it.
So, what do we actually lose if we just write it off. Nothing we really need, two pointless wars, several thousand aircraft that don’t carry anything but bullets, missiles and bombs, superpower status, the stars and stripes, our elected officials, a couple thousand nuclear warheads, NASA, the CIA, NSA, FBI and DEA. Who couldn’t live without them? Anyone? I didn’t think so. Is it worth working the rest of your life away, just so you can hear another infuriating State of the Union address full of BS every year?
Frankly, I don’t see a down side to defaulting. Face it, the US is a failed state. You can spend your whole life trying to bail it out, for the benefit of the bastards who wrecked the world, or we can just write it off and start from scratch. So long New World Order, hello Disorderly New World.